The People of Team Typha:

Loyola University Chicago

2016-08-06 10.08.13 (1).jpg

Dr. Nancy Tuchman’s research focuses on human impacts on aquatic ecosystem structure and function. Her work has spanned from investigating the effects of greenhouse gases on stream ecosystem food webs, to the impacts of invasive plant and animal species on Great Lakes coastal ecosystems, to the effects of emerging contaminants such as plasticizers (Bisphenol-A), and pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics and endocrine disruptors) on streams and lakes. Working with students in research is one of the most rewarding aspects of her career. Throughout her 25-year career at Loyola University Chicago, she has mentored or co-mentored 74 undergraduate studentsand 34 graduate students. Over the past few years, Nancy has focused on her role as the founding director of Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Environmental Sustainability. The institute has been quickly growing, and is drawing an increasing number of students who recognize that we need to be better stewards of our planet.

Shane Lishawa is a core-member of Team Typha, and the work of the group is a reflection of his efforts since starting at Loyola in 2008. His research focuses on evaluating the ecological impacts of invasive wetland plants on Great Lakes coastal wetlands and developing restoration strategies that increase biodiversity and maintain ecological functions within degraded wetlands. He is driven to find sustainable solutions to environmental problems through innovation and collaboration between managers, researchers, and community organizations. Additionally Shane is an educator; over his career he has acted as a mentor for undergraduate and graduate students and has taught a variety of courses ranging in content from natural history to renewable energy. email:

Drew Monks has been working in Dr. Nancy Tuchman's wetland ecology lab since 2009. In 2013 he left to pursue a MS from Western Washington University where he used an agricultural process model called APEX to simulate a watershed in Northwestern Washington State. There he investigated watershed hydrology, crop growth, and nutrient cycling in support of a project aiming to quantify environmental benefits and nutrient reductions associated with agricultural best management practices. In 2016, Drew rejoined Team Typha as a research associate and instructor. email:


Kurtis Himmler completed his B.S. in Ecology at Rutgers University in 2016 and joined the Tuchman lab as an M.S. student in 2017.  During his time at Rutgers, he was a field technician in pollinator ecology and urban restoration ecology, as well as a curator of native bee collections.  His undergraduate research dealt with bee-flower interactions during his junior year and urban bird habitat selection during his senior year.  His research in the Tuchman lab aims to assess the impacts of invasive hybrid cattail on food resources and habitat quality for wetland birds.  Kurtis's primary interests are conservation, avian ecology, animal adaptation to human activity, and citizen science.