Michael W. Palmer


PhD: Duke University, 1988.

Mike studies the determinants of species richness at all spatial scales, from the microcosm to the continent. He has used a variety of methods, including meta-analysis of floristic data, greenhouse microcosms, computer simulations, permanent plot data, and field experiments. Particular projects include an analysis of North American floras, analysis of ordination methods, studies on microcommunities emerging from soil seed banks, the flora of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the vegetation of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the distribution of Costa Rican rain forest trees, analysis of species-area curves, methods for extrapolating biodiversity, applications of fractal geometry, forest dynamics in an old-growth North Carolina forest, succession following catastrophic wind disturbance in Minnesota, and several others. More recently he has become interested in the diversity of plant viruses, the development of sustainable biofuels, and cultural landscapes.

Mathew Allen


Matt is interested in integrating our understanding of conservation biology and plant ecology with traditional land uses in such a way that will improve the management of our resources. Matt recently completed his doctoral dissertation on the fire history of the prairie.


Vaskar Thapa


Vaskar's research interests are focused on plant virus biodiversity and ecology. The distribution patterns of plant viruses and factors that determine the plant host range are major areas of investigation.  Vaskar has recently completed his doctoral dissertation, and is performing varied research projects in Oklahoma.


Channing Richardson


PhD candidate

Channing is interested in a wide range of plant related issues from the phylogeny and ecology of bryophytes to understanding plant community interactions between bryophytes and vascular plants.  Currently Channing is working on projects involving the effects of forest fires on epiphytic bryophytes, the effects of seasonal mowing on bryophytes, and updating the known bryoflora of Oklahoma.

Leticia Dadalt


PhD candidate

Leticia is working on the Floras of North America Project, and is interested in spatial patterns of vegetation and biodiversity.

Kelly Derennaux


MS candidate

Kelly studies the dynamics of a crosstimbers stand using dendroecology and point pattern analysis.

Pete Earls


Lab Tech

Pete develops spatial models of plant diversity with the aid of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software.


Sue McAlister


PhD: Duke University, 1990.

Bryophyte Ecology



Some former lab members

Kiyoshi Sasaki


Kiyoshi's ultimate goal is helping reptiles and amphibians.  While at OSU, Kiyoshi's  interests included: (i) human impacts on organismal ecology, behavior, and distribution (my dissertation is "Ecology and Behavior in Japanese mamushi, Gloydius blomhoffii: Defensive Pattern and Variation in Compromised and Noncompromised Populations"), (ii) human-mediated rapid evolution, (iii) ecological study using dendrochronoloy, and (iv) relationship between growth of reptiles and amphibians (assessed using skeletochronology) and tree growth pattern with respect to annual variation in climate and other ecological factors.  Kiyoshi is now teaching at Loyola University, Maryland.


Fumiko Shirakura


Fumiko has successfully completed the Master's degree.  She is interested in how disturbances influence forest dynamics and structure, and is also interested in studying exotic vascular plants. Fumiko is now with her husband Kiyoshi Sasaki in Maryland.

Say Hello to my Little Friend by [The_Happy_Lemon].

Wyatt Sharber


Undergraduate researcher and Niblack Scholar

Wyatt has research interests in plant-pollinator interactions, plant and insect ecology, and plant taxonomy. He is currently researching the presence of annual growth rings in the roots of herbaceous prairie perennials. His past research has studied the effects of patch burning on milkweed populations and the subsequent migrating Monarch butterfly population.


Shyam M.Thomas


Shyam has successfully completed the Master's degree on mowing effects on tallgrass prairie vegetation.  He is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Iowa State University under the direction of Kirk Moloney.  His dissertation work is on spatial models of pests of purple loosestrife.

María del Carmen Cobo


PhD candidate / Assist. Professor, University of Jaen, Spain.

Mari Carmen's interests have been focused in soil-plant relationships and spatial variability in species composition and soil properties, especially related to extreme environments, succession and different types of disturbance.

José Ramón Arévalo Sierra


Associate Professor of Ecology

University of La Laguna - Tenerife Spain

Jos is interested in forest restoration, invasive species management, and the effects of grazing on species richness.  His work on exotic species invasion on Tenerife has been featured by several news organizations.


Ray Moranz


PhD candidate

Ray's primary interest is discovering which ecosystem
management practices are best for restoring and
maintaining biodiversity.


Eahsan Shahriary

Visiting scholar

While at OSU, Eahsan studied role of the piosphere in structuring vegetation and landscape function.  His research interests include the role of grazing along watering points and how vegetation and soil respond to it.

Daniel J. McGlinn


Dan is interested in the scaling of species diversity in space and time, neutral theory, and theory related to restoration ecology. He is addressing these research questions within the context of the tall grass prairie ecosystem.

Dan now has a postdoctoral position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Allen Hurlbert's lab.

Here, Dan is gorging himself on wild fruits of the tallgrass prairie preserve.




For more information about our lab, contact Mike at mike.palmer@Okstate.edu