Theo Witsell

    BRIT Research Associate

    M.S. in Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    B.S. in Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

    As the senior botanist and ecologist with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Program, Theo explores and inventories some of the best remaining natural areas in the central United States.  His research helps to identify conservation targets and prioritize sites for protection, restoration, and management within the state’s System of Natural Areas and beyond.  He works closely with a variety of state, federal, municipal, and private partners to achieve conservation goals.  His research includes a number of large-scale floristic and ecological studies, focusing on the flora of rare ecosystems.  Ongoing projects include floristic inventories of various grassland ecosystems across Arkansas, the flora of shale barrens in the Ouachita Mountains, and systematic/taxonomic work in several genera including Camassia, Cardamine, Clematis, Dysphania, Erythronium, Lithospermum, and Phemeranthus.  

    Theo serves as a regional reviewer for the Flora of North America Project, was co-editor of the recently published Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas, and is currently working with collaborators on field guides to the wildflowers and woody plants of Arkansas.  Future goals are to continue to protect and restore rare species and significant natural areas, to publish a number of undescribed species he and colleagues have come across in the course of field work, and to somehow beat the odds and avoid becoming desk-bound later in his career.  He is also an avid student of the flora of eastern and central North America and enjoys doing field-based contract work anywhere east of the Rockies.

    Phone: 501.324.9615