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Anna Sher

Primary Area of Expertise

  • Conservation
  • Invasive plants
  • River ecology

Also qualified to speak on topics in the following areas:

  • Environmental science
  • Biology
  • Climate change


The primary concentration of Dr. Anna Sher’s research is the ecology of restoration of riparian (river bank) habitats degraded by invasive plants. Invasive species are those that spread beyond their native range and damage ecosystems.  These projects have primarily considered restoration associated with Tamarix species. (tamarisk, saltcedar), a woody, Eurasian tree that invades watersheds, profoundly affecting biological communities and ecosystem processes (i.e., fire, flooding, and soil chemistry fluxes).

Dr. Sher is one of just a handful of experts on the ecology of Tamarix, most known for her work on competition with native trees (Sher et al 2000, Sher et al 2002, Sher & Marshall 2003).  Tamarix is arguably the most economically and environmentally problematic invasive species in the western U.S., as evidenced by passage of the federal Saltcedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act in 2006.  National attention has increased efforts in riparian restoration, and Dr. Sher’s lab is at the forefront of providing scientific guidance for these activities.

Other areas of research within Dr. Sher’s group (Botanic Gardens staff and DU students) include the ecology and genetics of the tamarisk biological control beetle (Diorhabda species), rare plant conservation and genetics, plant flowering response to climate change, and the chemical composition of medicinally useful plants (aka ethnobotany).

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Contact information

  • Fax: 303-871-3471
  • Best Contact Method: E-mail
  • Call Limitations: No calls after 9:00 pm

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