Eric R. Scott

Ph.D. in Biology, Tufts University
Orians Lab
Tea & Climate Change Collaborative

Research Projects

Use of partial least squares regression (PLS) in ecology

PLS is a powerful multivariate regression method that has many applications for ecological data. When is it best used, what are its advantages, and how should you report your results?

Can fermentation rescue low-quality monsoon season tea?

Is microbial ripening a way for tea farmers to improve low-quality monsoon season harvests?

Climate Effects on Bug-Bitten Tea

Eastern Beauty wulong tea is only produced from tea leaves damaged by leafhoppers. The induced volatiles produced by damaged tea plants gives the finished tea a unique flavor. How will leafhopper damage change in a warming climate, and how will that impact tea quality?

Drought and plant response to herbivory

When plants experience mild or severe drought, how does that change their metabolic response to damage by insect herbivores?

Elevated CO2 and plant response to herbivory

How will elevated CO2 affect plant responses to insect herbivory? How will this interaction impact the quality of tea?

Field-Sampling Plant Volatiles

Finding a high-throughput way to collect plant volatiles in the field.


I’ve been teaching biology ever since I was 12 when I became an interpretive guide at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in my home town of Walnut Creek, CA. Since then I’ve taught science of all sorts to all ages in a variety of formats.

Selected Teaching Experience:

  • Biostatstics in R. Fall 2016–2018. Recitation section for BIO132 at Tufts University. In collaboration with Natalie Kerr in 2016 and Avalon Owens in 2018, we designed and taught this new course. Previously, BIO132 used SPSS rather than R and did not have a required recitation. Course materials available here.
  • Organisms and Populations. Spring 2015. Lab section for BIO0014 at Tufts University. I served as a graduate TA for a lab section of this course in a year when the course was being entirely redesigned. I actively participated in designing course materials and lab activities in addition to teaching my own lab section.
  • Introductory Biology. 2011 – 2014. I taught a guaranteed transfer credit lecture and lab course at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO where I was an instructor. My students came from diverse age, socioeconomic, and learning backgrounds. I designed lectures and assessment materials and engaged in revising lab exercises and course materials. I attended professional development workshops including an especially helpful one on teaching veterans.
  • Organismal and Evolutionary Biology. MIST section. 2007 – 2009. I was a graduate TA for IB150 at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as a graduate student. I taught a lab section for the MIST program. MIST is a program for high-achieving students from marginalized backgrounds such as small, rural schools or large, urban schools that encourages students to form peer learning groups through additional in-class time and active learning.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

. Combined impacts of prolonged drought and warming on plant size and foliar chemistry. AOB, 2019.


. Differential Changes in Tea Quality as Influenced by Insect Herbivory. Stress Physiology of Tea in the Face of Climate Change, 2019.

Project HTML

. Interactive effects of drought severity and simulated herbivory on tea (Camellia sinensis) volatile and non-volatile metabolites. EEB, 2018.

Dataset Project HTML

. Striking changes in tea metabolites due to elevational effects. Food Chem, 2018.


. Exogenous melatonin alleviates cold stress by promoting antioxidant defense and redox homeostasis in Camellia sinensis L.. Molecules, 2018.


. Direct Contact Sorptive Extraction: A Robust Method for Sampling Plant Volatiles in the Field. J Agric Food Chem, 2017.

Project HTML

. Taxonomy, life history, and population sex ratios of North American Dasineura (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on goldenrods (Asteraceae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 2007.