Jeff Matthews, Associate Professor

Jeff is a plant ecologist. He uses simulation models, field experiments, and observations of plant communities in natural and restored ecosystems to understand the drivers of change in ecological communities and apply that understanding to challenges in restoration.



Stephen Tillman, M.S. student

Steve is conducting an assessment of the performance of wetland mitigation banks in the Chicago region. Steve will compare plant species composition in mitigation banks to species composition in naturally occurring wetlands in the region.



Jack Zinnen, Ph.D. student

Jack has expertise in plant identification and prairie plant propagation.  He research focuses on the characterization and conservation of conservative plant species in the Midwestern U.S..



Jess Stern, M.S. student

Jess is collaborating with researchers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop monitoring protocols for restored plant communities.  Her field locations include restored prairies and wetlands in Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Florida.



Christopher Castle, M.S. student

Chris is studying the demography and dispersal of a rare species of bog spicebush in North Carolina.




Brian Charles, M.S. student

Brian is researching the influence of hydrology and soil fertility on plant functional trait composition in restored wetlands.





Former students

Abigail Blake-Bradshaw, M.S. 2018, Thesis: Wetland quality for waterbirds in Illinois

Edward Price, M.S. 2016, Thesis: Taxonomic homogenization of plant communities in Illinois wetlands and the role of wetland compensation

Dennis Skultety, M.S. 2015, Thesis: Distribution of non-native wetland plants is facilitated by urbanization and roads in the Chicago region

Adrianna Krzywicka, M.S. 2015, Thesis: Herbaceous and woody plant establishment across hydrologic gradients in bottomland reforestation sites

Jordan Jessop, M.S. 2014, Thesis: Tradeoffs among ecosystem services in restored wetlands