Professor Cheplick is a plant ecologist who teaches courses in Botany, Ecology, and Evolution.  He also participates in the M.S. program in Environmental Science, teaching courses in Community and Population Ecology.  He is a member of the CUNY graduate faculty and has taught at the college since 1993.  Over the years, many undergraduate students have conducted research in Dr. Cheplick’s lab and greenhouse, and at coastal field sites along the south shore of Staten Island.  This has resulted in papers co-authored with CSI students published in peer-reviewed botanical and ecological journals.


BS, Edinboro University (Pennsylvania)

MS, Rutgers University

PhD, Rutgers University

Scholarship / Publications

Professor Cheplick’s primary area of research is in the population biology of herbaceous plants, especially grasses.  Using the beaches of Staten Island as a natural laboratory, he and his students have investigated the dynamics and reproductive ecology of native grasses crucial to the coastal ecosystem.  A second area of research concerns the microscopic fungal symbionts known as endophytes that live within the leaves of many perennial grasses, including globally important forage and turf species.  A primary objective of this work is to determine the impact of endophytes on the physiology, growth, competitive ability, and stress tolerance of the grass host.  To date, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers in internationally recognized botanical and ecological journals.  He has also published several book chapters.  In 1998, he edited a volume on the “Population Biology of Grasses” (Cambridge University Press).  He is one of the editors of the journal Evolutionary Ecology and in 2009 published a book on the “Ecology and Evolution of the Grass-Endophyte Symbiosis” (Oxford University Press).
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