I am an ecologist with research interests in plant-animal interactions, population biology, and biodiversity conservation. My research has involved a broad range of organisms, including serpentine endemic plants in California, an endangered northern butterfly and its endangered host plant, Wisconsin's native bees, and forest birds. Currently I am a principal investigator of the Wabikon Lake Forest Dynamics Plot, an intensive study of forest ecology in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution's Global Earth Observatory (SIGEO) program, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, and UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.
At UW-Green Bay, I teach Principles of Ecology for Biology and Environmental Science majors and a project-based capstone course for Environmental Science majors (Ecological and Environmental Methods and Analysis). Field investigations are part of both courses, aimed at helping students understand science by actually doing science. I also teach a graduate seminar (Seminar in Ecology and Evolution) and a general education course in conservation biology (Issues in Biological Conservation).
In addition to courses, I am a mentor for graduate students in the Environmental Science and Policy Master's Program. Recent student projects include an experimental study of Phragmites australis control in Great Lakes coastal wetlands (Devany Plentovich Martin) and a GIS analysis of landscape effects on native bees in Wisconsin fruit orchards (Jay Watson). My collaboration with graduate student Bradley Herrick on the effects of dikes on coastal wetlands was recognized by the International Association of Great Lakes Research's Chandler Misener Award, given annually to the most notable paper in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.
I've traveled extensively in North America, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Central America, where I helped organize the annual UW-Green Bay travel course to Panama and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Recently I was appointed as UW-Green Bay faculty liaison for the Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP), a program dedicated to increasing participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. During 2008 I led a successful effort to obtain a grant for faculty-guided minority student science projects at UW-Green Bay.