sCORE Staff

Who we are

sCORE is staffed and advised by researchers and practitioners at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

sCORE Staff

Kayri Havens

Ph.D, Conservation Scientist, sCORE Co-Director

Kayri is the Medard and Elizabeth Welch Senior Director of Ecology and Conservation at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Her research interests include the effects of climate change on plant species, restoration genetics, pollination networks, ex situ conservation, and invasion biology. She is on the adjunct faculty of Loyola University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She chairs the Non-federal Cooperators Committee of the Plant Conservation Alliance and collaborates with a variety of academic institutions, agencies, and stewardship organizations to help improve conservation efforts for plants and plant communities.

Andrea Kramer

PH.D, Director of Restoration Ecology, sCORE Co-Director

Andrea is the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Director of Restoration Ecology. Her research goals are to work collaboratively with land managers in the Chicago region to tackle priority questions related to the restoration and management of diverse and resilient native plant communities. This ranges from understanding why individual species aren’t germinating, establishing, or persisting at a site to investigating which management approaches are most likely to control aggressive species and support diverse plant communities. Andrea also oversees the Garden’s natural areas program and works with the team of ecologists who manage the Garden’s diverse natural areas. Through this work, she and the entire Garden team are dedicated to building sustainable partnerships and programs that advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the field.

Jacob Zeldin

MS, Research Ecologist and sCORE Coordinator

Jacob Zeldin is a research ecologist and sCORE Coordinator at the Chicago Botanic Garden. His research interests are centered in plant community ecology with an emphasis on functional trait diversity, restoration, and rare plant conservation. He manages a micropropagation laboratory with the goal of propagating native plants to conserve and increase diversity of threatened and restoration relevant plant species in the Great Lakes region. Jacob works closely with academic and conservation partners, such as the Forest Preserves of Cook County, to improve restoration and conservation efforts in the region. Jacob also helps to mentor and provide ecological and statistical guidance to undergraduate and graduate students at Northwestern University.

Sophie Taddeo

PH.D., Conservation Scientist, sCORE Advisory Board Member

Sophie Taddeo is a sCORE advisory board member and conservation ecologist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Her research focuses on the conservation and restoration of wetland plant communities in working landscapes. She also studies the diversity and ecosystem functions of plant communities in urban environments. She uses a variety of tools and techniques to understand factors shaping the diversity and resilience of wetland and urban ecosystems. Those include field work, spatial ecology, and remote sensing analyses.

Matt Evans

MS, Managing Ecologist - Woodlands, sCORE Advisory Board Member

Matt Evans is a member of the sCORE advisory board. As the Woodland Restoration Technician at the Chicago Botanic Garden's Mary Mix McDonald Woods, he is emersed in ecological restoration every day. Matt employs an innovative mix of new tools driven by data and proven practices to investigate, better understand, and restore natural habitat. Matt works primarily in prairie, savanna, and oak ecosystems of the Midwest.

Rory Shiafo

Graduate Student Researcher

Rory Schiafo is a PhD student in the Plant Biology and Conservation program at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Rory is interested in the processes that influence community assembly and ecosystem functioning in restored woodlands and forests. Her research focuses on understanding how invasive species, land-use legacies, and management practice interact to influence the diversity and composition of plant communities.

Adrienne Ernst

PH.D, Postdoctoral Researcher, sCORE

Adrienne is a postdoctoral researcher with sCORE. With her research, she aims to bridge basic and applied ecology. She is especially interested in understanding how we can leverage community assembly and successional theory to improve restoration outcomes and land management more broadly.

Jim Jabcon

Ecologist, sCORE Advisory Board Member

Jim Jabcon is a member of the sCORE advisory board and ecologist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. His management interests include woodland and prairie restoration with a focus on restoring natural communities into a functional and dynamic systems. He looks after the native seed nursery, helping to bulk seed collections to assist in establishing native plants. He uses his free time restoring a white oak savanna in his backyard, landscaping, and trying to keep up with his two boys.

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