Tim Dickson, Ph.D. (Associate Professor and Principal Investigator): I primarily study how grassland restoration affects plants, monarch butterflies, and soil carbon. Please click here to see my CV.  My email is

Grace Thomas (Master’s Student 2022-present): Grace plans to examine how milkweed and monarch butterfly abundance are affected by cattle vs. bison grazing.

John Brennan (Master’s Student 2022-present): John has begun to use trail cameras to examine the age and sex of cattle and bison that are eating milkweeds, as well as examining their preference for grazing different milkweed species.

Alissa Van Tassell, M.S. (Master’s Student 2019-2021): Alissa examined how bur oak mortality and regeneration is affected by closed canopy conditions and oak savanna restoration using mechanical thinning and prescribed fire.  She is working in the business field.

Brittany Poynor, M.S. (Master’s Student 2017-2019): Brittany measured how cattle grazing affects milkweed abundance and monarch butterfly egg-laying. She is working in the field of conservation education.


Eric Behrens, M.S. (Master’s Student 2015-2017): Eric used remote sensing to estimate spatial heterogeneity after patch burn grazing in prairies. He also examined how prairie restorations adjacent to prairie remnants can minimize edge effects. He is now working in Texas as a Fire Effects Monitor for the National Park Service.


Bradley Watson, M.S. (Master’s Student 2014-2018): Bradley completed a project to examine the long-term (35+ years) effects of burning and mowing on soil carbon sequestration. He is now working in the Bahamas as a Conservation Program Manager for The Walt Disney Company.


Geoff Coughlin (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014-2017).


Marvin Sibrian (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016-2017).


Chelsea Pontious (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014-2016)


Monica Blaser (Research Assistant 2015-2016)

Anastasia Zuerlein (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016)


Jagger Hair (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015)


Kevin Davis (Research Assistant 2013-2014)

(Not pictured) Undergraduate Research Assistants: Kailyn Hummel (2023-present), Karen Klug (2019-2022), Sage Evans (2018-2019), Summer Stanton (2018-2019), Chris Kerber (2017-2018), Tom English (2017-2018)