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Susan E. Meyer

Research Ecologist

735 North 500 East
Provo, UT 84606
Contact Susan E. Meyer

Current Research

My current research projects include the following: Population ecology of Lepidium papilliferum; Evolutionary and community ecology of the seed bank pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on cheatgrass-dominted rangelands; Annual brome biocontrol after wildfire using a native fungal seed pathogen; Ecological genetics of the cheatgrass-head smut pathosystem; Regeneration biology of blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima: Rosaceae).

Research Interests

My research interests have been expressed in work focused primarily on the regeneration biology of native Intermountain shrubs, forbs, and grasses, in the context of the ecological restoration of shrublands, including the study of within-species genetic variation in germination regulation and seedling establishment ecology.


  • University of Utah, B.S., Environmental Science, 1969
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, M.S., Biological Science, 1976
  • Claremont Graduate School, Ph.D., Botany, 1980
  • Publications

    Meyer, Susan E.; Beckstead, Julie; Allen, Phil S., 2018. Niche specialization in Bromus tectorum seed bank pathogens
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Gorecki, Marcin; Pescitelli, Gennaro; Clement, Suzette; Cimmino, Alessio; Evidente, Antonio, 2018. Phytotoxic activity of metabolites isolated from Rutstroemia sp.n., the causal agent of bleach blonde syndrome on cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Clement, Suzette; Cimmino, Alessio; Cristofaro, Massimo; Evidente, Antonio, 2017. Cochliotoxin, a Dihydropyranopyran-4,5-dione, and its analogues produced by Cochliobolus australiensis display phytotoxic activity against buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris)
    Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Baughman, Owen W.; Meyer, Susan E.; Leger, Elizabeth A.; Van Gunst, K. Jane; Cleeves, Lauren, 2017. Development of remote sensing indicators for mapping episodic die-off of an invasive annual grass (Bromus tectorum) from the Landsat archive
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Pescitelli, Gennaro; Cimmino, Alessio; Clement, Suzette; Peacock, Beth; Evidente, Antonio, 2017. Phytotoxic activity against Bromus tectorum for secondary metabolites of a seed-pathogenic Fusarium strain belonging to the F. tricinctum species complex
    Arnesen, Spencer; Coleman, Craig E.; Meyer, Susan E., 2017. Population genetic structure of Bromus tectorum in the mountains of western North America
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Gorecki, Marcin; Mandoli, Alessandro; Di Bari, Lorenzo; Pescitelli, Gennaro; Cimmino, Alessio; Cristofaro, Massimo; Clement, Suzette; Evidente, Antonio, 2017. Pyriculins A and B, two monosubstituted hex-4-ene-2,3-diols and other phytotoxic metabolites produced by Pyricularia grisea isolated from buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris)
    Meyer, Susan E.; Beckstead, Julie; Pearce, JanaLynn, 2016. Community ecology of fungal pathogens on Bromus tectorum [Chapter 7]
    Finch, Deborah M.; Boyce, Douglas A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Colt, Chris J.; Dumroese, Kasten; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, Clinton; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Rowland, Mary M.; ; Schwartz, Michael K.; Tomosy, Monica S.; Wisdom, Michael J., 2016. Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science
    Merrill, Keith R.; Coleman, Craig E.; Meyer, Susan E.; Leger, Elizabeth A.; Collins, Katherine A., 2016. Development of single-nucleotide polymorphism markers for Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) from a partially sequenced transcriptome
    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Ishizuka, Toby S.; McEvoy, Kelsey M.; Coleman, Craig E., 2016. Lack of host specialization on winter annual grasses in the fungal seed bank pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda
    Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Esque, Todd; Kitchen, Stanley G., 2015. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.): State of our knowledge and future challenges [Chapter 10]
    Meyer, Susan E.; Pendleton, Burton K., 2015. Evolutionary drivers of mast-seeding in a long-lived desert shrub
