I am on faculty in Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University. I am interested in the study of plant diversity from all regions of the world but especially in the highly seasonal vegetation, including the sagebrush steppe of western North America and seasonally dry neotropical forests and woodlands, the latter of which are characterized by low grass cover and a high diversity of legumes and succulent plants (e.g., asclepiads, cacti, euphorbs, bromeliads, agaves, etc.). High degrees of vegetation seasonality may foster a high degree of ecological stability.

In addition to research, I teach courses for which I develop this Flickr site. These include Agrostology (grass systematics and ecology) and Plant Systematics (a regional flora course). Although I organize my Flickr photos primarily for teaching, I hope others will find them useful for promoting plant education.

Many of my Flickr photos document the remaining fragments of sagebrush steppe that harbor high levels of diversity of native plant species and functional groups. These fragments provide a glimpse of native plant composition in sagebrush steppe with little human-mediated impact (e.g., pre-Columbian or even pre-human times).

A list of my publications includes references to a sagebrush study on the plant diversity in the sagebrush steppe of the Idaho National Laboratory and a cheatgrass study that defines where Bromus tectorum has present and future potential to convert sagebrush steppe to exotic annual plant communities.

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  • BeartoothButte-Kristi-Matt by homeboy63

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Matt Lavin
February 2009
Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman, Montana, USA
Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology