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Matthew E. Baker

Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002
Associate Professor
211-K Sondheim Hall


Research Interests

Watershed ecology, riparian ecosystems, landscape ecology, ecohydrology and biogeochemistry in urban and rural systems


Recent Research Activities
  • Riparian indicators of eco-hydraulic function for improved watershed management and monitoring (MD Sea Grant)
  • Tracking the effects of urbanization on stream communities through time (MD Sea Grant)
  • Analytical approaches for detecting community response to environmental gradients in streams along urban-rural gradients (USGS, MA Fish and Game)
  • The influence of network structure and connectivity on stream community assembly (NSF)
  • The role of riparian hydrology and geomorphology in contributing to regional greenhouse gas emissions (USDA-CSREES)
  • Biophysical controls on invasion success in low-productivity environments: exotic trout in Andean Patagonia (CONICET)
Selected Recent Publications

* denotes student author

Jones, DK*, ME Baker, AJ Miller, T Jarnigan, and DM Hogan. 2014. Tracking geomorphic signatures of watershed suburbanization with multi-temporal LiDAR.  Geomorphology 219:42-52.

Liu, X*,P Vidon, PA Jacinthe, K Fisher, ME Baker. 2014. Seasonal and geomorphic controls on N and P removal in riparian zones of the US Midwest.  Biogeochemistry 119:245-257.

Fisher K*, Jacinthe PA, P Vidon, X Liu*, ME Baker. 2014. Nitrous oxide emission from cropland and adjacent riparian buffers in contrasting hydrogeomorphic settings.  Journal of Environmental Quality. 43:338-348.

Vidon, P, P Jacinthe, X Liu*, K Fisher*, ME Baker.  2014. Hydrobiogeochemical controls on riparian nutrient and greenhouse gas dynamics: 10 years post-restoration. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 50(3):639-672.

Weller, DE and ME Baker. 2014. Cropland riparian buffers throughout Chesapeake Bay watershed: spatial patterns and effects on nitrate loads delivered to streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 50(3):696-710.

King, RS and ME Baker. 2014. Use, misuse, and limitations of Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN) for estimating ecological community thresholds. In: G. Guntenspergen (editor), Application of Threshold Concepts in Natural Resource Decision Making, Springer, New York.

Baker ME and RS King. 2013. Of TITAN and straw men: an appeal for greater understanding of community data. Freshwater Science 32(2):489-506.

Sexton, JO, X-P Song*, C Huang, ME Baker, and JR Townshend. 2013. Urban growth of the Washington, D.C – Baltimore, MD metropolitan region from 1984 to 2010 by annual continuous fields of impervious cover. Remote Sensing of the Environment 129:42-53.

Ramsey, RD, CM McGinty, JH Lowry, EI Leydsman McGinty, LA Langs Stoner, BA Crabb, WA Adair, A Hernandez, ME Baker, JC Schmidt, M Majerova, B Hudson, and AK Montrone. 2012. Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway: Natural resource condition assessment. Natural Resource Report NPS/GRYN/NRR—2012/550. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Studds, C, WV Deluca*, ME Baker, RS King, and PP Marra. 2012. Land cover and climatic variation interact to shape waterbird community composition. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35969. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.00359693.

Tesfa*, TK, DG Tarboton, DW Watson, KA Schreuders, ME Baker, RM Wallace. 2011. Extraction of hydrological proximity measures from DEMs using parallel processing. Environmental Modelling and Software doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.07.018

Lowry* JH, ME Baker, RD Ramsey. 2011. Determinants of urban tree canopy in residential neighborhoods: household characteristics, urban form, and the geophysical landscape. Urban Ecosystems doi: 10.1007/s11252-011-0185-4

King, RS and ME Baker. 2011. An alternative view of ecological community thresholds and appropriate analyses for their detection. Comment. Ecological Applications doi:10.1890/10-0882.1

Budy, P, ME Baker, SK Dahle*. 2011. Predicting fish growth potential and identifying water quality constraints: a spatially-explicit bioenergetics approach. Environmental Management doi: 10.1007/s00267-011-9717-1.

King, RS, ME Baker, PF Kazyak, DE Weller. 2011. How novel is too novel? Stream community thresholds at exceptionally low levels of catchment urbanization. Ecological Applications 21(5):1659-1678.

Weller, DE, ME Baker, TE Jordan. 2011. Empirical tests for effects of riparian buffers on watershed nitrate discharges. Ecological Applications 21(5):1679-1695.

