Carla D'Antonio studies the factors that drive the invasion of non-native species into ecological communities, and the effects these introduced species have on their new setting. These issues help her understand how communities and ecosystems will change under increasing human population pressure, species migration, nitrogen deposition and climatic fluctuations.
While she always has an eye toward how her findings can inform the restoration of degraded ecosystems, D'Antonio’s work also allows her to probe factors that structure plant communities and sources of variation in how different species affects ecosystem processes. She also studies change that may not involve species invasions. For example, ecosystem responses to high intensity wildfire.