Tom McKenna

Assistant Research Professor
Primary office:
9 Takeru Higuchi Hall


Academic degrees
Ph.D., Biology, University of North Dakota, 2016
B.S., Biology, University of Kansas, 2002

Area of specialization
Plant community ecology

Professional experience
Tom's widely varied experience in biology includes work in native ecosystem restoration for the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaii; as a black bear technician for Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Three Rivers, California; and in prairie restoration and reconstruction for Applied Ecological Services, Baldwin City, Kansas. Tom works in collaboration with the Land Institute, and his postdoctoral work is funded by the Perennial Agriculture Project Research Fellowship Program through the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation.

Research interests

  • Diversity-productivity relationship in grassland systems.
  • Agroecology
  • Plant-soil interaction


  • Yurkonis, K.A, and T.P. McKenna. 2014. “Intermixing of species at seeding may reduce initial diversity in reconstructed grasslands,” Ecological Restoration 32:275-281.
  • McKenna T.P., and Yurkonis, K.A. 2016. “Across species-pool aggregation alters grassland productivity and diversity," Ecology and Evolution 6.16:5788-5795.

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