Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany


Matthew Albrecht, Ph.D.

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Associate Scientist in Conservation Biology
Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development

Research Interests

• Conservation Biology
• Endangered Species Recovery
• Restoration and Reintroduction Ecology

Abiotic and biotic changes in woodland understories after prescribed fire and Amur honeysuckle removal.Albrecht is an Associate Scientist specializing in conservation biology in MBG’s Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development; his research interests include ex situ and in situ conservation, conservation genetics, and seed germination ecology. Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is an exotic shrub widely naturalized throughout the Midwestern United States. Woodlands invaded by Amur honeysuckle have altered native plant communities and ecological function. Although the understory responses to Amur honeysuckle removal have been widely studied, few studies have examined the interactive effects of fire and honeysuckle removal on ecosystem recovery. In this REU project, the student will conduct fieldwork at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve as part of an ongoing experiment that examines the effects of prescribed fire and honeysuckle removal on soil, plant community, and ecosystem properties. In summer 2022, the student will sample field plots to examine changes in the demographic structure of exotic and native shrubs among four treatments (control, prescribed fire, honeysuckle removal, and fire × honeysuckle removal). The student will also examine how restoration treatments influence gradients in understory light availability, temperature, and soil moisture, while working alongside other researchers collecting data on soil and plant community properties. The student will learn the basics of field sampling, experimental design, and data management and analysis using the R statistical software package.


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