Brown Plant Ecology Lab

Welcome to the EWU Plant Ecology Lab!  We study plant community diversity and ecosystem function in a range of ecosystems, including riparia, Palouse Prairie, and the Channeled Scablands.  Many of our projects involve restoration ecology and invasive species management.

Recent research includes:

  • Restoring Palouse Prairie plant communities, including a 120 acre prairie restoration on the campus of Eastern Washington University
  • Riparian vegetation response to dams and dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, location of the largest dam removal project undertaken to date
  • Assessing how beaver affect riparian ecosystem function and resistance to wildfire
  • Role of hydrochory (seed dispersal by water) in riparian systems and its restoration after dam removal
  • Managing invasive species in Mima Mound prairies at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
  • Assessing the relationship between invasive winter annual grasses, particularly Ventenata dubia, biological soil crust, climate, and disturbance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems like Eastern Washington
  • Assessing the effect of invasive reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) monocultures in riparian zones on stream flow in semi-arid ecosystems
  • Assessing soil microbiome effects and plant soil feedbacks in plant communities