College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

David W. Inouye

David Inouye

Professor Emeritus


Office Phone: 301.405.6946
Lab: 301.405.6946
Fax: 301.314.9358
Office Address: 4222 Bio-Psych

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology (CONS)
  • Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences (MEES)
  • BISI - BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)

Research Interests

Dr. Inouye has worked with bumblebees, euglossine bees, pollinating flies, tephritid flies, hummingbirds, and wildflowers, on topics including pollination biology, flowering phenology, plant demography, and plant-animal interactions such as ant-plant mutualisms, nectar robbing, and seed predation. He has worked in Australia, Austria, Central America, and Colorado, where he has spent summer field seasons since 1971 at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). His long-term studies of flowering phenology and plant demography are being used now to provide insights into the effects of climate change at high altitudes.

Dr. Inouye teaches courses in ecology and conservation biology at the University of Maryland, and has also taught at the University of Colorado's Mountain Research Station, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and with the Organization for Tropical Studies. He is the founder and moderator for the Ecological Society of America's ECOLOG-L listserv list, and serves on the Boards of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the USA-National Phenology Network.

Recent Publications


Kearns, C. A. and Inouye, D. W. 1993. Techniques for Pollination Biologists. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, CO. 583 pages. 2nd printing 1994. 3rd printing 2000.

Book chapters:

  • Wielgolaski, F.-E., and D. W. Inouye. 2013. Phenology of high-latitude climates. In: Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science (M. D. Schwartz, ed.) Kluwer Academic Publishers. Updated revision for new edition.
  • Inouye, D. W., and F.-E. Wielgolaski. 2013. Phenology of high-altitude climates. In: Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science (M. D. Schwartz, ed.) Kluwer Academic Publishers. Updated revision for new edition.

  • Inouye, D W. 2011. Pollinators, the role of (revised). In: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. Academic Press, San Diego.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2011. Reflections: Conservation of Plant-Pollinator Mutualisms. Chapter 21 in: Sammataro, D., and J. A. Yoder, Editors. Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions. Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Inouye, David and Amy McKinney. 2012. Community Phenology. In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Ecology. Ed. David Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Inouye, D., and B. Barr. 2006. Consequences of abrupt climate change for hibernating animals and perennial wildflowers at high altitude in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA. Pages 166-168 in: Global Change in Mountain Regions (M. F. Price, ed.). Sapiens Publishing, U.K.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2005. Biodiversity and ecological security. Pages 203-215 in: From Resource Scarcity to Ecological Security (D. Pirages and K. Cousins, eds.). MIT Press, Cambridge.
  • Inouye, D. W., and F.-E. Wielgolaski. 2003. Phenology of high-altitude climates. Pages 195-214 in: Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science (M. D. Schwartz, ed.) Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Wielgolaski, F.-E., and D. W. Inouye. 2003. Phenology of high-latitude climates. Pages 175-194 in: Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science (M. D. Schwartz, ed.) Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Morales, M., D. W. Inouye, M. L. Leigh and G. Lowe. 2003. Considering interactions: Incorporating biotic interactions into viability assessment. Pages 267-287 in: Population Viability in Plants (C. A. Brigham and M. W. Schwartz, eds.); Ecological Studies, Volume 165. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2001. Pollinators, the role of. In: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity 4:723-730. Academic Press, San Diego
  • Inouye, D. W. 1988. Natural variation in plant and animal populations, and its implications for studies of recovering ecosystems. In: Rehabilitating Damaged Ecosystems (Cairns, J., ed.) pp. 39-50. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
  • Inouye, D. W. 1983. The ecology of nectar robbing. In: The Biology of Nectaries (Elias, T. S. and Bentley, B. L., eds.) pp. 153 173. Columbia University Press, NY.
  • Inouye, D. W. 1977. Species structure of bumblebee communities in North America and Europe. In: The Role of Arthropods in Forest Ecosystems (Mattson, W. J., ed.) pp. 35 40. Springer-Verlag, NY.


