Prof. Jake teaches in the Biology and Environmental Studies Departments and mentors student researchers studying the consequenes of climate change and biodiversity loss for temperate trees and forests. He is a terrestrial ecologist and plant ecophysiologist and the faculty mentor of the Biology Club (click here to join - all Oles are welcome!).

When he's not teaching or studying trees, Jake enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with friends, lifting weights, going to movies and art museums, and, of course, enjoying the outdoors. He lives in South Minneapolis with his husband, Jared, and their rescue dog, Roxie. Jake served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where he helped plant a lot of trees.

Grossman Lab Links

Directions for Meeting with Prof. Jake

Directions for asking Prof. Jake for a letter of reference

Job, Internship, and Grad School Resources

Grossman Lab Mentoring Statement

Check out this review paper by Jake to learn more about our lab's research

Courses Taught

Ecological Principles (BIO 261) - Fall 2022 and Spring 2024

Big Data and Bigger Challenges (ENCON 111) - Interim 2023 and 2024

Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVST 137) - Spring 2023 and Fall 2023

Topics: Critical Environmental Literacy (ENVST 281) - Spring 2023

Directed Research: Winter is Coming (ENVST 396) - Fall 2023


Researchers in the Grossman Lab use tools from plant ecophysiology, community and ecosystem ecology, and biogeography to study how temperate forests are responding to global climate change and biodiversity loss. We use a lineage-based approach in which we focus on particular clades such as maples (Acer), magnolias (Magnolia), and hollies (Ilex) to seek a broader understanding of how trees and forests work. Prof. Jake's past and ongoing projects have included forest biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, a study of the population genetics and physiology of Midwestern hybrid aspens (Populus x.smithii), ethnographic research on smallholder Eucalyptus forestry in rural Paraguay, and living collections-based research at the Arnold Arboretum and Scott Arboretum. An up-to-date list of Grossman lab publications can be found on Jake's Google Scholar page.

Interested in joining the lab?

Students who are interested in working in the Grossman Lab should get in touch directly with Prof. Jake by email. You don't have to have a particular background to join the lab - just passion and a willingness to learn! Students of all identities and life experiences are welcome. As a white, Jewish, cis gay man from a professional family, Prof. Jake reflects on his own identities and experiences and strives to create a joyful, safe, and edifying space for all students. The Grossman Lab operates under the principle that Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Queer Lives matter. We are continually seeking to align our conduct with a high ethical standard not only with respect to our research about Earth systems, but also with respect to the Earth's diverse human individuals and communities.

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Biology and Environmental Studies Departments, St. Olaf College (2022-present)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Swarthmore College (2020-22)

Putnam Postdoctoral Fellow, Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University (2018-20)

Agroforestry Extension Volunteer, U.S. Peace Corps -- Paraguay (2009-11)



Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities (2018)

M.F.R. in International Forestry, University of Washington -- Seattle (2012)

B.A. in Biology & Environmental Studies, Oberlin College (2008)