research associate

Michelle DePrenger-Levin, M.S.
Research Associate
B.A. Environmental Studies, Macalester College, 1999
M.S., University of Colorado at Denver & Health Science Center, 2006
Research Interest: 
Conservation of rare plants through applied demographic studies
Conservation genetics of rare species
Restoration and reintroduction of rare species
Statement: 

My research has focused on long-term demographics of Colorado’s rare, native plants. Through these studies I hope to gather information on how to best conserve the unique and varied Colorado landscape. I have also been interested in ecological processes of restoration including fire ecology, use of mycorrhizal fungi and the genetic provenance of restoration materials. My research activities have included ex-situ conservation through collection and long-term storage of seed from the most imperiled plant species in the Southern Rocky Mountains and surrounding regions, and conservation planning through ecological niche modeling. Work for my Master of Science degree from the University of Colorado Denver focused on the phylogeny of a group of sedges and a comparison of the genetic diversity between a rare and common congener in this group.

Publications: 

DePrenger-Levin, Michelle, Ramp Neale, Jennifer M., Grant, Thomas A. III., Dawson, Carol, Ergüner Baytok, Yasemin. 2013. Life History and Demography of Astragalus microcymbus Barneby (Fabaceae). Natural Areas Journal 33(3): 264-275.

DePrenger-Levin, M. E., T. A. Grant III, C. Dawson. 2010. Impacts of the introduced biocontrol agent, Rhinocyllus conicus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), on the seed production and population dynamics of Cirsium ownbeyi (Asteraceae), a rare, native thistle. Biological Control 55(2): 79-84.

Sher, A., K. Lair, M. DePrenger-Levin, K. Dohrenwend. 2010. Best Management Practices for Revegetation after Tamarisk Removal in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO.

Conference Abstract: 

DePrenger-Levin, M., Neale, Jennifer R. 2011. Methods to evaluate the risk of extinction of Astragalus microcymbus, a recent candidate species. Natural Areas Conference, Tallahassee, FL.

Neale, Jennifer R., DePrenger-Levin, M. 2011. Ecological niche models used to guide future conservation of a rare species. Natural Areas Conference, Tallahassee, FL.

Ramp Neale, J. M., M. DePrenger-Levin, C. Dawson, T.A. Grant III. 2009. Fencing populations of a rare native plant (Astragalus microcymbus) leads to increased reproduction but doesn’t tell the whole story, how can management save this species from extinction? BOTANY 2009, Snowbird, UT.

DePrenger-Levin, M., J.M.R. Neale, C. Dawson, T.A. Grant III. 2009. PVA predicts a grim future for the skiff milkvetch (Astragalus microcymbus): Where can we go from here? BOTANY 2009, Snowbird, UT.

DePrenger-Levin, M., T.A. Grant III, C. Dawson. 2007. Impacts of the Introduced Biocontrol Agent, Rhinocyllus conicus, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on the Fruit Production and Population Dynamics of a Rare, Native Thistle, Cirsium ownbeyi Welsh (Asteraceae). Botany 2007, Chicago, IL.

Ramp Neale, J.M., T.A. Grant III, M. DePrenger-Levin, C. Dawson. 2007. Use of Population Viability Analysis (PVA) in the conservation of a rare and declining narrow endemic, Astragalus microcymbus (Fabaceae). BOTANY 2007, Chicago, IL.

DePrenger-Levin, M. 2007. Genetic diversity in a rare North American endemic, Carex scirpoidea ssp. Convolute. GREEBs/GRMPBs 2007, Abiquiu, NM.

DePrenger-Levin, M. 2006. High genetic diversity in a rare North American endemic: Effects of reproductive system. BOTANY 2006, Chico, CA.

DePrenger-Levin, M. 2004. The use of mycorrhizal fungi in the restoration of highly disturbed soils at Heil Ranch, Boulder County, Colorado, U.S.A. Society for Ecological Restoration, Victoria, Canada.