Principal Investigator

Ryan W. McEwan, PhD

Associate Professor

Environmental Biology Program Coordinator

Department of Biology
The University of Dayton
300 College Park, Dayton, OH  45469-2320

Office phone: 1.937.229.2558



 Graduate Students

Sarah Frankenberg (BS), MS Student



Sarah Frankenberg, scientist and adventurer, was an undergraduate project leader in the lab, graduating with a BS in Biology in 2015.  She worked full time in the lab as a technician that summer and then launched a cross country Ecological Odyssey.  She worked as a technician in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Dorgan at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Then worked as a Biological Science Technician focused on vegetation at Yellowstone National Park.  Finally, she made her way to Lake Mead where she worked at Song Dog Native Plant nursery.   Sarah made a triumphant return to the lab as a graduate student in Summer of 2018!  Her MS research focuses on plant-fungal relationships and how they drive plant community dynamics in the Siberian Arctic.  Yep, the SIBERIAN ARCTIC.  This project is part of our funded NSF project and Sarah will be an RA on the project through 2020.

Sarah’s CV:  LINK


Michaela Woods (BS, MS), PhD Student

Michaela Woods completed her BS in Biological Sciences at Wright State University in 2016 and her MS in Biological Sciences (December 2018) also at Wright State University.  During her MS Michaela focused on soil ecology in relationship to Amur honeysuckle invasion in Dr. Megan Rua’s lab.  As a PhD student in the McEwan Lab Michaela is aiming to investigate the interconnections between soil biology, plant invasion and ecological restoration in Midwestern Forests.  She is particularly interested in collaboration with the Five Rivers Metroparks which manages 16,000+ acres of natural areas in the Dayton Area.

Michaela’s Publications:  LINK

Meg Maloney (BS), MS Student

Meg was an undergraduate project leader and honors student in the lab who graduated with her BS in Environmental Biology and then headed to California to spend a year living in the redwoods and working as a naturalist educator (LINK).  She rejoined the lab to work on a MS project focused on ecological restoration and habitat management in relationship to the invasion biology of Callery Pear.  Her time at UD is 50% funded by the Hanley Sustainability Institute and she will also be working on a regional #resilience plan.


Undergraduate Project Leaders


Katie Hickle


Katie is an Undergraduate Project Leader in the lab who is working with the Five Rivers Metroparks and is interested in forest ecology.   She is engaged in a on project that assesses the efficacy of reforestation as part of ecological restoration in Sugar Creek Metropark.    

Woods, M.J., M. Cobb, K. Hickle and R.W. McEwan.  2019. Assessing the efficacy of seedling planting as a forest restoration technique in temperate hardwood forests impacted by invasive species. Forests 10: 699. Open Access: 





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