Mary Williams

Mary Williams


Postdoc Research Associate


Mary took an interest in science through the pages of National Geographic along with her parents’ command “go play outside.” After an early career of romping around the Pacific Northwest collecting frogs to fill her neighbor’s swimming pool, she pursued degrees in biology and rangeland ecology. She has spent most of her adult career in the arid lands of Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming studying mine-land reclamation and shrub-steppe ecological sites. 

Research Interests

  • Restoration ecology, shrub-steppe ecosystems, inventory and monitoring, native plant propagation, rangeland health, wildlife habitat, and vegetation structure

Recent Publications

  • Williams, M.I., G.B. Paige, T.L. Thurow, A.L. Hild, and K.G. Gerow. 2011. Songbird relationships to shrub-steppe ecological site characteristics. Rangeland Ecology and Management 64:109-118.
  • Williams, M.I., T.L. Thurow, G.B. Paige, A.L. Hild, and K.G. Gerow. 2011. Shrubland passerine bird density patterns in relation to ecological sites. In: C.L. Wambolt, S.G. Kitchen, M. R. Fisina, B. Sowell, R.B. Keigley, P. Palacios, and J. Robinson (EDS). Proceedings: 15th Wildland Shrub Symposium. Bozeman, MT, USA: Natural Resources and Environmental Issues 16. 292 p.
  • Hild, A.L., N.L. Shaw, G.B. Paige, and M.I. Williams. 2009. Native plant re-establishment: What is integrated reclamation? In: R.I. Bamhisel (ED). Proceedings: Billings Land Reclamation Symposium: Revitalizing the environment: proven solutions and innovative approaches. Lexington, KY, USA: American Society of Mining and Reclamation.

Current Research

  • Mary is working with researchers from Michigan Tech University and US Forest Service on an annotation of native plant transfer guidelines with special emphasis on assisted migration, climate change, nursery operations, seed collection and storage, and restoration. A major goal of this project is to provide a literary foundation that will identify knowledge gaps and guide research and development to factor in future climate scenarios.