Dennis  Albert


Dennis Albert
Assistant Professor (Senior Research), Landscape and Wetland Ecologist

Research Interests

  1. Development of regional landscape ecosystem classifications based on abiotic factors to aid in the inventory, study, and management of biota.
  2. The use of landscape approaches to understand natural processes and disturbance regimes, as well as land-management, restoration, and resource utilization.
  3. Research on biomechanical and ecological limitations of wetland plants.
  4. Horticultural propagation of wetland plants for restoration of native wetlands.


OSU Campus
Department of Horticulture
Environmental Science
OSU Campus
4017 Agricultural and Life Sciences Building
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States
(541) 737-7557


My research focus began with the development of a state-wide ecoregional classification for Michigan, and then expanded to multi-state collaboration with state and federal agencies in MN and WI to develop a three-state regional map and classification.  More localized Landtype-Association mapping was also conducted with federal and state agencies in MN and WI.

As part of the ecoregional mapping of Michigan, I investigated the original land survey notes of the state and my staff and I created a set of digital and paper maps of Michigan's original vegetation (1816-1856), which provide the basis for conducting broad-scale land-use and vegetation change analyses.  These maps were republished as a Michigan road atlas to provide broader availability to the public.

As lead ecologist for the Michigan Heritage program, I developed state-wide plant community classifications and conducted state-wide inventories of the state's plant communities, including savannas, wet prairies, old-growth forests, dunes, Great Lakes bedrock shorelines, and Great Lakes wetlands.  These studies were used for conservation, restoration, and acquisition purposes, and to convert these scientific studies into books and pamplets aimed at Michigan's general public.

Another research focus was coastal Great Lakes wetlands, which we began studying in Michigan and eventually continued throughout the US  and Canadian Great Lakes.  These studies have led to a widely used hydrogeomorphic classification, digital mapping of all Great Lakes wetland, creation of plant and animal metrics for evaluating wetland quality, and ongoing baseline wetland monitoring.  Ongoing research includes restoration efforts in MI and OR.

A recent research focus  is alternative uses of invasive wetland plants, especially along the Great Lakes shorelines.  These studies have led to experimental harvest of hybrid cattail, documenting the response of native plants to the harvest. Partners include US Fish and Wildlife Refuges, Cheboygan and Cedarville city government, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and biologists from the Sault Ste. Marie tribe.

Research has also involved collaborations with OSU’s  Oregon Flora Project, including participation in creating APPS for learning to identify Oregon plants, writing the Ecological Overview for the new (2015) Oregon Flora, and investigating the creation of better markets for Oregon native plant growers by providing educational materials for professional landscapers, retailer nurseries, and home gardeners.

Ongoing Projects

2016-2018 Botanical survey of playa lakes on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (OR) and SheldonNational Wildlife Refuge (NV). Surveys focus on the unique flora of fluctuating lakes within the Basin-and-Range province, with funding from Hart-Sheldon Conservation Fund.

2016-2018 Invasive Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (European frogbit) management. A collaborative study with Loyola University Chicago, funded by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

2014-2017 Collaboration between native plant growers and Oregon Flora Project.  A collaborative project with Linda Hardison of Botany and Plant Pathology’s Oregon Flora Project, funded by an Oregon Department of Agriculture Block Grant. 

2010-2018 Restoring invaded wetlands to promote biodiversity and energy: Cattails to methane, a USEPA-funded project in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago.

2010-2018 Implementing Great Lakes Coastal Monitoring, a USEPA-funded project in collaboration with 9 other Canadian and US universities from the Great Lakes region.


2014-2006: Lecturer, University of Michigan Biological Station.  Courses included: Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands (EEB 320), Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands (EEB 405), and Forest Ecosystems (EEB 348).

2011-2018: Field training in wetland plant sampling protocols and identification for students from various universities, including Oregon State, Central Michigan, U of Wisconsin Superior and Milwaukee, Loyola Chicago, and SUNY Brockport.

2009-2011: Hort 507 (Seminar Series and Graduate Seminars), Hort 512 (Graduate Seminar).

2005-2002: Adjunct Professor in Zoology and Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University.

2005-1997: Field training of Michigan State University students in identification of aquatic macrophytes.

2005: Training for Trainers, Sea Grant Great Lakes wetland training module.

2005-2001: Ecology field training for Wildlife and Forestry staff, MI DNR.

2004-2003: Wetland training module development and field training for MI DEQ and MDOT wetland permit staff.

2003-1999: Field training of McMasters University students in identification of aquatic macrophytes.

1984-1998: Lecturer, University of Michigan. Forest Ecology (NR 435).



Ph.D. Forest Ecology, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources, 1990.
M.S. Forest Ecology, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources, 1983.
B.S. Botany, University of Michigan, Department of Evolutionary Ecology and Biology, 1981.

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor/Senior Research-Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, 2009-present.

Senior Research Ecologist, Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI); Michigan State University Extension 2008-2000.

Director/Ecologist, Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center (ORNHIC), Oregon State University 2005-2004.

Interim Director, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, 2003.

Senior Ecologist, Michigan Natural Features Inventory of The Nature Conservancy, 2000-1987.

Associate Program Ecologist, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, 1987-1986.

Teaching Assistant, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, 1983-1982.

Graduate Research Assistant, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, 1981-1986.

I accept graduate students for Horticulture Department, Environmental Sciences Program, and Environmental Arts and Humanities Program.

