Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology at Illinois State University
Department of Biology
photo credits: Charlie Thompson, Ben Sadd, Bill Perry, Diane Byers

Field Ecology and Environmental Analysis

We use diversity of natural areas and field stations throughout Illinois and neighboring states for observational and experimental studies. Representative sites are listed below. Some of the field and laboratory equipment is listed.

Representative Research Sites

  • Banner Marsh
    • Natural marsh along the Illinois river used for research on the physiological ecology of turtles
  • Mackinaw Study Area
    • Forest area in north-central Illinois and site of long-term research on the ecology and behavior of house wrens (Troglodytes aedon)
    • For more information, visit
  • Native Prairie Remnants
    • Many prairie preserves representing the history diversity of prairie types are used for observational studies on effects of habitat fragmentation and deer impacts on communities
    • Many of these remnants are own and managed by the IL DNR.
    • Visit their website for more information
  • ParkLand Preserves
  • Reconstructed Prairies
    • Replanted prairies used for more experimental and longer-term studies where some have focused on the ecology of parasitic plants.
  • Tyson Research Center

Representative Equipment

  • Digital Video Equipment
    • for recording of animal behavior in field and lab studies
  • A Diversity of Environmental Sensors
    • for electronic recording temperature, light and other measurements
  • Li-Cor Li-6400 Portable Photosynthesis System
  • Lachat Flow Injection Analysis System and Ion Chromatograph
    • for chemical analysis of soils and water
  • Ashing and drying ovens