Jonathan R Pleban



jrpleban at buffalo edu

Research interests

  • Plant hydrology

  • Restoration ecology

  • Phytoremediation and rhizodegradation

  • Brown field remediation

Personal statement

As a lifelong resident of the Western New York Area, Jonathan is very familiar with the history of industrial contamination. Jonathan has been tracking the regional developments surrounding the rehabilitation of local brown fields, and is excited about the promise and direction of these efforts.   He endeavors to develop connections to these rehabilitation projects so that he will be able to see research and practice in action (and contribute to the progress).

Jonathan graduated from Canisius College with a BS in Biology in 2002.  Thereafter, he obtained an MS in special education from the Canisius College, and has been working as a special education teacher for the past decade.  Jonathan is excited to be joining the ERIE IGERT research program within the department of Geography. The ability to focus his attention on his research interests (without having to juggle those interests with full-time teaching role) is invigorating.

From a research perspective, Jonathan is interested in utilizing population genetics to enhance restoration practices including uses in phytoremediation and rhizodegradation. He is interested in identifying how the genetic variation within source vegetative populations can influence the success of a restoration project. Furthermore, Jonathan hopes to contribute to the developing understanding of how environmental conditions and the genetic variation of both plants and microbes are linked.


  • BS Biology (Canisius College, 2002)

  • MS Education (Canisius College, 2006)


  • Pleban, J; Mackay, D.S., Aston, T., Ewers, B.E. & Wienig, C. (2013, December) Quantitative comparisons of three modeling approaches for characterizing drought response of a highly variable, widely grown crop species. Poster presentation to American Geophysical Union, 2013 Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA

  • Pleban, J; Mackay, D.S., Aston, T. & Ewers, B.E. (2013, October) Using an ecosystem process model to assess drought response of Brassica rapa genotypes. Presentation to the Middle States Division of the American Association of Geographers, 2013 Fall Meeting, Buffalo, New York.