Current research in the Shebitz Lab at Kean University:

In Costa Rica:

  1. Using and ecological and ethnobotanical approach to medicinal plant research in Costa Rica
  2. The role of nitrogen-fixing trees in the recovery of lowland tropical rainforest following agriculture

In New Jersey:

  1. Evaluating effects of historic agriculture and current restoration activity on succession and plant diversity in the New Jersey Pine Barrens
  2. Development of mycorrhizal functional groups and plant life forms in Atlantic    white-cedar from early restoration areas to old swamps. 
  3. Evaluating the medicinal properties of common invasive plants in New Jersey

In Washington State:

  1. Integrating traditional ecological knowledge into the restoration of ethnobotanically significant plants
  2. Evaluating the effects of traditional burning practices on beargrass savannas





Daniela Shebitz, Ph.D.

I am a mother of two amazing little boys who share my passion of the outdoors. Our family lives in New Jersey where we love hiking, canoeing, and getting involved in local environmental events.


Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Environmental Biology, School of Environmental and Sustainability Science (SESS), Kean University.
Courses: Ecology; Applied Ecology; Introduction to Biology; Medicinal Botany; Urban Ecology; Field Methods in Terrestrial Ecology; Senior Seminar
Vice President, New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS)
Member of Cranford Environmental Commission
Board Member of Hanson Park Conservancy
Chairperson, SESS Curriculum Committee
Co-Chair, Sustainability Task Force, Kean University
Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Faculty Advisor


Ph.D. Ecosystem Science September, 2002 – June, 2006
University of Washington, College of Forest Resources. Seattle, WA
Dissertation: Incorporating indigenous land management into the restoration of
anthropogenically-maintained beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) habitat on the Olympic
Peninsula of Washington State.

M.S. Environmental and Forest Biology August, 1999 – November, 2001
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Syracuse, NY
Thesis: Trends in Northeastern sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) populations: an ecological
and ethnobotanical analysis

B.S. Environmental and Forest Biology August, 1994 – December, 1997
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Syracuse, NY
Field Studies

Fort Lewis College and Adams College, Colorado July, 1998 – August, 1998
Ethnobotanical methods and field work with White Mountain Apache, Arizona

School for Field Studies, Costa Rica June, 1997 – July, 1997
Alternative Strategies for Tropical Ecosystem Management


  • Urban Ecology: Effects of urbanization on biodiversity, invasive species, nutrient cycling.
  • Plant Ecology: Fire-adaptations, interactions, population trends, ecological requirements.
  • Restoration Ecology: Restoring ecological functions in disturbed systems.
  • Ethnobotany: Integrating indigenous knowledge into ecological studies.
  • Historical Ecology: Fire ecology, natural and cultural history.

Download Dr. Shebitz CV CV