Biology

Neil MacDonald

 

Neil MacDonald, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chair

Forest Soils & Ecology; Watershed Management;
Applied Soil Science; Ecological Restoration

Natural Resources Management Faculty

Office: 215 Henry
Phone: (616) 331-2697; 
Email: macdonan@gvsu.edu

 

Education:

Post-Doctoral Fellow - The University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, 1987-1994.  Studies of air pollution and climate change effects on forest ecosystems in the Great Lakes region. 

Ph.D. - Michigan State University, Department of Forestry, 1987.
Dissertation Title: Sulfate Adsorption in Michigan Forest Soils.

M.S. - Michigan State University, Department of Forestry, 1983.
Thesis Title: The Effects of Simulated Acid Precipitation on Regeneration and Soils in the Jack Pine - Grayling Sand Ecosystem.

B.S. - The University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources, 1976.

Courses taught at GVSU:

BIO 696 Perspectives in Biology
NRM 150 Introduction to Natural Resources

 

Research Interests:

A variety of opportunities exist for students to be involved in research related to watershed management, forest ecology and management, wetland restoration, reclamation of degraded lands, and ecological restoration. Recent studies completed include a study of water quality in the Pigeon River watershed, native grass establishment on a degraded site, burning effects on spotted knapweed germination and establishment, survival of trout in the Pigeon River (Ottawa County), vegetation responses to landfill leachate application,  hand pulling effects on a spotted knapweed population, and establishment of a diverse native plant community on a degraded site.

Recent Publications:

MacDonald, N.W., and W.J. Bottema.  2014.  Native warm-season grasses resist spotted knapweed resurgence.  Ecological Restoration 32(4):349-352. 

Martin, L.M., N.W. MacDonald, and T.E. Brown.  2014.  Native plant establishment success influenced by spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) control method.  Ecological Restoration 32(3):282-294. 

MacDonald, N.W., L.M. Martin, C.K. Kapolka, T.F. Botting, and T.E. Brown.  2013.  Hand pulling following mowing and herbicide treatments increases control of spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe).  Invasive Plant Science and Management 6(4):470-479.

MacDonald, N.W., D.W. Mays, R.R. Rediske, and C.R. Ruetz III. 2011. Environmental variation, fish community composition, and brown trout survival in the Pigeon River, Ottawa County, Michigan.  Michigan Academician XL(2):135-168.

MacDonald, N.W., R.R. Rediske, B.T. Scull, and D. Wierzbicki. 2008. Landfill cover soil, soil solution, and vegetation responses to municipal landfill leachate applications.  Journal of Environmental Quality 37:1974-1985.

MacDonald, N.W., B.T. Scull, and S.R. Abella. 2007. Mid-spring burning reduces spotted knapweed and increases native grasses during a Michigan experimental grassland establishment. Restoration Ecology 15(1):118-128.

Pregitzer, K.S., D.R. Zak, A.J. Burton, J.A. Ashby, and N.W. MacDonald. 2004. Chronic nitrate additions dramatically increase the export of carbon and nitrogen from northern hardwood ecosystems. Biogeochemistry 68:179-197.

MacDonald, N.W., M.T. Koetje, and B.J. Perry. 2003. Native warm-season grass establishment on spotted knapweed-infested gravel mine spoils. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 58:243-250.

Abella, S.R., V.B. Shelburne, and N.W. MacDonald. 2003. Multifactor classification of forest landscape ecosystems of Jocassee Gorges, southern Appalachian Mountains, South Carolina. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33:1933-1946.

Recent Presentations:

MacDonald, N.W.  2015.  Site preparation, hand pulling, and burning effects on a developing native plant community on a spotted knapweed-infested site.  Poster presentation made at The Science, Practice, and Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference, The Stewardship Network, East Lansing, Michigan, 23 January 2015.

MacDonald, N.W.  2015.  Spotted knapweed responses to fire: experimental evidence from greenhouse and field studies.  Oral presentation and panel discussion at Burning Issues II - Ecological Restoration and Fire Conference, Lake States Fire Science Consortium, Battle Creek, Michigan, 13 January 2015.

