Skip to Main Content

Matthew E. Baker

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


Research Interests

Watershed ecology; riparian ecosystems; landscape ecology; biodiversity, ecohydrology and biogeochemistry in urban and rural systems; geospatial applications

Recent Research Activities
  • Geomorphic effects of dam removal on the Patapsco River (NOAA)
  • Biodiversity, structural, and functional characteristics of forest patches along urban land use gradients (in partnership with Baltimore Greenspace, USFS, Baltimore Ecosystem Study)
  • Riparian indicators of eco-hydraulic function for improved watershed management and monitoring (MD SeaGrant)
  • Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis (TITAN): download R package from CRAN here
  • Tracking the effects of urbanization on stream communities through time (MD SeaGrant)
  • Causal Analysis: applications of machine learning to inform hypotheses and structural equations
  • Analytical approaches for detecting community response to environmental gradients in streams along urban-rural gradients (USGS, Mass. Dept 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)
Selected Recent Publications

* denotes student author

Van Appledorn* M and ME Baker. (in revision). Constraints on floodplain forest functional trait distributions. Ecology.

Van Appledorn* M and ME Baker. (in revision). Flooding does not always constrain riparian species composition: evidence of environmental filtering and limiting similarity in floodplain forests. Journal of Vegetation Science.

Van Appledorn* M, A Miller, ME Baker. (in revision). Empirical evaluation of two-dimensional hydraulic models for applications in floodplain forest ecology. Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

Baker, ME, ML Schley*, JO Sexton. (in revision). Impacts of expanding impervious surface on specific conductance in urbanizing streams. Water Resources Research.

Dandois*, J, M Baker, M Olano, G Parker, E Ellis. (in press).  What is the Point? Using Computer Vision Point Clouds to Observe Vegetation Structure and Spectral Properties.  Remote Sensing.

Collins, MJ, NP Snyder, G Boardman, WSL Banks, M Andrews, ME Baker, M Conlon, A Gellis, S McClain, A Miller, P Wilcock. 2017. Channel response to sediment release: insights from a paired dam-removal analysis.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 10.1002/esp.4108.

Donovan* M, AJ Miller, ME Baker. 2016. Reassessing the role of milldams in Piedmont floodplain development and remobilization. 2016. Geomorphology 268:133-145.

Utz, R, K Hopkins , D Booth , R Hawley , ME Baker, L Beesley , M Freeman, K Jones. 2016. Do specific natural watershed and channel attributes confer ecological resistance to urbanization in streams? Freshwater Science 35(1):380-397.

Lallement* M, P Macchi, P Vigliano, S Juarez, M Baker, N Bouwes, T Crowl. 2016. Rising from the ashes: changes in salmonid fish assemblages following the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic eruption. Science of the Total Environment 541:1041-105.

Koch, BJ, CM Febria, RM Cooke, JD Hosen*, ME Baker, AR Colson, S Filoso, K Hayhoe, JV Loperfido, AMK Stoner, MA Palmer. 2015. Suburban watershed nitrogen retention: estimating the effectiveness of stormwater management structures. Elementa 3:63 doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000063

Smith*, R, PD Venugopal*, ME Baker, WO Lamp. 2015. Regional and local processes structure a stream insect metacommunity in a partially urbanized landscape. Freshwater Biology doi: 10.1111/fwb.12605.

Suding, K, E Higgs, M Palmer, JB Callicott, CB Anderson, ME Baker, JJ Gutrich, KL Hondula, MC LaFevor, BMH Larson, A Randall, JB Ruhl, KZS Schwartz. 2015. Committing to ecological restoration. Science 348(6235):638-640

Dandois, JP, D Nadwodny*, E Anderson*, A Bofto*, ME Baker, EC Ellis. 2015. Forest census and map data for two temperate deciduous forest edge woodlot patches in Baltimore MD, USA. Ecology 96(6):1734-1734.

Donovan, M*, AJ Miller, ME Baker, A Gellis. 2015. Long-term sediment erosion from Mid-Atlantic tributaries of Chesapeake Bay. Geomorphology DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.025.

Jones, DK*, ME Baker, AJ Miller, T Jarnigan, 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, 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.

Studds, C, WV Deluca*, ME Baker, RS King, 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.

Recent Presentations

Baker, ME and D Rich. 2016. Assessing causality with probabilistic reasoning, graphical models, and automated learning algorithms: a case study in Appalachian Surface Mining. Sacramento, CA.

Baker, ME. 2015. Landscape approaches to nutrient and sediment management in streams: past research and future directions. Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting. Milwaukee, WI.

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

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

Ph.D. Students

Peter Claggett (UMBC-GES), Alex Rittle (UMBC-GES)

Master’s Students

Katherine Ralston (UMBC-GES), Dylan Rich (UMBC-GES), Zach Clifton (UMBC-GES)

Former  Students

Molly Van Appledorn (MS 2009, PhD 2016, @USGS), Dan Jones (MS 2013, @USGS), Haley Martin (MS 2012, @BCCC), Christina Simini (MS 2012, @ECS Mid-Atlantic), Matthew Panunto (MS 2012, @USFS), Mattie Whitmore (MS 2012, @Booze Allen), Andrew Hill (MS 2010, @BLM), Amanda Schulz (MS 2010)

Courses Taught

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