James Brendan Heffernan

James Brendan Heffernan

Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Ecology and Ecohydrology

I am interested in major changes in ecosystem structure, particularly in streams, rivers and wetlands. My work focuses on feedbacks among ecological, physical, and biogeochemical processes, and uses a wide range of tools and approaches. I am particularly interested in projects that address both basic ecological theory and pressing environmental problems. Increasingly, we are applying tools and theories developed for local ecosystems to better understand ecological patterns and mechanisms at regional and continental scales.

In The News


Pearse, WD, Cavender-Bares, J, Hobbie, SE, Avolio, ML, Bettez, N, Roy Chowdhury, R, Darling, LE, Groffman, PM, Grove, JM, Hall, SJ, Heffernan, JB, Learned, J, Neill, C, Nelson, KC, Pataki, DE, Ruddell, BL, Steele, MK, and Trammell, TLE. "Homogenization of plant diversity, composition, and structure in North American urban yards:." Ecosphere 9, no. 2 (February 1, 2018).
Wheeler, MM, Neill, C, Groffman, PM, Avolio, M, Bettez, N, Cavender-Bares, J, Roy Chowdhury, R, Darling, L, Grove, JM, Hall, SJ, Heffernan, JB, Hobbie, SE, Larson, KL, Morse, JL, Nelson, KC, Ogden, LA, O’Neil-Dunne, J, Pataki, DE, Polsky, C, Steele, M, and Trammell, TL. "Continental-scale homogenization of residential lawn plant communities." Landscape and Urban Planning 165 (September 2017): 54-63.
Eagle, AJ, Olander, LP, Locklier, KL, Heffernan, JB, and Bernhardt, ES. "Fertilizer management and environmental factors drive n2o and no3losses in corn: A meta-analysis." Soil Science Society of America Journal 81, no. 5 (September 1, 2017): 1191-1202.
Groffman, PM, Avolio, M, Cavender-Bares, J, Bettez, ND, Grove, JM, Hall, SJ, Hobbie, SE, Larson, KL, Lerman, SB, Locke, DH, Heffernan, JB, Morse, JL, Neill, C, Nelson, KC, O'Neil-Dunne, J, Pataki, DE, Polsky, C, Chowdhury, RR, and Trammell, TLE. "Ecological homogenization of residential macrosystems." Nature ecology & evolution 1, no. 7 (June 22, 2017): 191-.
Stanley, EH, Sponseller, RA, and Heffernan, JB. "Landscape and Regional Stream Ecology." In Stream Ecosystems in a Changing Environment, 389-415. July 21, 2016.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 790: Special Topics (ENVIRON 790: Special Topics)
ENVIRON 823: Ecological Resilience and Ecosystem Management (ENVIRON 823: Ecological Resilience and Ecosystem Management)
ENVIRON 744: Ecology and Conservation of Streams and Rivers (ENVIRON 744: Ecology and Conservation of Streams and Rivers)
ENVIRON 391: Independent Study (ENVIRON 391: Independent Study)
ENVIRON 646: Urban Ecology (ENVIRON 646: Urban Ecology)

Contact Information

Durham, NC 27708
9 Circuit Drive, Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Arizona State University (2007)