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.


AbbyPhotoAbby Blake-Bradshaw, M.S. student

Abby is assessing the quantity and quality of wetland habitat in Illinois for waterbirds.  Abby’s research will provide information to guide future waterbird conservation and management efforts.




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 is currently developing a research project on the role of plant species conservatism in the conservation and restoration of native prairies.



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.





Former students

Edward Price, M.S. 2016

Dennis Skultety, M.S. 2015

Adrianna Krzywicka, M.S. 2015

Jordan Jessop, M.S. 2014