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NS Faculty - Michael Tobin

Dr. Mike Tobin photograph

Michael Tobin

Assistant Professor

Office: N809

I am a plant physiological ecologist focusing on plant hydraulics and drought resistance of plant species and communities. I joined the Natural Sciences Department at UHD in Fall 2012. I teach courses covering plant biology, general ecology, plant identification, and environmental field science. I mentor a group of students establishing a pocket prairie in Johnny Goyen Park in collaboration with Houston Parks and Recreation Department. I am also a faculty mentor for the Environmental Club and Scholars Academy.


BA – Biology, Reed College,1990

PhD– Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota, 2001

  • BIOL 1301 General Biology I
  • BIOL 1101 General Biology I Lab
  • BIOL 3330 Plant Biology
  • BIOL 3130 Plant Biology Lab
  • BIOL 3310 Plant Identification
  • BIOL 3110 Plant Identification Lab
  • BIOL 3302 General Ecology
  • BIOL-CHEM-GEOL 4260 Environmental Lab and Field Studies
  • BIOL 4210 Biology Seminar


Jacobsen AL, Tobin MF, Toschi H, Percolla M, and BR Pratt. 2016.  Structural determinants of increased susceptibility to dehydration-induced cavitation in post-fire resprouting chaparral shrubs. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 2473-2485.

Wright A, Tobin M, Mangan S, and SA Schnitzer. 2015.  Unique competitive effects of lianas and trees in a tropical forest understory.  Oecologia 177:  561-569.

Jacobsen AL, Pratt RB, Davis SD, and MF Tobin. 2014.  Geographic and seasonal variation in chaparral vulnerability to cavitation.  Madroño 61:  317-327.

Pratt RB, Jacobsen AL, Ramirez, AR, Helms A, Traugh CA, Tobin MF, Heffner MS, and SD Davis. 2013.  Mortality of resprouting chaparral shrubs after fire and during a record drought: physiological mechanisms and demographic consequences.  Global Change Biology 30: 893-907.

Paddock WAS, Davis SD, Pratt RB, Jacobsen AL, Tobin MF, Lόpez-Portillo J, and FW Ewers.  2013.  Factors determining mortality of adult chaparral shrubs in an extreme drought year in California.  Aliso 31: 49-57.

Tobin MF, Pratt RB, Jacobsen AL, and ME De Guzman.  2013.  Xylem vulnerability to cavitation can be accurately characterized in species with long vessels using a centrifuge method.  Plant Biology 15: 496–504.

Schnitzer SA, Mangan SA, Dalling JW, Baldeck CA, Hubbell SP, Ledo A, Muller-Landau H, Tobin MF, Aguilar S, Brassfield D, Hernandez A, Lao S, Perez R, Valdez O, and S Rutishauser Yorke.  2012.  Liana abundance, diversity, and distribution on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.  PLoS ONE 7: e52114.

Jacobsen AL, Pratt RB, Tobin MF, Hacke UG, and FW Ewers.  2012.  A global analysis of xylem vessel length in woody plants.  American Journal of Botany 99: 1583–1591.

Tobin MF, Wright AJ, Mangan SA, and SA Schnitzer.  2012.  Lianas have a greater competitive effect than trees of similar biomass on tropical canopy trees.  Ecosphere 3: 20.

Volin JC, Kruger EL, Volin VC, Tobin MF, and K Kitajima.  2009.  Does release from natural belowground enemies help explain the invasiveness of Lygodium microphyllum?  A cross-continental comparison.  Plant Ecology 208:  223–234.

Tobin MF and PB Reich.  2009.  Comparing indices of light availability in hemlock and hardwood forest patches.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39: 1949–1957.

Tobin MF, Lopez OR and TA Kursar.  1999.  Responses of tropical understory plants to a severe drought:  tolerance and avoidance of water stress.  Biotropica 31:  570–578.


Last updated 4/15/2020 6:40 AM