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




  • Shebitz, D.J., *R. Gomez, and *A. Casimir. 2013. A preliminary study of Nicaraguan and Costa Rican medicinal plant knowledge in the Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 7(13): 790-798.
  • Shebitz, D. J. and W. Eaton. 2013. Forest structure, nutrients, and Pentaclethra macroloba growth after deforestation of Costa Rican lowland forests. ISRN Ecology: Volume 2013, Article ID 414357, 10 pages,

  • Smith-Sebasto, N.J. and D.J. Shebitz. 2013. Creation of an Innovative Sustainability Science Undergraduate Degree Program: A10-Step Process. Innovative Higher Education Volume 38 (2):129-141.
  • Dobosiewicz, J., D. Shebitz and *J. Tuohy. 2012. Using a bioblitz to connect species richness and environmental characteristics in an urban watershed. Middle States Geographer. 44:47-56.

  • Shebitz, D.J. and C.Crandell. 2012. Weaving biological and cultural diversity. Pages 156-169, Chapter 9 In From the Hands of a Weaver: Olympic Peninsula Basketry Through Time. J.Wray [ed]. Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee. University of Oklahoma Press. 245pp.

  • Eaton, W.D., D. Shebitz, *K. Niemera, and *C. Looby. 2012. The Effects of the N-Fixing Tree Pentaclethra macroloba on the above and below ground communities within a primary forest in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. Pages 57-78, Chapter 4 In The Functioning of Ecosystems, Edited by Ali, M. ISBN 979-953-307-871-6.  InTech Publications. 332pp.

    Shebitz, D.J. and J.E. James. 2010. When Smokey Says “No”: Fire-less Methods for Growing Plants Adapted to Cultural Fire Regimes. USDA Forest Service Proceedings, RMRS-P-62. 2010: 17-23.

  • J.E. James and D.J. Shebitz. 2010. Establishing, Conducting, and Maintaining Mutually Beneficial, Collaborative Research Efforts with Tribes. USDA Forest Service Proceedings, 6 RMRS-P-62. 2010: 5-7.
  • Shebitz, D.J., S. Reichard, and P. Dunwiddie. 2009. Ecological and cultural significance of burning beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) habitat on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA. Journal of Ecological Restoration 23(3):306-319.

  • Shebitz, D.J., K. Ewing, J. Gutierrez*. 2009. Preliminary observations of using smoke-water to increase low-elevation beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) germination. Native Plants Journal 10(1):13-20.
  • Shebitz, D.J., S.H. Reichard, and W. Woubneh. 2008. Beargrass on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington: Autecology and Population Status. Northwest Science 82(2): 128-140.

  • Peter, D. and D.J. Shebitz. 2006. Historic anthropogenically-maintained beargrass savannas of the southeastern Olympic Peninsula. Restoration Ecology 14(4):605-615.

  • Storm, L. and D. Shebitz. 2006. Evaluating the Purpose, Extent, and Ecological Restoration Applications of Indigenous Burning Practices in Southwestern Washington. Journal of Ecological Restoration 24(4):256-268.
  • Gold, W., K. Ewing, J. Banks, M. Groom, T. Hinkley, D. Secord, and D. Shebitz. 2006. Collaborative Ecological Restoration. Science Magazine 312: 1880-1881

  • Shebitz, D.J. 2006. The Historical Role and Current Restoration Applications of Fire in Maintaining Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) Habitat on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. A dissertation. University of Washington, Seattle.

  • Shebitz, D.J.  2005. Weaving traditional ecological knowledge into the restoration of basketry plants.  Journal of Ecological Anthropology 9:51-68.
  • Shebitz, D.J. and R.W. Kimmerer.  2005. Re-establishing roots of a Mohawk Community and a culturally significant plant:  sweetgrass. Restoration Ecology 13(2):257-264.
  • Shebitz, D. J. and R.W. Kimmerer.  2004.  Population trends and ecological requirements of sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata: integration of traditional and scientific ecological knowledge.  Journal of Ethnobiology 24(1): 93-111.
  • Shebitz, D.  2002.  Piecing together history. Book review of Egan, D. and E.A. Howell.  2001. The Historical Ecology Handbook: A Restorationist’s Guide to Reference Ecosystems. Island Press, Washington, D.C 457pp. Conservation Biology. 16 (2): 565.

  •  Blaustein, L, J.E. Garb, D. Shebitz, and E. Nevo. 1999.  Microclimate, developmental plasticity and community structure in artificial temporary pools. Hydrobiologia 392:187-196.