Allison M. Hamel

Lake Forest Biology Senior Project 2011-2012

Contact: Allison


Title: The response of ant diversity to tallgrass prairie restoration


Abstract: I examine both the ecological and the cultural implications of prairie restoration by assessing ants as potential indicators of prairie ecology and people as the directors of prairie restoration efforts. To determine the ecological impacts of prairie restoration efforts, I compared ant species richness and composition across eighteen dry tallgrass prairie sites in McHenry County, Illinois using a space-for-time substitution. I observed a general increase in ant species richness as prairie restoration site age increased. To address the anthropological factors of prairie restoration, I interviewed people involved in prairie restoration, which uncovered intriguing patterns in the ways people conceptualize prairie.



Menke, S.B., E. Gaulke, A. Hamel, and N. Vachter. 2015. The effects of restoration age and prescribed burns on grassland ant community structure. Environmental Entomology, DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvv110.