Silver Lake College senior Rose Neumeyer spent more than a year studying the honeysuckle and barberry plants at Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve in Two Rivers.
The biology major from Sheboygan was recording the effect of these invasive species on the plants growing on the forest floor of the 1,300-acre preserve.
Neumeyer presented her research results in poster form during the recent TriBeta Biological Honor Society Regional Convention at Monmouth College in Illinois.
“I compared areas that were invaded, not invaded, and managed," Neumeyer said. "I found that although the richness and diversity was higher in areas where invasive shrubs were removed, the composition of the understory community was significantly different than areas where invasion had never occurred.”
“(Neumeyer) found that the plant community doesn’t necessarily bounce back even after these invasive species are removed through the standard practices of cutting and herbicides,” said Dr. Michaeleen Golay, Assistant Professor of Natural Science, who mentored the research and accompanied Neumeyer to the convention.
Presentation of the project fulfilled the requirement of a grant she received from TriBeta. Nearly 40 biology undergraduate students from around the Midwest participated in the convention.
“It was really interesting to see what other students have been researching,” Neumeyer said. “In the process of creating my poster, I learned how to summarize my research. Presenting it taught me how to communicate it to various audiences.”
Neumeyer's research also culminated in her capstone senior research project.
“All biology students are required to design and conduct a research project, be it an investigation or experiment,” Golay said.
Her research also will be useful to Woodland Dunes management, Golay said.
Neumeyer will share her findings from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on April 17 at Woodland Dunes, 3000 Hawthorne Ave., Two Rivers. The event is free and open to the public.