US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Jökulsárlón 2014

Matthew R. Fisk

Biological Science Technician (Plants)
322 East Front Street, Suite 401
United States

Phone: 208-373-4358
Contact Matthew R. Fisk

Current Research

I assist with the development of native plant materials, particularly forbs, for the Great Basin and other regions. Responsibilities include seed collecting and cleaning; plant identification; collection of pollinators and seed predators; germination studies; common garden studies; plant propagation; and management the seed collection site, inventory and distribution database. I participate in the BLM Seeds of Success Program and work with seed industry personnel to help provide needed materials for native plant material increase.  Other current projects include assisting with studies on post-fire seeding equipment and techniques, empirical seed zone development, native plant cold hardiness assessment, big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata) seed storage and longevity and sagebrush genecology.

Research Interests

My research interests include native plant material development and establishment, restoration strategies, fire ecology, monitoring techniques, seed zone development, entomology, horticulture, climate change, plant physiology, and cave ecology and conservation.

Past Research

Past research has included work on ecological restoration and the "reculture" of brown coal mines in East Germany through Brandenburg University of Technology. Areas of investigation included experimental vinyard and energy plantation (Robinia pseudoacacia) establishment. I have also assisted with studies on post-fire demographics and seed ecology of rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea) and its potential to invade big sagebrush communities of the Great Basin.

Why This Research is Important

Native plant communities are under increasing stress in a constantly changing world. Our research is focused on a wide array of topics, each playing an important role in how these intricate and fragile systems function. Studying these native communities and their interactions with the changing climatic extremes and the persistent, thriving exotics and human/agricultural involvement all emphasize the need to promote and develop conservation and restoration efforts. The lack of native plant material available for restoration is a huge problem and we are working to connect native materials with the commercial market for use in restoration.


  • University of Idaho, M.S. Natural Resources 2016
  • Boise State University, Boise, ID, B.S. Biology, Philosophy 2006

Professional Organizations

  • Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honor Society (2014 - Current)
  • Society for Ecological Restoration, Student Activities Chair 2013-2016 (2013 - Current)

Featured Publications & Products

Citations of non US Forest Service Publications

  • Youtie, B.; Shaw, N.L.; Fisk, M.R.; and Jensen, S. 2013.  A Strategy for Maximizing Native Plant Material Diversity for Ecological Restoration, Germplasm Conservation and Genecology Research.  In:  Society for Ecological Restoration Europe Knowledge Base on Ecological Restoration. 4 p.   Available:

Last updated on : 02/05/2016