Mark Sherrard

Associate Teaching Professor


Bailey Hall 23

1 506 470 0541

Academic interests

  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant Physiology
  • Evolutionary Ecology

Brief biography

My research addresses a variety of topics in terrestrial plant ecology.

Restoration Ecology – Some of my research focuses on ecological outcomes in prairie restoration projects. I am particulalrly interested in the impact of management decisions on the quality of conservation pollinator habitat.

Ecosystem Ecology – I also study ecosystem service provision in prairie biomass feedtsocks. This research focuses on the potential value of high-diversity plant mixtures as an alternative to traditional monoculture bioenergy feedstocks (e.g., corn, soybean, switchgrass, Miscanthus).

Evolutionary Ecology – Some of my research focuses on the evolution of plant functional traits. I am particularly interested in the role of biotic and abiotic soil factors in the evolution of plant physiology.

Courses taught

  • BIOL 2008 Laboratory in Ecology
  • BIOL 2068 Laboratory in Biological Diversity
  • BIOL 3412 Plant Physiology and Development

Selected research

Restoration Ecology

Meissen JC, Glidden AJ, Sherrard ME, Elgersma KJ, Jackson LL (2020) Seed mix design and first-year management influence multifunctionality and cost-effectiveness in prairie reconstruction. Restoration Ecology 28: 807-816

Boeck Crew CM, Myers MC, Sherrard ME, Elgersma KJ, Houseal GA, Smith DD (2020) Stratification and perigynia removal improve total germination and germination speed in three upland prairie sedge species. Native Plants Journal 21: 120-131

Riebkes JL, Sherrard ME, Jackson LL (2018) Supplemental seed increases native seedling establishment in tallgrass prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology 26:1149-1156

Pellish C, Sherrard ME, Leytem P, Jackson LL (2018) Small vertebrate granivores reduce seedling emergence in native tallgrass prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology 26:323-330

Ecosystem Ecology

Sherrard ME, Elgersma KJ, Koos JMA, Kokemuller CM, Dietz HE, Glidden AJ, Carr CM, Cambardella CA (2019) Species composition influences soil nutrient depletion and plant physiology in prairie biomass feedstocks. Ecosphere: 10(7):e02805

Abernathy JE, Graham DRJ, Sherrard ME, Smith D (2016) Productivity and resistance to weed invasion in four prairie biomass feedstocks with different diversity. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 8:1082-1092

Evolutionary Ecology

Sherrard ME, Joers LC, Carr CM, Cambardella CA (2015) Soil type and species diversity influence selection on physiology in Panicum virgatum. Evolutionary Ecology 29:679-702

Sherrard ME, Maherali H (2012) Local adaptation across a fertility gradient is influenced by soil biota in the invasive grass, Bromus inermis. Evolutionary Ecology 26:529-544