Margaret L. Ronsheim

Professor and Chair of Biology

Dr. Ronsheim’s current research focuses on the impact and management of invasive vines, forest regeneration, and restoration ecology. Her invasive vine research focuses on two species, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry or Amur peppervine) and Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet), and includes experimental work both in the field and in the greenhouse. Recent projects include impacts of flooding on seed germination, the persistence of seeds in the soil, and both interspecific and intraspecific competitive interactions among vine species. She and her colleagues have also examined the potential impact of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on the forested areas of the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve (VFEP) and developed an EAB management plan for the Preserve. As ash trees are lost from the forest canopy, light availability on the forest floor will increase, potentially increasing the impact of invasive vines on forest structure and regeneration. Overabundant deer have caused a reduction in the seedling/sapling bank in Dutchess County, which may further impede forest regeneration in these light gaps. She and her students are currently testing methods of gap restoration, including examining whether American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) can be used to help reverse expanding light gaps in the canopy.

BA, Earlham College; PhD, Duke University
At Vassar since 1992

Contact

845-437-7411
Olmsted Hall of Biological Sc
Box 513

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