  •  Woodcock, T., B. M. H. Larson, P. G. Kevan, D. W. Inouye, and K. Lunau. 2014. Flies and flowers II: Floral attractants and rewards. Journal of Pollination Ecology 12(8):63-94.
  • Che-Castaldo, J. P., and D. W. Inouye.  2014. Field germination and survival of experimentally introduced metal hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens (Brassicaceae) across a soil metal gradient. American Midland Naturalist 171(2): 229-245.
  • CaraDonna, P. J., A. M. Iler, and D. W. Inouye. 2014. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 111(13): 4916-4921.


  •  Fagan, W. F., S. Bewick, S. Cantrell, C. Cosner, I. G. Varassin, and D. W. Inouye. 2014. Phenologically explicit models for studying plant-pollinator interactions under climate change. Theoretical Ecology, in press.
  • Zhang, Yan-Wen, Ji-Min Zhao, and D. W. Inouye. 2014. Nectar thieves influence reproductive fitness by altering behavior of nectar robbers and legitimate pollinators in Corydalis ambigua (Fumariaceae). Journal of Ecology 102(1):229-237.
  • Iler, A. M., D. W. Inouye, T. T. Høye, A. J. Miller-Rushing, L. A. Burkle, and E. Johnston. 2013. Maintenance of temporal synchrony between syrphid flies and their floral resources despite differential phenological responses to climate. Global Change Biology 19(8):2348-2359.
  • Iler, A. M., T. T. Høye, D. W. Inouye, and N. M. Schmidt. 2013. Nonlinear phenological responses to climate: evidence for snowmelt, temperature, and photoperiodic flowering cues. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (themed issue) 368:20120489.
  • Iler, A. M., T. T. Høye, D. W. Inouye, and N. M. Schmidt. 2013. Long-term trends mask variation in the direction and magnitude of short-term phenological shifts.  Amer. J. Bot. 100(7):519-525.

  • Mazer, S. J., S. E. Travers, B. I. Cook, T. J. Davies, K. Bolmgren, N. J. B. Kraft, N. Salamin, and D. W. Inouye. Flowering date of taxonomic families predicts phenological sensitivity to temperature:implications for forecasting the effects of climate change on unstudied taxa.   Amer. J. Bot. 100(7):1381-1397.

