Green Roof Ecology
Green roofs have the potential to provide habitat and other resources for native plant and animal species in urban environments. Previous research has found that a variety of such species do use green roofs but further investigation is needed to determine how these habitats can be designed to make greater contributions to urban biodiversity conservation. This project will focus on evaluating the potential of native plant species to provide ecosystem services such as stormwater retention, thermal insulation and biodiversity support on green roofs. Field work will involve data collection on several green roofs throughout the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs while lab work will be conducted at the Chicago Botanic Garden and likely also at Loyola University. Anticipated tasks include literature review, plant identification, vegetation measurement, soil microbial ecology characterization, DNA extraction and analysis, stormwater collection, GIS mapping, and statistical analysis.