MacDonald, N.W.  2014.  Fire responses in restored plant communities containing a mixture of native forbs and grasses.  Invited oral presentation made to the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council Annual Workshop, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 11 September 2014.  

MacDonald, N.W.  2013.  Establishing native plant communities on a spotted knapweed-infested site in Ottawa County, Michigan.  Invited oral presentation made to the Student Research Seminar, School of Biological Sciences, Lake Superior State University, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, 13 November 2013.

Martin, L.M., N.W. MacDonald (Presenter), and T.E. Brown.  2013.  Native plant establishment influenced by method used to control spotted knapweed.  Poster presentation made at the 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration “Reflections on the Past, Directions for the Future,” Society for Ecological Restoration, Madison, Wisconsin, 8 October 2013. 

MacDonald, N.W., L.M. Martin, C.K. Kapolka, T.F. Botting, and T.E. Brown.  2013.  Hand pulling controls spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) on a degraded site in western Michigan.  Poster presentation made at the Stewardship Network Conference “The Science, Practice, and Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems 2013,” East Lansing, Michigan, 18 January 2013.

MacDonald, N.W., L.M. Martin, C.K. Kapolka, and T.F. Botting. 2012. Three years of hand pulling controls spotted knapweed on a degraded site in western Michigan. Poster presentation made at the Fourth Midwest-Great Lakes Society for Ecological Restoration Chapter Meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 4 May 2012.
 
MacDonald, N.W. 2011. Spotted knapweed responses to fire: Direct effects and interactions with other control methods. Invited oral presentation made at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council, Hastings, Michigan, 11 September 2011.
 
MacDonald, N.W., C.K. Kapolka, T.F. Botting, and L.M. Martin. 2011. Second-year site preparation and hand pulling effects on spotted knapweed control on a degraded site in western Michigan. Oral presentation made at the Third Midwest-Great Lakes Society for Ecological Restoration Chapter Meeting in Springfield, Illinois, 2 April 2011. 
 
MacDonald, N.W. 2009. Ottawa County's Pigeon River: A Qualified Success Story.  Invited presentation made at the Ottawa County Water Quality Forum in West Olive, Michigan, 26 October 2009. 
 

MacDonald, N.W., and K.J. Thompson. 2009. Development of a revised critical areas map of the Pigeon River watershed,Ottawa CountyMichigan.  Presentation made at the 64th International Annual Conference of the Soil and Water Conservation Society in Dearborn, Michigan, 13 July 2009.  

MacDonald, N.W. 2008. Establishment of native grasses on spotted knapweed-infested sites with the aid of herbicides and fire.  Invited presentation made at the Michigan Invasive Plant Council Symposium in 
East LansingMichigan
, 29 February 2008.

MacDonald, N.W. 2007. Establishment of native grasses on spotted knapweed-infested sites with the aid of fire.  Invited presentation made at the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts and Michigan Prescribed Fire Council Conservation Convention in BellaireMichigan, 4 December 2007.

Mays, D.W., N.W. MacDonald (Presenter), A. Harrington, and C.R. Ruetz. 2007. Survival of stocked brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the Pigeon RiverOttawa CountyMichigan.  Oral presentation at the Michigan Academy Meetings in Big Rapids, Michigan9 March 2007.   

MacDonald, N.W. 2007. Establishment of native grasses on spotted knapweed-infested sites.  Invited presentation made at the 20th Annual Conference of the Wildflower Association of Michigan in East LansingMichigan, 4 March 2007.

MacDonald, N.W., R.R. Rediske, and B.T. Scull. 2006. Landfill cap soil and vegetation responses to municipal solid waste leachate applications. Abstracts of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America 2006 International Meetings, Abstract 307-7 (CD). Oral presentation at the 2006 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana, 15 November 2006. 

 

Scientific & Professional Societies:

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters
Society for Ecological Restoration
Society of American Foresters
Soil Science Society of America
Soil and Water Conservation Society

Page last modified May 13, 2015