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Photo of Nyberg, Dennis W.

Dennis W. Nyberg, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Biological Sciences



Dr. Nyberg is continuing as Director of the James Woodworth Prairie, but has retired from the Department of Biological Sciences and is no longer mentoring/supervising graduate students.

Dr. Nyberg's Research
Conservation has been based on a paradigm of protect more land, but this approach is not sufficient to maintain natural areas. What might be sufficient? REVITALIZATION is ecological engineering that attempts to counteract the impacts of human economic activity on native plants and animals. Diverse forms of knowledge are necessary to revitalize a natural area. I have worked with plants and animals. I have developed interests according to student interests and talents. My preferred research projects focus on understanding population dynamics in natural (field) contexts. Dennis Nyberg is Director of UIC's James Woodworth Prairie.

Current Projects in my lab include:

  1. Describing the dynamics of plant invasions, primarily in Cook Co.
  2. Understanding mechanisms that promote plant invasions
  3. The Invertebrate community in in very short hydroperiod ephemeral ponds at Woodworth Prairie
  4. Site specific conservation planning
  5. Role of prairie crayfish in building soil

Projects I have an interest in include:

  1. The development of algorithms to compare species lists of the same place from different times
  2. How tall plants need to grow to capture 99% of light
  3. Development of procedures to map tree density as a continuous function of position
  4. Natural history of the prairie cicada, Okanagana balli, at the Woodworth Prairie

Selected Publications

Pergams, O. R. W., W. M. Barnes, and D. Nyberg. 2003. Rapid change of mouse mitochondrial DNA. Nature 423:397.

Ammann, R. L. and D. W. Nyberg. 2005. Vegetation height and quality of original and reconstructed tallgrass prairies. Am. Midl. Nat. 154: 55-66.

Gulezian, Paul Z. and D. W. Nyberg. 2010. Distribution of invasive plants in a spatially structured urban landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning 95: 161-168.

Gulezian, Paul Z. and D. W. Nyberg. 2011. Naturalized pine (Pinus nigra) promotes growth of woody vegetation in native sand prairie: impacts of invasion 130 years after introduction. Natural Areas Journal 31: 6-13.