King, RS and ME Baker. 2010. Considerations for identifying and interpreting ecological community thresholds. Journal of the North American Benthological Association 29(3):998-1008.

Baker ME and RS King. 2010. A new method for identifying and interpreting ecological community thresholds. Methods in Ecology & Evolution 1:25-37.

Baker, ME and MJ Wiley. 2009. Multiscale controls of flooding in riparian forests of Lower Michigan. Ecology.90(1):145-159.

Baker, ME, DE Weller, TE Jordan. 2007. Effects of stream map resolution on measures of riparian buffer distribution and nutrient retention potential. Landscape Ecology 22:973-992.

Baker, ME, DE Weller, TE Jordan. 2006. Improved methods for quantifying potential nutrient interception by riparian buffers. Landscape Ecology 21(8):1327-1345.

King, RS, ME Baker, DF Whigham, DE Weller, TE Jordan, PF Kazyak, MK Hurd. 2005. Spatial considerations for linking watershed land cover to ecological indicators in streams. Ecological Applications 15(1):137-152.

Recent Presentations

Baker, ME, and RS King. 2014.  Understanding community response to novel environments through taxon-specific change: updates to Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis.  Joint Aquatic Science Meetings, Portland, OR.

Baker, ME, ML Schley, JO Sexton. 2014.  Temporal patterns of stream chemistry during urbanization.  Society for Urban Stream Ecology, Portand, OR.

Baker, ME, HM Martin, ML Schley, JO Sexton. 2013.  Anlaysis of exurbanization impacts on stream chemistry and macroinvertebrates: a spatially extensive 25-year retrospective.  Society for Freshwater Science, Jacksonville, FL.

Baker, ME and RS King. Reconciling perspectives of community change: refinements to Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis. North American Benthological Society  (NABS), Louisville, KY, June 2012.

Baker, ME and JC Schmidt.  Some implications of recent climate change for Grand Teton National Park. US-IALE Symposium, Newport, RI, April 2012.

Baker, ME. 2010. Opportunities at the interface of hydrology and ecology. National Research Council’s Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences. National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, Invited Speaker, Sept 9th, 2010.

Baker ME and RS King 2009 Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN): a new method for detecting biodiversity and ecological community thresholds. Invited Webinar U.S. EPA National Center for Environmental Assessment, August 2010.

Baker, ME, RS King, and PF Kazyak. 2010. Strikingly consistent biodiversity losses to watershed impervious cover across taxonomic groups revealed by Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN). ALSO/NABS Joint Meeting, Santa Fe, NM.

Weller, DE, ME Baker, and TE Jordan. 2010. Nitrate removal by riparian buffers and in-stream processes in Chesapeake Bay Catchments. ALSO/NABS Joint Meeting, Santa Fe, NM.

King, RS and ME Baker. 2010. Considerations for analyzing ecological community thresholds in response to anthropogenic environmental gradients. ALSO/NABS Joint Meeting, Santa Fe, NM.

Baker ME and RS King 2010. A new method for detecting biodiversity and ecological community thresholds. US-IALE Annual Meeting Athens, GA, April 2010.

VanAppledorn M and ME Baker. New software tools for strategic prioritization of riparian coservation and restoration. US-IALE Annual Meeting Athens, GA, April 2010.

Panunto M and ME Baker. Using a hydrogeomorhic typology to understand distributions of riparian buffers in Central Indiana. US-IALE Annual Meeting Athens, GA, April 2010.

Baker ME and RS King 2009 Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN): a new method for detecting biodiversity and ecological community thresholds. Invited Speaker Region 1 USGS/USEPA, February 2010.

Ph.D. Students

Molly Van Appledorn (UMBC-GES), Andrew Miller (UMBC-GES), Peter Claggett (UMBC-GES)

Master’s Students

Michael Glassman (UMBC-GES)

Former  Students

Dan Jones (MS 2013, @USGS), Haley Martin (MS 2012, @BCCC), Christina Simini (MS 2012, @ECS Mid-Atlantic), Matthew Panunto (MS 2012, @USEPA), Mattie Whitmore (MS 2012, @Booze Allen), Andrew Hill (MS 2010, @BLM), Amanda Schulz (MS 2010, @Peace Corps), Molly Van Appledorn (MS 2009, @UMBC)

Courses Taught

Research Methods, Physical Geography, Watershed Science and Management, Forest Ecology, Watershed Analysis & Modeling, Riparian Ecosystems