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Spyreas, Greg Richard

Associate Research Scientist, Botany
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Address and Contact Information

University of Illinois-Chicago
Science and Engineering Laboratory-West
Room 1027
Chicago, IL  60607


I focus on work and research that aims to bring about better conservation, restoration, management, monitoring, and understanding of natural areas and their floras/faunas-- mainly in human dominated landscapes.

Research Biography

Research Interests

Applied ecology in the Midwestern U.S., mainly related to:

  • Conservation of Biodiversity;
  • Non-native plant invasions;
  • Restoration Ecology;
  • Natural areas management;
  • Urban Ecology;
  • Fire Ecology;
  • Human disturbance in natural areas;
  • Floristic Quality Assessment;
  • Oak-hickory forest regeneration;
  • Vegetation monitoring

Selected Publications

GENERAL AUDIENCE                                                      

McClain, W.E., C. Ruffner, J.E. Ebinger, and G. Spyreas. 2021. Patterns of Anthropogenic Fire within the Midwestern Tallgrass Prairie 1673-1905: Evidence from Written Accounts. Natural Areas Journal. (PDF

Glennemeier, K., S. Packard, and G. Spyreas. 2020. Dramatic long-term restoration of an oak woodland due to multiple, sustained management treatments. PLoS One. (PDF)   

Zinnen, J., G. Spyreas, D. Zaya, and J. W. Matthews. 2020. Niche ecology in Floristic Quality Assessment: Are species with Higher Conservatism more specialized? Ecological Indicators. (PDF)

Price, E., G. Spyreas, and J.W. Matthews. 2020. Biotic homogenization of wetland vegetation in the conterminous United States driven by Phalaris arundinacea and anthropogenic disturbance. Landscape Ecology. (PDF)
Spyreas, G. 2019. Floristic Quality Assessment: a critique, a defense, and a primer. Ecosphere. (PDF) (ESA).
Pearse, I., H. Sofaer, D. Zaya, and G. Spyreas. 2019. Non-native plants have greater impacts because of differing per-capita effects and non-linear abundance-impact curves. Ecology Letters. (PDF) (JSTOR).
Zaya*, D.N., Pearse*, I., and Spyreas*, G. 2017. Long-term trends in midwestern milkweed abundance and their relevance to monarch butterfly declines. BioScience. (PDF) (Oxford Press)
Spyreas, G. 2016. Scale and Sampling effects on Floristic Quality. PLoS One. (download)
Baty, J.H., Zaya, D.N., Spyreas, G., Molano-Flores, B., Benson, T.J. 2015. Conservation of the Illinois flora: A climate change vulnerability assessment of 73 plant species. Illinois Natural History Survey, Technical Report (32) (PDF)
Spyreas, G., Meiners, S., Matthews, J.W., and Molano-Flores, B. 2012. Successional trends in Floristic Quality. Journal of Applied Ecology (PDF) (Wiley)

McClain, W. E., T. L. Esker, B. R. Edgin, G. Spyreas, and J. E. Ebinger. 2010. Fire History of a post oak (Quercus stellata Wang.) woodland in Hamilton County, Illinois U.S.A. Castanea (PDF) (BioOne)

Spyreas, G. and J.W. Matthews. 2006. Floristic conservation value, nested understory floras, and the development of second-growth forest. Ecological Applications (PDF) (JSTOR)

Spyreas, G., J. Ellis, C. Carroll, B. Molano-Flores. 2004. Non-native plant commonness and dominance in the forests, wetlands, and grasslands of Illinois, USA. Natural Areas Journal (PDF) (NAA Journal)

All publications available here

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