Madelon (Maddy) Case



2020 Yale University PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
2012 Princeton University AB in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests

I am interested in how plant community and ecosystem dynamics respond to environmental variability, disturbance, and global change, with a particular focus on rangelands and savannas.

Recent Awards

2020 Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University
2019 Robert P. McIntosh Award, ESA Vegetation Section
2018 Highly commended paper for Southwood Prize, British Ecological Society
2016 National Geographic Society Young Explorers Grant
2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
2016 Research-in-Residence, Inter-University Training for Continental-Scale Ecology


Case, M.F., Nippert, J.B., Holdo, R.M., and Staver, A.C. Root-niche separation between savanna trees and grasses is greater on sandier soils. Journal of Ecology (in press).

Zhou, Y., Wigley, B.J., Case, M.F., Coetsee, C., and Staver, A.C. Rooting depth as a key woody functional trait in savannas. New Phytologist. 227(5), 1350-1361.

Case, M.F., Wigley, B.J., Wigley-Coetsee, C., and Staver, A.C. 2020. Could drought constrain woody encroachers in savannas? African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 37 (1), 19-29.

Case, M.F., Wigley-Coetsee, C., Nzima, N., Scogings, P.F., and Staver, A.C. 2019. Severe drought limits trees in a semi-arid savanna. Ecology, 100(11), e02842.

Case, M.F. and Staver, A.C. 2018. Soil texture mediates tree responses to rainfall intensity in African savannas. New Phytologist, 219(4),1363-1372.

Case, M.F. and Staver, A.C. 2017. Fire prevents woody encroachment only at higher-than-historical frequencies in a South African savanna. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54(3), 955-962.

Case, M.F., Halpern, C.B., and Levin, S.A. 2013. Contributions of gopher mound and casting disturbances to plant community structure in a Cascade Range meadow complex. Botany, 91(8), 555-561.