Zach Sylvain, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
(317) 955-6403
Marian Hall, Room 250

Zachary Sylvain


Zach Sylvain is an assistant professor of biology in the Marian University college of Arts and Sciences. He earned a B.Sc. in biology and M.Sc. in entomology from McGill University, and his Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University, where he studied the effects of drought on soil organisms at regional/global and local scales in the western US and Antarctica. He was a visiting postdoctoral fellow with the Canadian Forest Service at the Atlantic Forestry Centre in New Brunswick where he studied interactions between and outbreaking insect (spruce budworm) and soil communities, and the role shrub willow planting can play in establishing soil communities during restoration of a surface coal mine. He was then a postdoctoral scientist with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, where he led a project studying how successful oilfield reclamation efforts have been in restoring rangeland plant, insect and soil communities and potential pitfalls in current reclamation methods. He joined the Marian faculty in 2020, where he will continue to study the effects of environmental changes (especially drought, urbanization, and species invasions) and restoration activities on insects, soil invertebrates and interactions between aboveground and belowground organisms.


  • Ph.D. Ecology, Colorado State University, 2013
  • M.S. Entomology, McGill University, 2008
  • B.S. Biology, McGill University, 2004

Professional affiliations

  • Ecological Society of America (2009-present; Soil Ecology and Restoration Ecology sections)
  • Soil Ecology Society (2009-present)
  • Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (2014-present)
  • Acadian Entomological Society (2014-2016)


  • BIO 202 Evolution and Ecology
  • BIO 265 Geographic Information Systems
  • BIO 373 Zoology

Research interests/portfolio

  • Interactions between plants, insects, and soil invertebrates
  • Impacts of environmental changes (e.g., drought, urbanization, invasive plants) on invertebrates
  • Ecosystem restoration and reclamation
  • Long-term ecological research


Please contact me via email for a copt of any listed publication of interest which you cannot access.

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