Meyerson Podcasts

Fulbright research: The role of genome-wide processes in plant success

Click this link to see the video on YouTube:


In praise of soils

This video talks about the importance of understanding soils at a restoration site in Middletown, RI and the importance of soils more generally for all people. Check it out!


Voices of Gaudet Middle School

During our field studies at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown, Rhode Island, fall 2010, we were able to involve the middle school students in our research and gain valuable insight from them. By interviewing them and the teachers of Gaudet, we were able to identify their goals for the project.


How to track mammals

This movie depicts a trial run of mammal trackplate testing at Gaudet Middle School in Middle Town, Rhode Island. By devising a trackplate proposal that involved documenting mammal tracks in sand, we were able to obtain hard evidence of mammal presence at our field study area.


How to test water quality

The water group ran several water quality tests at the pond location of Gaudet Middle School. These tests consist of clarity, temperature, depth, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and turbidity. Collecting data like these provides an idea of whether the pond is healthy or unhealthy. Our goal was to determine how the surrounding environment and the invasive species, Phragmites australis, effect the pond's water quality. Thus, enabling a proper approach to carrying out a restoration process.


How to conduct a plant survey

The Plant Team conducted a survey to characterize the vegetation patterns and species diversity of our restoration ecology study site at Gaudet Middle School. We also took stem density counts where the invasive reed grass, Phragmites australis, grew. Plant survey interpretation can help determine factors that are influencing the environment based on which species are present so that an appropriate restoration plan can be made.


How to conduct an invertebrate survey

Macroinvertabrates can be great indicators of habitat quality. As part of a restoration project at Gaudet Middle School, an invertebrate survey was taken in order to determine the relative quality of habitat within a phragmites stand compared to native vegetation. Enjoy and Learn.


How to conduct a bird survey

The following is a video of our adventures at the wetlands adjacent to Gaudet Middle School in Middletown, RI. We conducted a bird survey, along with other studies as a part of a restoration project.

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Zero Carbon Campus

This podcast was made by students in my conservation biology class. Their goal was to help create a zero carbon campus at URI by inserting this goal into the campus sustainability plan. They were successful.


Saving the North Woods at URI

This video was made by students in my Conservation Biology class to try and save a forest from being developed into a research park.


Grad Student Research, Pt. 2- Field Studies Related to the ERCA Hypothesis

Joshua Atwood continues discussing his dissertation research in the second video in a series outlining his tests of the Evolution of Reduced Competitive Ability (ERCA) hypothesis. This video reviews two field studies demonstrating ecological differences between mainland and island habitats in New England and how those differences may affect evolution in nonnative plant communities. The first video in this series, which explains the concepts behind the ERCA hypothesis and discusses common garden methodology, can be found here.


Galilee Salt Marsh Restoration

The story of the salt marsh restoration in Galilee, Rhode Island. Created by students in Dr. Meyerson's NRS 445 class. Special guest star: Frank Golet.


Civilian Conservation Corps Ad

A "CCC" ad discussing manual vs biological control of invasives, created by students in Dr. Meyerson's NRS 445 class.


Grad Student Research: Evolution in Invasive Plants

Joshua Atwood is a Ph.D. candidate in the Meyerson laboratory. His research examines rapid evolution in nonnative plant populations. His dissertation research will provide the first test for the Evolution of Reduced Competitive Ability (ERCA) hypothesis using three species of nonnative plant species that are widespread invaders in New England.

The video below is an introduction to Joshua's dissertation research and describes the common garden method employed by ecologists to infer evolved differences between populations. Future episodes will highlight other studies in Joshua's dissertation, including field work and genetic analyses.


Call me Dr. Frankenstein

Dr. Frankenstein

I study plant invasions and their consequences for native species. My goals are to reduce the negative effects of invasive pests and to prevent future invasions. I experiment on the invasive reed grass, Phragmites australis, as a way to better understand all invasions. In North America, Phragmites has successfully infiltrated wetland ecosystems from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

"Phragma" is Greek for fence, and when Phragmites spreads, it blocks out native species and decreases local biodiversity. It is so successful because it can reproduce both clonally and by seed. This strategy allows Phragmites to rapidly capture new areas and dominate the use of available resources.

I am also interested in national and international policy and as a AAAS Fellow worked with the U.S. EPA, the Global Invasive Species Programme, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. At URI, I use my research to help solve the riddles of why some introduced species become aggressive invaders. I aim to reach out beyond the scientific community to citizens and to policy makers to help make positive environmental change.