Randy Jackson

Structure and function of managed, semi-natural, and natural grassland ecosystems. Landscape-level nutrient exchange, ecosystem-level carbon and nutrient cycling, and plant community responses to disturbance. Scientific basis for agroecology, farms as ecosystem units, cellulosic biofuel cropping systems, grazing effects on pasture and prairie.

Research Scientists

Gregg Sanford

I oversee all farming and experimental operations at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) in addition to managing a network of bioenergy cropping systems trials throughout WI. WICST is a long-term (29 y), large scale (60 ac) cropping systems experiment designed to evaluate the trade-offs of alternative agricultural productions strategies and issues of agricultural sustainability in organic and conventional farming systems. My current work involves analysis and publication of data from WICST and the bioenergy trials as it pertains to the productivity, profitability, and environmental impact of alternative agricultural production strategies for feed and fuel.

In addition to my research responsibilities I teach two courses for the University of Wisconsin’s 132 year old Farm and Industry Short Course. These courses cover the production and management of grain crops (corn, soybean, wheat) and forage crops (alfalfa, clovers, pasture).

Harry Read

My main role is to analyze soil extracts for lipids and amino sugars by gas chromatography (GC) and GC-combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry as a means of profiling soil microbial communities and tracing carbon flow through soil ecosystems; I also maintain and repair a variety of instrumentation. I frequently train students how to operate, maintain and repair analytical instrumentation and how to process and evaluate data. .

Graduate Student

Anna Cates

Net ecosystem carbon balance and litterbag decomposition with rye and bluegrass cover crops in no-till corn.

Decomposition processes when ants are excluded from a restored prairie (collaboration with Tania Kim and the Gratton Lab).

Incubation of 10 corn genotypes to evaluate decomposability under varying traits.

Greta Landis

My research examines the use of managed rotational grazing as a conservation tool on Wisconsin’s public grasslands, with the aim of assessing change in plant community types, structure, and diversity, and evaluating the multi-stakeholder agroecological research process.

Research Specialist/Technician


Julie Doll

Education and Outreach Coordinator, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, MI

Haley MeLampy

Healthy Prairies Project, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota

Karen Nikalokakis (Stahlheber)

  • Stability of productivity and planted diversity in bioenergy grasslands
  • Fertilization and diversity responses in Midwest post-agricultural grasslands
  • Patterns of herbaceous species diversity in California oak savannas
  • Influence of exotic annual grasses on decomposition rates in California grasslandsResponse of oak understory to livestock grazing

Laura Smith

  • Nitrogen-use dynamics in grasslands managed for biofuel production
  • Genotype x environmental effects on N resorption in C4 grasses