    Barth, Connor W.; Meyer, Susan E.; Beckstead, Julie; Allen, Phil S., 2015. Hydrothermal time models for conidial germination and mycelial growth of the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Meyer, Susan E.; Carlson, Stephanie L., 2015. Mechanisms for maintenance of dominance in a nonclonal desert shrub
    Meyer, Susan E.; Warren, Thomas W., 2015. Seeding big sagebrush successfully on Intermountain rangelands
    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E., 2014. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub
    Soliai, Marcus M.; Meyer, Susan E.; Udall, Joshua A.; Elzinga, David E.; Hermansen, Russell A.; Bodily, Paul M.; Hart, Aaron A.; Coleman, Craig E., 2014. De novo genome assembly of the fungal plant pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda
    Meyer, Susan E.; Franke, J.-L.; Baughman, O. W.; Beckstead, J.; Geary, B., 2014. Does Fusarium-caused seed mortality contribute to Bromus tectorum stand failure in the Great Basin?
    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Reinhart, Kurt O.; Bergen, Kellene M.; Holden, Sandra R.; Boekweg, Heather F., 2014. Factors affecting host range in a generalist seed pathogen of semi-arid shrublands
    Meyer, Susan E.; Merrill, Katherine T.; Allen, Phil S.; Beckstead, Julie; Norte, Anna S., 2014. Indirect effects of an invasive annual grass on seed fates of two native perennial grass species
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Cimmino, Alessio; Andolfi, Anna; Evidente, Antonio, 2014. Pyrenophoric acid, a phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid penta-2,4-dienoic acid produced by a potential mycoherbicide, Pyrenophora semeniperda
    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan E.; Cimmino, Alessio; Clement, Suzette; Black, Beth; Evidente, Antonio, 2014. Pyrenophoric acids B and C, two new phytotoxic sesquiterpenoids produced by Pyrenophora semeniperda
    Meyer, Susan E.; Clement, Suzette; Beckstead, Julie, 2013. Annual brome control using a native fungal seed pathogen
    Miller, Sue; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Kitchen, Stanley G., 2013. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Upwardly mobile in the western U.S. desert: Blackbrush shrublands respond to a changing climate
    Meyer, Susan E.; Ghimire, Sudeep; Decker, Samuel; Merrill, Keith R.; Coleman, Craig E., 2013. The ghost of outcrossing past in downy brome, an inbreeding annual grass
    Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Meyer, Susan E.; Carlson, Stephanie L.; Morrison, Elizabeth, 2012. Viability of Blackbrush seed (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr. [Rosaceae]) following long-term storage
    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Connolly, Brian M.; Huck, Michael B.; Street, Laura E., 2010. Cheatgrass facilitates spillover of a seed bank pathogen onto native grass species
    Scott, Jason W.; Meyer, Susan E.; Merrill, Keith R.; Anderson, Val J., 2010. Local population differentiation in Bromus tectorum L. in relation to habitat-specific selection regimes
    Meyer, Susan E.; Stewart, Thomas E.; Clement, Suzette, 2010. The quick and the deadly: Growth versus virulence in a seed bank pathogen
    Leger, Elizabeth A.; Espeland, Erin K.; Merrill, Keith R.; Meyer, Susan E., 2009. Genetic variation and local adaptation at a cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion edge in western Nevada
    Meyer, Susan E.; Kjelgren, Roger K.; Morrison, Darrel G.; Varga, William A., 2009. Landscaping on the new frontier: Waterwise design for the Intermountain West
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Arctostaphylos Adans.: manzanita
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Artemisia L.: sagebrush
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Atriplex L.: saltbush
    Magill, Arthur W.; Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Chamaebatia foliolosa Benth.: bearmat
    Meyer, Susan E.; Nelson, David L.; Clement, Suzette; Beckstead, Julie, 2008. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) biocontrol using indigenous fungal pathogens
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Chrysothamnus Nutt.: rabbitbrush
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Ephedra L.: ephedra or Mormon-tea
    Smith, Duane C.; Meyer, Susan E.; Anderson, V. J., 2008. Factors affecting Bromus tectorum seed bank carryover in western Utah
