Rebecca S. Barak, Ph.D.

Rebecca S. Barak, Ph.D.
David H. Smith Conservation Postdoctoral Fellow
(847) 835-8397
Teaching and Research Affiliations: 

Plant Science and Conservation, Chicago Botanic Garden
Plant Biology, Michigan State University
Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Selected Professional Associations: 
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Society for Ecological Restoration
Research Interests: 
  • Plant community ecology
  • Restoration ecology
  • Seed biology
  • Prairie ecology
  • Seed mix design
  • Restoration decision making

I study biodiversity and restoration in the tallgrass prairie. My post-doctoral research is focused on seed mix design for restoration from both a social and ecological perspective. Using social science methods, I am studying the factors that drive seed mix design for prairie restoration managers. Using ecological data collected though observation and experimentation, I am determining how seed mixes become prairies, that is, which planted seeds and species are likely to germinate, emerge and establish in restored prairies.

Selected Publications: 

Barak, RS, EW Williams, AL Hipp, ML Bowles, G Carr*, R Sherman*, DJ Larkin. 2017. Restored tallgrass prairies have reduced phylogenetic diversity compared to remnants. Journal of Applied Ecology 54:1080-1090.

Brudvig, LA, RS Barak, JT Bauer, TT Caughlin, DC Laughlin, L Larios, JW Matthews, KL Stuble, NE Turley, CR. Zirbel. 2017. Interpreting variation to advance predictive restoration science. Journal of Applied Ecology 1018-1027.

Barak, RS, AL Hipp, W Pearse, J Cavender-Bares, J Callaway, S Hotchkiss, DJ Larkin. 2016. Taking the long view: Integrating recorded, paleoecological, and evolutionary information into ecological restoration. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 177:90-102.

Riebkes, JL*, RS Barak, AT Kramer. Evaluating seed viability in prairie forbs: a test of three methods. 2015. Native Plants Journal 16: 96-106.

Hipp, AL, DJ Larkin, RS Barak, ML Bowles, MW Cadotte, SK Jacobi, E Lonsdorf, BC Sharenbroch, E Williams, E Weiher. 2015. Phylogeny in the service of ecological restoration. American Journal of Botany 102: 647-648.

Barak, RS, KA Skogen, AT Kramer, JB Fant. 2015. Assessing the value of potential “native winners” for restoration of cheatgrass-invaded habitat. Western North American Naturalist 75:55-69.