- Ph.D., Political Science, 2004, University of California, San Diego
- B.A., Political Science, 1998, University of California, Berkeley
- American politics
- Urban politics
- Political parties
- Voting and elections
Trounstine is the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees Presidential Chair, and studies American politics with a focus on sub-national politics, primarily concentrating on large cities. Her work studies the process and quality of representation. She is particularly interested in how political institutions enhance or limit the ability of residents to achieve responsive government. Trounstine takes a mixed method approach to her scholarship including using historical analysis, qualitative data and quantitative methods.