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. The current main topics of research in the lab are listed below:

Restoration of diversity and ecosystem service
Restoration of plant diversity through seeding and land management affects more than just plants. We study how seeding and management affects plant diversity, and also study how restoration affects cattle (and other large herbivore) grazing and milkweed abundance. We have found that cattle grazing decreases milkweed abundance (see publications page), which is especially important because milkweeds are the juvenile food source for monarch butterflies which are currently being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

We are also examining how land management affects soil carbon. Management can affect soil carbon by affecting plant root growth and incorporation of dead leaves and stems into the soil, and management can also directly affect soil carbon by changing environmental conditions (e.g. lowering wetland water tables typically increases decomposition).

Graduate Students: Master’s 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 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). 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.