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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
Email: ST-Meiers@wiu.edu

 

Degree:

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

  • Jacobs, Raechel M., Stephen R. Ross, Katherine E. Wagner, Maureen Leahy, Susan T. Meiers and Rachel Santymire (in press) Monitoring Adrenocortical Activity, Fertility, and Behaviour in Two Newly Introduced Gorillas (GORILLA gorilla gorilla).  ZooBiology.
  • Ruskell et al. (in review) Effect of Bungee-carcass Enrichment on Behavior and Fecal Glucocorticoid  Metabolites in Zoo-housed Felids.
  • Sodring, M, S.T. Meiers, S.R. Ross and J.A. Thomas.  In Review.  Behavioral Interactions  during the Introduction of a Male African Wild Dog ( Lycaon pictus ) into a Female  Group at Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens, Chicago, IL.  Journal of the American  Animal Welfare Society.
  • Ruskell et al.  June 2009.  Presentation at the Society of Neuroendocrinology  “The effect of feeding  enrichment on fecal cortisol levels in cptive felids at Niabi Zoo, Coal Valley, IL.”
  • 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.  
  • Sodring, M.S., Meiers, S.T., Thomas, J.T. and L. Faust. Behavioral Changes in Three Female  African Wild Dogs, Lycaon pictus, at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, Following the  Introduction of a Male. In Preparation.
  • 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.
  • Castlebury, J. and S.T. Meiers. April 2006. Poster presentation, “Population studies of charophyte  communities in Illinois” at the Mississippi River Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.  
  • Smith, R. and S.T. Meiers. April 2006. Poster Presentation, “Chara Dispersal by Migrating  Waterfowl: Illinois Lake Biogeography Determined by the Chloroplast Gene atpB."  at the Mississippi River Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.
  • Brown, K. and S.T. Meiers. April 2006. Poster presentation, “Factors Affecting the Nest Site  Selection of Smooth Softshell Turtles (Apalone mutica)” at the Mississippi River  Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.
  • Meiers, S.T., S.E. Jenkins, and R.V. Anderson. April 2005. Oral presentation, “Interaction  of Navigation Channel and Vegetation Bed Phytoplankton Communities During Fall,  Spring, and Summer of 2003-2004 Near Lock and Dam 19 on the Mississippi River”  at the Mississippi River Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.
  • Strack, L., Brammeier, L.A. and S.T. Meiers. April 2005. Poster presentation, “Dietary Intake  of Gizzard Shad” at the Mississippi River Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.
  • Jenkins, S.E. Meiers, S.T., Anderson, R.V., and M.A. Romano. November, 2004. Poster  presentation “Long-Term Riparian and Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Projects on the  Upper Mississippi River,” at the Earthwatch National Conference, Boston, MA.
  • Meiers, S.T. April 2004. Poster Presentation “What Phytoplankton Communities Tell Us about  Mixing of Water from the Navigation Channel and Vegetation Bed at Lock & Dam 19,  Mississippi River.” at the Mississippi River Research Consortium; LaCrosse WI.
  • Meiers, S.T., Proctor, V.W., and R.L. Chapman.  1999.  Phylogeny and Biogeography of Chara  (Charophyta) Inferred from 18S rDNA Sequences.  Australian Journal of Botany 47: 347-360.
  • Meiers, S.T., Rootes, W.L., Proctor, V.W. and R.L. Chapman.  1997.  Phylogeny of the Characeae  (Charophyta) Inferred from Organismal and Molecular Characters.  Archiv fur Protistenkunde  148: 318-328.
  • McCourt, R.M., Meiers, S.T., Karol, K.G., and Chapman, R.L.  1996.  Molecular Systematics of the  Charales.  In: Chaudhary, D.B. and Agrawal, S.B. [Eds.]  Cytology, Genetics and Molecular  Biology of Algae.  SPB Publishing, Amsterdam.  pp. 323-336.

  • Spring 1997.  Paper presented, International Phycological Congress at Leiden, the Netherland.
  • Summer 1996.  Paper presented, 2nd International Charophyte Research Group meeting at  Madison, WI.  “Species Relationships within the Charales: A study based on 18S rDNA sequences.” 2nd International Charophyte Research Group meeting, Madison, WI.
  • Summer 1995.  Poster presented at the Phycological Society of America meeting at Breckenridge, CO.  “Intraspecific variation in the ITS1 and ITS2 regions of rDNA for Eight  Isolates of Chara haitensis .” Phycological Society of America meeting, Breckenridge, CO.   Journal of Phycology 31 (suppl.):7.