Kenneth J. Feeley



166 Cox Science Center
1301 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Office: (305) 284-4647
Fax: (305) 284-3039

Lab website


  • 2017 – Present, Associate Professor & Smathers Chair in Tropical Trees, Department of Biology, The University of Miami
    2009 – Present, Research Associate, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
    2015 - 2017, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University
    2009 - 2015, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University
    2007 - 2009, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group
    2005 - 2007, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Tropical Forest Science, Harvard University Arnold Arboretum
    2000 - 2005, Ph.D. in Biology, Duke University
    1994 - 1998, B.S. in Biology, Wake Forest University


  • 2016, Fulbright International Research Scholar – Colombia
    2016, Florida International University College of Arts and Sciences’ award for “Excellence in Research”
    2016, Florida International University Faculty Senate’s award “Excellence in Advising & Mentorship”
    2015, Florida International University award for “Top Scholar”
    2015, Florida International University Faculty Senate’s award for “Excellence in Research”.


  • 2014-2019, National Science Foundation CAREER Award “ Measuring the thermal tolerances of individuals, populations, and species and predicting plant species’ responses to climate change in the tropical Andes”
  • 2013-2017, National Science Foundation “ Understanding range limits and plant migration in response to climate change in neotropical montane forests: moving from observational models to mechanisms”
  • 2013-2015, USAID “Strengthening local capacity for prioritizing conservation research and action in the Colombian Andean-Amazon: A networked approach”
  • 2010-2015, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden “Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation”
  • 2012-2013, National Geographic Society “Horizontal refugia and the effects of climate change on plant distributions in the Peruvian Andes”



  • Tropical Biology
  • Global Change Biology
  • Community Ecology
  • Conservation Biology


I study the ecology and biogeography of tropical forests. Specifically, my research is focused on how the structure, dynamics, composition, and geographic distribution of tropical forests (and their constituent tree species) are affected by large-scale anthropogenic disturbances such as climate change, deforestation, and habitat fragmentation. This research integrates disparate disciplines of ecology, is conducted across a range of spatial scales, and requires a broad knowledge of both natural history and advanced empirical modeling techniques. A principle motivation for my research is to understand the implications of human activities for biodiversity and ecosystem services and to use this knowledge to help inform management and conservation strategies.



  • Perez TM, Stroud JT, and Feeley KJ. 2016. Thermal trouble in the tropics. Science. 351: 1392-1393.

Rehm, EM and Feeley KJ. 2016. Seedling transplants reveal species-specific responses of high-elevation tropical treeline trees to climate change. Oecologia. 181(4): 1233-1242.

  • Duque A, Stephenson P, and Feeley KJ. 2015. Thermophilization of adult and juvenile tree communities in the northern tropical Andes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 112(34): 10744–10749.

  • Feeley KJ., Hurtado J, Saatchi S, Silman MR, and Clark DB 2013. Compositional shifts in Costa Rican forests due to climate-driven species migrations. Global Change Biology. 19: 3472-2480.

  • Feeley KJ and Silman MR, Bush M, Farfan W, Garcia Cabrera K, Malhi Y, Meir P, Salinas Revilla N, Raurau Quisiyupanqui MN, Saatchi S. 2011. Upward migration of Andean trees. Journal of Biogeography. 38: 783-791.

  • Feeley KJ, Wright SJ, Davies S, Noor MNS, and Kassim AR. 2007. Decelerating growth in tropical forest trees. Ecology Letters 10: 461-469.