Adam D. Kay portrait

Adam D. Kay

Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Utah
OWS 256 & JRC 129/ Lab: JRC LL29
(651) 962-5291
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5291
OWS 352
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave.
Saint Paul MN 55105


Our research has two main themes. Our emerging work focuses on “Stewardship Science“, which combines environmental science research with community service. Most of this work involves urban agriculture research. We’re developing multiple projects that test hypotheses about small-scale farming, and each project is designed to make a direct contribution to our local community. Another part of our work focuses on how the nutritional composition of resource inputs influences ecological interactions in invertebrate communities. A common theme through these projects is the importance of nutrient balance and how particular nutrient scarcities or excesses affect ecological processes.

Lab website



  • Kaspari M, Clay NA, Lucas J*, Revsen S, Kay AD, Yanoviak SP (2016) Thermal adaptation and phosphorus shape thermal performance in an assemblage of rainforest ants. Ecology.
  • Seabloom EW  with 64 co-authors (AD Kay is a co-author) (2016) Plant Species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature Communications. DOI 10.1038/ncomms8710

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
BIOL 209 - 06 Biology of Sustainability M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 BEC 101
CRN: 43386 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Adam D. Kay Influences of humans on the global environment have reached unprecedented levels, increasing the need for society to strive to live in a sustainable manner. Many issues facing the environment have a biological basis. Thus, an understanding of basic biology is necessary to understand and address many environmental issues. This course will cover the fundamental biology involved with five environmental issues at the global scale: climate change, excessive nutrient loading into ecosystems, agricultural production, chemical contaminants, and loss of biodiversity. Specific biological principles to be covered include energy and nutrient mass balance by organisms and ecosystems, homeostasis and organismal physiology, and population dynamics and conservation biology. Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C- in BIOL 208, or any 100-level GEOL, and CHEM 112 or CHEM 115

Schedule Details

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J-Term 2017 Courses

J-Term 2017 Courses
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Spring 2017 Courses

Spring 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location