    Booth, D. Terrance; Meyer, Susan E.; Shaw, Nancy L., 2008. Purshia DC. ex Poir.: bitterbrush, cliffrose
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Rosa L.: rose, briar
    Meyer, Susan E., 2008. Salvia L.: sage
    Whittaker, Alison; Roundy, Bruce; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Meyer, Susan E.; Blank, Robert; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Korfmacher, John L., 2008. The effect of herbaceous species removal, fire and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on soil water availability in sagebrush steppe
    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Molder, Cherrilyn J.; Smith, Caitlyn, 2007. A race for survival: Can Bromus tectorum seeds escape Pyrenophora semeniperda-caused mortality by germinating quickly?
    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Blank, Robert R.; Meyer, Susan E.; Whittaker, A., 2007. What makes Great Basin sagebrush ecosystems invasible by Bromus tectorum?
    Bair, Necia B.; Meyer, Susan E.; Allen, Phil S., 2006. A hydrothermal after-ripening time model for seed dormancy loss in Bromus tectorum L.
    Ramakrishnan, Alisa P.; Meyer, Susan E.; Fairbanks, Daniel J.; Coleman, Craig E., 2006. Ecological significance of microsatellite variation in western North American populations of Bromus tectorum
    Chambers, Jeanne C.; McArthur, E. Durant; Monson, Steven B.; Meyer, Susan E.; Shaw, Nancy L.; Tausch, Robin J.; Blank, Robert R.; Bunting, Steve; Miller, Richard R.; Pellant, Mike; Roundy, Bruce A.; Walker, Scott C.; Whittaker, Alison, 2005. Sagebrush steppe and pinyon-juniper ecosystems: effects of changing fire regimes, increased fuel loads, and invasive species
    Hild, Ann L.; Shaw, Nancy L.; Meyer, Susan E.; Booth, D. Terrance; McArthur, E. Durant, 2004. Seed and soil dynamics in shrubland ecosystems: proceedings; 2002 August 12-16; Laramie, WY
    Meyer, Susan E.; Garvin, Susan C.; Beckstead, Julie, 2001. Factors mediating cheatgrass invasion of intact salt desert shrubland
    Ramakrishnan, Alisa P.; Coleman, Craig E.; Meyer, Susan E.; Fairbanks, Daniel J., 2001. Microsatellite markers and polymorphism in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)
    Dwarf Bear Poppy at the White Dome Preserve (photo credit: Alyson DeNittis)
    Census and monitoring are fundamental to rare plant conservation but can be expensive, labor-intensive, and damaging to fragile habitats. We developed a method using drone imagery to census populations of the endangered dwarf bear-poppy in its desert gypsum badland habitat and model its fine-scale habitat requirements. The drone can carry out a census in two days that would take two botanists a month to complete on the ground, with virtually no impact to fragile soils and biological crusts.
    Healthy sagebrush common garden at Great Basin Experimental Range.
    Two common gardens were established for big sagebrush and blackbrush at the Great Basin and Desert Experimental Ranges in Utah, respectively. The experimental areas are ideal for studies in which plants representing multiple populations of a single species are grown together in common environments. These types of studies provide a useful approach for understanding species limits.  
    Cheatgrass is one of the most destructive plant invaders in the West with significant economic and ecological impacts on rangelands and agricultural lands. The seed pathogen "black fingers of death" is a promising tool under consideration for biocontrol of cheatgrass. Understanding the effects of slow-growing versus fast-growing pathogen strains may be the key to successfully slow down or stop cheatgrass seed germination.
    The distribution of plant species and populations will likely be reshaped as climate changes. Understanding these changes is complex and requires the integration of multiple research disciplines including genetics, climate modeling and biogeography. This research focuses on blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a widespread shrub that straddles the ecotone, transition area between two plant communities, from the Great Basin and Mojave Desert ecosystems.

    National Strategic Program Areas: 
    Invasive Species; Resource Management and Use; Wildlife and Fish
    RMRS Science Program Areas: 
    Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems