Students interested in joining the lab are encouraged to read over the material on this website (especially the information on this page) and familiarize themselves with the work in the lab. There are currently two main topics of research in the lab:

Restoration of ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Myself and my biomass_socstudents are currently examining how prairie restoration affects biomass production and soil carbon sequestration. We are also examining factors affecting milkweed abundance, which is important because milkweeds are the juvenile food source for monarch butterflies which are currently being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Plant diversity patterns

Plant diversity patterns are important both because one of the main goals of restoration successional_fieldand conservation is to maximize species diversity and because plant diversity may affect ecosystem functioning. I am currently examining how prairie and oak savanna management affects plant diversity at nature preserves associated with UNO. I have also set up a Nutrient Network site at Glacier Creek Preserve, and I am examining how fertilization and grazing affect plant dominance patterns and diversity. The Nutrient Network is a globally replicated experiment with sites on every continent except Antarctica, and students can add sub-experiments within the Glacier Creek Preserve Nutrient Network site.

FieldCrewGraduate Students: Graduate students are advised and supported by me and others in the University of Nebraska system of schools and are expected and encouraged to conduct original and publishable research. Prospective graduate students should contact me to discuss how our interests may overlap.  Also, please email me your unofficial transcript including GPA and raw GRE scores (and GRE percentile ranks) when they are available, and please review the application process and the degree requirements of the Department of Biology.

Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate students are always welcome in the lab! We seek talented, highly motivated students to work on assigned projects within the lab. Several current opportunities exist for you to receive funding for your project (e.g. the FUSE program for undergraduate research support), or receive graded course credit. Projects in the lab range from questions relating to prairie and savanna restoration, to question relating to how restoration affects plants, animals, fungi, or prokaryotes, to questions related to how restoration affects ecosystem services.

To apply for an undergraduate position in the lab, please email your resume to The resume should include 1) a list of completed science classes, 2) your anticipated graduation date, and 3) future career interests to me via e-mail. You do not need any previous research experience. Typically, most students will have maintained a high grade point average in science courses.