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.


Jack Zinnen, Ph.D. student

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



Brian Charles, M.S. student

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




Jess Stern, M.S., Academic Hourly researcher

Jess is working with the US Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate the field teams for the 2021 National Wetland Condition Assessment in Illinois and Indiana.



Former students

Stephen Tillman, M.S. 2020, Thesis: Wetland mitigation banking in the Chicago area: An assessment of ecological outcomes and compliance with performance standards

Jessica Stern, M.S. 2020, Thesis: Determining vegetation metric robustness to environmental and methodological variables, and Coefficients of Conservatism for the flora of the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico

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