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Biological Sciences

Dr. Peter Minchin

Portrait of Dr. Peter MinchinProfessor, Graduate Program Director

Ph.D. University of Tasmania, 1984

Office: SW 1250
Research Lab: SW 0320
Phone: (618) 650-2975
Skype: peter.r.minchin

Courses Taught: Introduction to Biological Sciences II (BIOL 151), Contemporary Biology (BIOL 111),  Freshman Seminar in Sustainability (BIOL 111-FS), Ecology (BIOL 365), Quantitative Methods in Experimental Biology (BIOL 417), Conservation Biology (BIOL 463), Travel Study in Biology (BIOL 490/590), Wildlife and Vegetation Techniques (BIOL 490/590), Topics in Organismal Biology (BIOL 596).

Research Interests: My main interests are in the fields of community ecology, conservation biology, and restoration ecology. I develop statistical methods that can be used to analyze and model how ecological communities vary in space and time. I then apply the new techniques to solve problems in conservation and restoration. Though I am a plant ecologist by training, I also work on animal communities and animal habitat modeling.

Research Opportunities: Undergraduates and graduate students in my lab generally perform research in the areas of animal or plant community ecology, wildlife habitat modeling, restoration ecology or conservation biology. Most projects involve field-based observations and/or experiments followed by computer analysis or modeling of data in the lab. Students learn skills in field methodology and data analysis (e.g., statistics, GIS) that make them competitive for jobs in conservation, wildlife, and resource management. For more information, please look at my web site and contact me.

Selected Publications

(* = student author)

*Le, Paul T., *Ballen, Lindley B., Essner, Richard L. & Minchin, Peter R. (2018). Avian habitat use in a chronosequence of bottomland hardwood forest restoration sites. Northeastern Naturalist, 25, 248-264.

Kantvilas, G., Jarman, S.J. & Minchin, P.R. (2015). Early impacts of disturbance on lichens, mosses and liverworts in Tasmania's wet eucalypt production forests.  Australian Forestry, doi:10.1080/00049158.2015.1053025.

Minchin, P.R. & Oksanen, J. (2015). Statistical analysis of ecological communities: progress, status, and future directions. Plant Ecology, 216, 641-644.

*Spagnolo, S., Bryant, C., Schulz, K., Minchin, P.R. & Esselman, E. (2014). Assessing quality of a regenerated prairie using floral and faunal indices. Phytoneuron, 73, 1–15.

Sah, J.P., Ross, M.S., Saha, S, Minchin, P.R. & Sadle, J. (2014). Trajectories of vegetation response to water management in Taylor Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida. Wetlands, 34, Issue 1 Supplement, 65-79.

Grinter, M., Minchin, P.R., *Weber, I.O., Morgan, S.M. & Retzlaff, W.A. (2014). Temporary stabilization specification improvements. Report to the Illinois Center for Transportation, Springfield, IL, 81 pp.

*Wood, T.J., Essner, R.L., & Minchin, P.R. (2013). Effects of prescribed burning on grassland avifauna at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, 3, 19-38.

Essner, R. L., Jr., Z. R. *French, L. M. *Richter, & P. R. Minchin. (2012). Bohm Woods and the SIUE Nature Preserve: Valuable Conservation Assets for Southwestern Illinois. Meadowlark 21: 2-5.

*West, N.M., Gibson, D.J. & Minchin, P.R. (2010). Microhabitat analysis of the invasive exotic liana Lonicera japonica Thunb. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society, 137: 380-390.

*Richter, L. A., Essner, R. L. & Minchin, P.R. (2010). A survey of bluff forest avifauna in southwestern Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science, 103: 39-48.

*West, N. M., Gibson, D. J. & Minchin, P. R. (2009). Characterizing the microhabitats of exotic species in Illinois shale barrens. Plant Ecology, 200: 255-265.

Battaglia, L. L., Pritchett, D. W. & Minchin, P. R. (2008). Evaluating dispersal limitation in passive bottomland forest restoration. Restoration Ecology, 16, 417-424.

Collins, B., Minchin, P. R., Dilustro, J. & Duncan, L. (2006). Land use effects on groundlayer composition and regeneration of mixed pine hardwood forests in the Fall Line Sandhills, S.E. USA. Forest Ecology and Management, 226, 181-188.

Oksanen, J. & Minchin, P.R. (1997). Instability of ordination results under changes in input data order: explanations and remedies. Journal of Vegetation Science, 8, 447-454.

Minchin, P.R. (1989). Montane vegetation of the Mt. Field massif, Tasmania: a test of some hypotheses about properties of community patterns. Plant Ecology, 83, 97-110.

Minchin, P.R. (1987). An evaluation of the relative robustness of techniques for ecological ordination. Plant Ecology, 69, 89-107.

Minchin, P.R. (1987). Simulation of multidimensional community patterns: towards a comprehensive model. Plant Ecology, 71, 145-156.

Faith, D.P., Minchin, P.R. & Belbin, L. (1987). Compositional dissimilarity as a robust measure of ecological distance. Plant Ecology, 69, 57-68.

See my Google Scholar Profile for a complete list of publications.

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