Matt Orr has a BA in biology from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in population biology from the University of California, Davis. His students examine questions in terrestrial and restoration ecology in forest, field, and stream habitats in Central Oregon. He has also begun to apply principles of restoration ecology to the gut microbiome.
His research has been published in Nature, Ecology, Evolution, Animal Behavior, and the Quarterly Review of Biology, and can be viewed on Research Gate and Google Scholar (curriculum vitae).
Testing for behavioral relationships between scavenging corvids and raptors using a synthetic carcass (deer hide) and raven decoys (Orr et al. 2019 Animal Behaviour 153: 105-113).
Building beaver dam analogs on the South Fork of the Crooked River with Bi 375, Field Methods in Ecological Restoration. Watch video
Hindman Springs is the visitor portion of the Deschutes Land Trust’s Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. It was historically disturbed by livestock (note barn frame) and heavily infested by cheatgrass and other invasives (left photo). We used solarization to remove the invasive plant seedbank and help restore the area to a mix of natives (right photo; Orr et al. 2019 Invasive Plant Science and Management 12: 112-119). The student in the left photo, Michelle Elpi, was the first student to break ground on our first solarization trial.
I constructed this field camp with help from Trout Unlimited. My summer field course (Bi 375: Field Methods in Ecological Restoration) stays here to study restoration of standing dead wood by bark beetle pheromones, tree topping, and girdling, and subsequent use by cavity-nesters. The site also serves as a staging spot for other studies in the region.
I built this field camp on the South Fork of the Crooked River with permission from the property owner. Our summer field course stays here to study stream restoration.