I can serve on graduate committees

I accept graduate students for Horticulture
I can serve on graduate committees


Lemein, T., D.A. Albert, E.D.Tuttle.  2017. Coastal wetland vegetation community classification and distribution across environmental gradients throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 43(4): 658-669.

Lishawa, S., B.D. Carson, J. Brandt, J. Tallant, N.J. Reo, D.A.Albert, A. Monks, J. Lautenbach, and E. Clark. 2017. Mechanical harvesting effectively controls young Typha spp. invasion and unmanned aerial vehicles provide low cost data to monitor management effectiveness.  Frontiers in Plant Science, 25 April 2017 (

Uzarski, D.G., V.J. Brady, M.J.Cooper, D.A.Wilcox, D.A.Albert, et. al. (27 authors). 2016. Standardized measures of coastal wetland condition: Implementation of a Laurentian Great Lakes basin-wide scale. Wetlands: DOI 10.1007/s13157-016-0835-7.

Albert, D.A. 2015. Ecology of Oregon.   In Meyer, S.C., T.J. Cook, K.E. Mitchell, and L.K. Hardison, eds. Flora of Oregon – Volume I: Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Monocots. Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) Press.

Lemein, T., D.T. Cox, D.A. Albert, N. Mori. 2015. Accuracy of image analysis compared to field methodologies for measuring emergent vegetation morphology. (accepted).

Lishawa, S.C., B.A. Lawrence,D.A. Albert, N.C. Tuchman. 2015. Biomass harvest of invasive Typha promotes plant diversity in a Great Lakes coastal wetland. Restoration Ecology (electronically available).

Cohen, J. G, M. A. Kost, B. S. Slaughter, and D. A. Albert.  2014.  A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan. Michigan State University Press. East Lansing, MI.

Albert, D.A. 2014. Ecology of Oregon, in Oregon Wildflowers: A guide to the wildflowers, shrubs, and vines of Oregon, Oregon Flora Project (APP).Albert, D. A., D. T. Cox, T. Lemein, and H. Yoon. 2013. Characterization of Schoenoplectus pungens in a Great Lakes coastal wetland and a Pacific Northwestern Estuary. Wetlands: 33(3) 445-458.

Lishawa, S.C., Albert, D.A., Tuchman, N.C. 2010. Natural water level decline drives invasive species establishment and vegetation change in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Wetlands: 30(6) 1085-1097

Marr, J.K., Penskar, M.R., and D.A. Albert. 2009. Rare plant species and plant community types of Manitou Island and Gull Rock, Keweenaw County, MI. Michigan Botanist: 48: 97-120.

Burton, T. M., D. G. Uzarski, and D. A. Albert. 2009. Ecology and Bioassessment of Michigan’s Inland Wetlands. A Manual for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Uzarski, D. G., T. M. Burton, and D. A. Albert. 2009. A Manual for Bioassessment of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. Manual for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Albert, D. A., and P. J. Comer. 2008. Atlas of Early Michigan’s Forests, Grasslands, and Wetlands: An interpretation of the 1816-1856 General Land Office Surveys. Michigan State University Press. East Lansing, MI.

Albert, D. A., Tepley, A. J., and L. D. Minc. 2007. Plants as indicators for Lake Michigan’s Great Lakes coastal drowned river wetland health. In Thomas P. Simon and Paul M. Stewart (Eds.), Coastal Wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes: Heath, Habitat, and Indicators, Authorhouse Press, Bloomington, IN.

Detenbeck, N. E., Moffett, M. F., Pearson, M., Simon, T. P., and D. A. Albert. 2007. Flow and nutrient-based classification of Lake Michigan coastal riverine wetlands. In Thomas P. Simon and Paul M. Stewart (Eds.), Coastal Wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes: Health, Habitat, and Indicators, Authorhouse Press, Bloomington, IN.

Outreach and Extension

2011-2012: working with learning and physically disabled clients of Cornerstone Associates and Colorwheel Gardens to investigate propagation of mosses for green roofs and ornamental purposes.

 2013-2018: Education outreach about Great Lakes coastal wetland ecosystems. Activities included distribution of copies of my book “Between Land and Lake”, which describes Great Lakes coastal wetlands, and maps of Michigan’s original vegetation to high schools in several coastal communities along Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie; development of high school curricula; and conservation planning with Emmet County’s (MI) Parks and Outdoor Recreation Department.

2014-2018: Collaboration with research biologists of Sault Ste. Marie tribe and Native American faculty on tribal restoration of bulrush beds along the St. Marys River, MI, teaching of summer short course on Great Lakes coastal wetlands  for Native American students at Bay Mills Community College, development of publication on distribution of Native American traditional food and medicinal plants in Great Lakes region.

2014-2018: Collaborations on  harvest of invasive Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail) and Phragmites australis (common reed) for conversion to alternative products, including biofuels, incorporation into commercial compost, or utilization as soil amendments on nearby blueberry farms. Collaborators include USFWS Refuge (St. Charles, MI), Saginaw Basin farmers and compost producer, The Nature Conservancy, researchers from Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

2014-2017: Oregon Department of Agriculture project to better market Oregon's native plants in collaboration with Oregon Flora Project. Partners include OR native plant growers, retail nurseries, Master Gardeners, and Metro (Portland). Information for home gardeners and professional landscapers is housed on the Oregon Flora Project's website, and includes habitat, germination and propagation tips, and retail-nursery availability for Oregon's most readily available native plants. 

Fun Fact

plays flute and contra dances