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susanSusan T. Meiers, Associate Professor

Algal Ecology & Biogeography, Algal Systematics, Animal Behavior 

Contact Information:

Office: 205 Waggoner Hall
Research Lab: 204 Waggoner Hall
Office Phone: (309) 298-2008



Ph.D. - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; December 1997.

M.S. - DePaul University, Chicago, IL; December 1992.

B.S. - University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; June 1986.


Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 100 Biological Concepts
  • BIOL 101 Biological World
  • BIOL 102 Biological Diversity
  • BOT 200 Introductory Botany
  • BOT 320 Plant Anatomy
  • MICR/BOT 423G Phycology
  • BOT 430 Plant Physiology
  • BIOL 419G Organic Evolution
  • BIOL 503 Biosystematics and Evolution


Research Interests:

My research focuses on the ecology and biogeography of algae. I am currently examining periphyton (algae that live on other things) community composition in Cedar Glen, a seasonal glen at Kibbe Biological Station. Little research has been done on seasonal glens such as this, and this project will provide us with an idea of how community composition will change as the temperature, water level, shading, and nutrient availability change. I also am examining the systematics and biogeography of Chlorophyta (Green Algae), particularly the Charales ("stoneworts"). The ancestors of these algae have been around since long before the dinosaurs appeared and even before life moved onto land, so they are a fascinating group. I use both molecular techniques (PCR, DNA sequencing, restriction digests) and ecological techniques (growing and observing the algae under various environmental and herbivory conditions) as ways to investigate how these algae get to new habitats and to discover what about these habitats allows them to (or not to) survive there. The main question I am investigating is whether migrating waterfowl are the main dispersers of Charales, and I am using DNA sequencing to determine relatedness among and between local populations of this algal group.

I am involved in a long-term study of changes in various plant and animal communities at Emiquon, a Nature Conservancy project to restore farmland back to its former wetland status.  I am studying how the phytoplankton community changes as the wetland is progressing though the restoration process.

Recent Publications

  • Meiers, Susan T., Jenkins, S.E., and R.V. Anderson. 2008. Effect of Lock and Dam 19 on phytoplankton communities of the Upper Mississippi River. Northeastern Naturalist 15(3): 391-402.
  • Maloney, M.A., Meiers, Susan T., White, J., and M.A. Romano. 2006. Behavioral effects of three food enrichment items on the behavior of black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco) and ringtail lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A. Journal of the Applied Animal Welfare Science 9(2):111-127.