Michele Schutzenhofer, Ph.D.

Play the Michele Schutzenhofer, Ph.D. VideoProfessor

Office: Voigt Science Hall 217B

Phone: (618) 537-6934


Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution & Systematics, Saint Louis University

B.S., Biology, McKendree College

Research Interests

I am a community and population ecologist interested in the mechanisms that drive the establishment and success of rare and invasive plant species. More specifically, I investigate the interactions between community assembly, abiotic conditions, and interspecific interactions in prairie and forest ecosystems.

I am actively involved in ongoing research projects at Washington University's Tyson Research Center, Nachusa Grasslands, and several other local field sites. I am eager for students interested in participating in research to join me.

Teaching Interests

I love teaching at McKendree and sharing my excitement for ecology and science in general. Overall, my teaching philosophy is based on active classroom engagement, inquiry-based learning, and open communication. Courses that I currently teach include:

Principles of Organismal and Population Biology

Introduction to Environmental Science

General Ecology

Conservation Biology

Field Botany

Animal Behavior

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Wohlwend, M.R., Schutzenhofer, M.R., and Knight, T.M. In press. Long-term experiment manipulating community assembly results in favorable restoration outcomes for invaded prairies. Restoration Ecology.

Vitt, P., Knight, T.M., Schutzenhofer, M.R., Kleiman, W., Havens, K. and Bittner, T. 2017. Experimental grazing and grass-specific herbicide application benefit rare forb recruitment. Natural Areas Journal 37(2):161-169.

Ernest, S.K.M., G.M. Yenni, G. Allington, E.M. Christensen, K. Geluso, J.R. Goheen, M.R. Schutzenhofer, S.R. Supp, K.M. Thibault, J.H. Brown, T.J. Valone. 2016. Long-term monitoring and experimental manipulation of a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem near Portal, Arizona, USA (2003-2013). Ecology 97 (4): 1082.

Burns, J.H., Pardini, E.A., Schutzenhofer, M.R., Chung, Y.Y.A., Seidler, K.J. and Knight, T.M. 2013. Greater sexual reproduction contributes to differences in demography of invasive plants and their noninvasive relatives. Ecology 94(5): 995-1004

Allington, G.R.H., Koons, D., Ernest, S.K.M.,Schutzenhofer, M.R., and T.J. Valone. 2013. Niche opportunities and invasion dynamics in a desert annual community. Ecology Letters 16: 158-166.

Schutzenhofer, M.R., Valone, T.J., and T.M. Knight. 2009. Herbivory and population dynamics of invasive and native Lespedeza. Oecologia 161 (1): 57-66.

Schutzenhofer, M. R. and T. M. Knight. February 2009, posting date. When Biocontrol Isn’t Effective: Making Predictions and Understanding Consequences. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 6: Issues Figure Set #1

Allan, B.F., Langerhans, R.B., Ryberg, W.A., Landesman, W.J., Griffin, N.W., Katz, R.S., Oberle, B.J., Schutzenhofer, M.R., Smyth, K.N., de St. Maurice, A., Clark, L., Crooks, K.R., Hernandez, D.E., McLean, R.G., Ostfeld, R.S., and Chase, J.M. 2009. Ecological correlates of risk and incidence of West Nile virus in the United States. Oecologia 158: 699-708.

Valone, T.J. and Schutzenhofer, M.R. 2007. Reduced rodent biodiversity destabilizes plant populations. Ecology 88 (1): 26-31.

Schutzenhofer, M.R. and Knight, T. M. 2007 Population-level effects of augmented herbivory on Lespedeza cuneata: Implications for biological control. Ecological Applications 17 (4): 965-971.

Schutzenhofer, M.R. 2007. Herbivory affects mating system and fecundity in congeneric Lespedeza. International Journal of Plant Sciences 168 (7): 1021-1026.

Schutzenhofer, M.R. and Valone, T.J. 2006 Positive and negative effects of exotic Erodium cicutarium on an arid ecosystem. Biological Conservation 132: 376-381.