  • Iler, A. M., and D. W. Inouye. 2013. Effects of climate change on mast-flowering cues in a clonal montane herb, Veratrum tenuipetalum (Melanthiaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 100:1-7.
  • Pyke, G. H., D. W. Inouye, and J. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: Competition and community structure revisited.  Environmental Entomology 41(6):1332-1349.
  • Ezenwa, V. O., N. M. Gerardo, D. W. Inouye, and J. B. Xavier. 2012. The animal microbiome - a hidden dimension of animal behavior.  Science (Perspective paper) 338:198-199.
  • Anderson, J. T., D. W. Inouye, A. M. McKinney, R. I. Colautti, and T. Mitchell-Olds. 2012. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279(1743):3843-3852. Rated "must read" by Faculty of 1000.
  • McKinney, A. M., P. J. CaraDonna, D. W. Inouye, b. barr, C. D. Bertelsen, and N. M. Waser. 2012. Asynchronous changes in phenology of migrating Broad-tailed Hummingbirds and their early-season nectar resources. Ecology 93(9): 1987-1993.
  • Diez, J. M., I. Ibáñez, A. J. Miller-Rushing, S. J. Mazer, T. M. Crimmins, M. A. Crimmins, C. D. Bertelsen, and D. W. Inouye. 2012. Forecasting phenology: from species variability to community patterns. Ecology Letters 15: 545-553. 
  • Boggs, C. L., and D. W. Inouye. 2012.  A single climate driver has direct and indirect effects on insect population dynamics. Ecology Letters 15(5):502-508.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01766.x Rated "must read" by Faculty of 1000.
  • Aldridge, G., D. W. Inouye, J. R. K. Forrest, W. A. Barr, and A. J. Miller-Rushing. 2011. Emergence of a mid-season period of low floral resources in a montane meadow ecosystem associated with climate change. Journal of Ecology 99(4): 905-913.
  • Che-Castaldo, J. P., and D. W. Inouye. 2011. The effects of dataset length and mast seeding on the demography of Frasera speciosa, a long-lived monocarpic plant. Ecosphere 2011 2:11, art126, 18 p.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2011. Effects of frost on wildflowers: an unexpected consequence of climate change. EcoEd Digital Library  [collection of 22 photographs and graphs]
  • Inouye, D. W. and A. M. McKinney. 2011 Community Phenology. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
  • Pyke, G. H., D. W. Inouye, and J. Thomson. 2011. Activity and abundance of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: Diel, seasonal and elevation effects. Ecological Entomology 36:511-521.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2010. Correspondence: Mosquitoes: more likely nectar thieves than pollinators. Nature 467: 27.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2010. Correspondence: Returning fire against ‘cheap shots' at research projects. Nature 467: 400.
  • Miller-Rushing, A. J., Toke T. Høye, D. W. Inouye, and E. Post. 2010. The effects of phenological mismatch on demography. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 3177-3186.
  • Lambert, A., A. J. Miller-Rushing, and D. W. Inouye. 2010. Changes in snowmelt date and summer precipitation affect the flowering phenology of Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh (glacier lily, Liliaceae). American Journal of Botany 97(9): 1431-1437.
  • Forrest, J., D. W. Inouye, and J. D. Thomson. 2010. Flowering phenology in subalpine communities: Does climate variation reshuffle species assemblages? Ecology 91(2):431-440.
  • White, M. A., de Beurs, K. M., Didan, K., D. W. Inouye, A. D. Richardson, O. P. Jensen, J. Magnuson, J. O'Keefe, G. Zhang, R. R. Nemani, W. J. D. van Leeuwen, J. F. Brown, A. de Wit, M. Schaepman, X. Lin, M. Dettinger, A. Bailey, J. Kimball, M. D. Schwartz, D. D. Baldocchi, and W. K. Lauenroth. 2009. Intercomparison, interpretation, and assessment of spring phenology in North America estimated from remote sensing for 1982 to 2006. Global Change Biology 15(10)2335-2359.
  • Miller-Rushing, A. J., and D. W. Inouye. 2009. Variation in the impact of climate change on flowering phenology and abundance: An examination of two pairs of closely related wildflowers species. American Journal of Botany 96(10):1-10.
  • Post, E., and D. W. Inouye. 2008. Phenology: response, driver, and integrator. (Introduction to Special Feature). Ecology 89(2): 319-320.
  • Wangchuk, T., D. Inouye, and M. Hare. 2008. The emergence of an endangered species: Evolution and phylogeny of the Trachypithecus geei of Bhutan. International Journal of Primatology 29:565-582.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2008. Effects of climate change on phenology, frost damage, and floral abundance of montane wildflowers. Ecology 89(2):353-362.
  • Miller-Rushing, A. J., D. W. Inouye, and R. B. Primack. 2008. How well do first flowering dates measure plant responses to climate change? The effects of population size and sampling frequency. Journal of Ecology 96: 1289-1296.
  • Inouye, D. W. 2007. Impacts of global warming on pollinators. (an invited paper) Wings 30(2):24-27.
  • Lambrecht, S., M. E. Loik, D. W. Inouye, and J. Harte. 2007. Carbon costs of reproduction under experimental warming in a subalpine meadow. New Phytologist 173: 121-134.
  • National Research Council of the National Academies. 2006. Status of Pollinators in North America. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. [member of the committee that wrote the report]
  • Betancourt, J. L., M. D. Schwartz, D. D. Breshears, D. R. Cayan, M. D. Dettinger, D. W. Inouye, E. Post, and B. C. Reed. 2005. Implementing a USA-National Phenology Network (USA-NPN). EOS 86(51): 539-542.
  • Morales, M. A., G. J. Dodge, and D. W. Inouye. 2005. A phenological mid-domain effect in flowering diversity. Oecologia (published online 6 August 2004) 142(1): 83-89. 


NATO Postdoc, Botanisches Institut, University of Vienna, 1978

Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1976.

B. A., Swarthmore College, 1971.

Research Interests

Phenology in the context of climate change; pollination biology; plant demography; plant-ant mutualisms; behavior and ecology of bumblebees.