Carla J. Essenberg

Assistant Professor of Biology



Carnegie Science Hall, Room 411

Environmental Studies


Plant ecology and plant-animal interactions

My research focuses on pollination ecology.  I am particularly interested in how plants manipulate pollinator behavior and ways in which pollinator behavior in turn influences plant ecology and evolution.  I am also happy to advise thesis projects related to pollinator conservation, including community-engaged projects.

My courses include Biostatistics, Conservation Biology, and the Ecology and Evolution of Mutualisms.

Selected Publications

“*” indicates Bates undergraduate co-authors.

Essenberg, C. J., P. E. Guevarra*, H. M. Moreau*, and C. J. Jordan*, and T. Zisman*.  2019. A benefit to providing information? Flower size cues, plant attractiveness, and plant visit length.  Behavioral Ecology 30(4): 1168-1175.
Link to abstract:

Katz*, E. J., and C. J. Essenberg.  2018. The effect of the dispersion of rewarding and rewardless flowers on visitation and constancy by bumblebees (Bombus impatiens). Journal of Pollination Ecology 23(13): 119-126.
Link to abstract:

Essenberg, C. J., R. A. Easter, R. A. Simmons, and D. R. Papaj. 2015. The value of information in floral cues: bumblebee learning of floral size cues. Behavioral Ecology. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arv061. <link to article>

Essenberg, C. J. 2013. Scale-dependent shifts in the species composition of flower visitors with changing floral density. Oecologia 171:187-196. <Abstract>

Essenberg, C. J. 2012. Explaining variation in the effect of floral density on pollinator visitation. American Naturalist 180:153-166.