Jeremie Fant, Ph.D.
Conservation Scientist, Molecular Ecology
Adjunct professor, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University
Restoration Genetics: Choosing "genetically appropriate material" for restoration has become important aim of many restorations. I study the genetic, demographic, and community factors that might influence restoration success in a number of species
Pollinators and Gene flow: The success and diversity of flowering plants is attributed in part to animal pollination. I am interested in the role pollinators' play in driving the genetic structure of plant populations.
Hybridization: Working with a number of collaborators, we are investigating the potential threat of hybridization to populations of rare species, including Lantana depressa in Florida (Joyce Maschinski) and Lespedeza leptostachya in Minnesota (Alona Banai). As well as the role hybridization might be playing in Phragmites australis invasion in the Chicago area (Dan Larkin)
Identifying early seral species for restoration in Colorado Plateau: (CARICE)
Together with Drs. Andrea Kramer, Dan Larkin, and Krissa Skogen, we are investigating plant genetic, demographic, and community dynamics in intact and restored habitats to guide effective and efficient restoration in the western United States. We aim to help identify appropriate native plant materials to facilitate the enhancement, recovery, and/or restoration of landscapes throughout the region, as well as developing methodologies that ensure the establishment and persistence of restored native plant habitats.
Anna Braum (Northwestern University, M.S.)
Investigating the underlying mechanisms that maintain floral color polymorphism in Castilleja coccinea.
Kelly Ksiazek (Northwestern University, M.S)
Patterns of Pollen Limitation and Seed Set on Chicago Green Roofs
Ben Staehlin (MS completed 2009)
Climate change impacts on Cirsium pitcheri restoration
Rebecca Tonietto (MS completed 2009)
Bees of the Chicago region: do rooftop gardens function as suitable habitat?
Alona Banai (MS completed 2008)
Putative hybridization of federally threatened Lespedeza leptostachya with common congener L. capitata (Fabaceae)
Ribbens E., B.A Anderson., and J. Fant (2011) Opuntia fragilis (Nuttall) Haworth in Illinois: Pad Dynamics and Sexual Reproduction Haseltonia, 16(1):67-78. 2011.
Fant, J.B., R.M. Holmstrom, E. Sirkin, J.R. Etterson, and S. Masi, S. 2008. Genetic structure of threatened native populations and propagules used for restoration in a clonal species Ammophila breviligulata (American beachgrass). Restoration Ecology 16(4):594-603
Fant, J.B., Susanne Masi, J.M. Keller, and R. Mann*. 2007. Investigating the reproductive health of Hill's thistle's (Cirsium hillii) populations in the Chicago Region. Chicago Wilderness Journal 5(1).
Ksiazek, K*., J. B. Fant and K. Skogen. (2012 – in press) An assessment of pollen limitation on Chicago green roofs. Landscape and Urban Planning.
Tonietto R*, J. Fant, J Ascher, K. Ellis* and D Larkin (2011) A comparison of bee communities of Chicago green roofs, parks and prairies. Landscape and Urban Planning 103: 102– 108
Kramer, A.T. *, J.B. Fant and M. Ashley (2011) Influences of landscape and pollinators on population genetic structure: Examples from three Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) species in the Great Basin. American Journal of Botany 98(1): 109–121.
Fant, J. B., A. Banai*, K. Havens and P. Vitt 2010 Hybridization between the threatened plant, Lespedeza leptostachya Englem. and its co-occurring congener Lespedeza capitata Michx.: morphological and molecular evidence Conservation Genetics. Online early.
Maschinski J., E. Sirkin, and J.B. Fant. 2010. Using genetic and morphological analysis to distinguish endangered taxa from their hybrids with the cultivated exotic pest plant Lantana strigocamara (syn: Lantana camara). Conservation Genetics. Online early.
Fant, J.B. and C.D. Preston. 2004. Genetic structure and morphological variation of British populations of the hybrid Potamogeton x salicifolius Wolfg. Bot. J. Botanical Journal of the Lin. Society 144(1):99-112.
Conservation and Restoration in a Changing Environment
In the arid environments of the western States over one-third of the habitat in the region has been degraded by invasive species and changes in fire regimes. There is a great need to learn more about how to effectively restore these ecosystems. Some of the questions our research comprises include: 1) What are the Ecosystems services most at risk from climate change and/or invasive species? 2) What is "appropriate" sources of plant material to use in restoration; i.e. how far can seed be moved without having negative effects on restoration outcomes, 3) What are the best management practices to meet restoration goals and 4) How to restore ecosystem functions in these degraded areas in the face of changing environment. This websites provides information about on-going projects with other garden scientist, Dan Larkin, Krissa Skogen, Andrea Kramer, Emily Yates and Northwestern Students.
Restoration of Cirsium pitcheri
Pitcher's thistle was extirpated from the Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan in the early 1900s. It was reintroduced in former habitat at Illinois Beach State Park in 1991. Reintroduction of rare plant species is an emerging science that remains in its infancy, and little information is available to guide restoration design or the quantitative analysis of restoration success. Working in collaboration with scientist at Chicago State University, East Carolina University, Morton Arboretum and USGS we are studying the demographic and genetic changes in the reintroduction of Pitcher's thistle (Cirsium pitcheri) to help us define and measure success.