Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Taylor Lab: Research

The main focus of the Taylor Lab is the study of the biota of caves, karst, groundwater, & other subterranean environments, especially where there is relevance to conservation and management issues. There is a very general video about my cave research on youtube.  Particular areas of focus are briefly described below.

A collaborative survey & monitoring effort by the Illinois Natural History Survey, Eastern Illinois University and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Project Website



  •  Monitoring & Detection of White Nose Syndrome

See more pictures from this work here



  • Subterranean ecosystem structure and function


  • Human impacts on subterranean ecosystems at a variety of scales from landscape level to site-specific impacts


  • Karst preserve research, monitoring, and management


  • Considerations in cave and karst preserve design in relation to cave ecosystems


  • Subterranean biodiversity and knowledge gaps


  • Life history traits, taxonomy (especially pseudoscorpions and Stygobromus amphipods), and distribution of cave and karst organisms


Speleological Projects

  • White Nose SyndromePseudogymnoascus destructans and the composition of microbial communities on bats, substrates, air  & soils of Illinois bat hibernacula (with Andy Miller, Tony Yannarell, Ed Heske, Joe Merritt, & Nohra Mateus-Pinilla). >>More information available here<<.

A tricolor bat, Perimyotis subflavus, on the ceiling of a western Illinois cave, February 2012.  This species is commonly covered in water droplets. Photo by Steve Taylor / University of Illinois.

A tricolor bat, Perimyotis subflavus, on the ceiling of a western Illinois cave, February 2012. This species is commonly covered in water droplets. Photo by Steve Taylor / University of Illinois.


Collaborator Bob Weck (Southwestern Illinois College), collects a water sample from a major tributary in Fogelpole Cave (Monroe County, Illinois) while Department of Entomology graduate student Dan Swanson deploys a Hydrolab datalogger to record basic water parameters.  In the background, Western Illinois University graduate student Michelle Golz and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences senior undergraduate Scott Cinel look on. Photo by Steve Taylor / University of Illinois.

  • Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Karst Groundwater in Southwestern Illinois (with Walt Kelly [ISWS], Sam Panno [ISGS], and Wei Zheng [ISTC] )


We are systematically sample springs and caves for Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) and other water quality parameters in the Sinkhole Plain of southwestern Illinois, looking at seasonal and discharge effects and relationships among various chemical and bacterial parameters.

  • Karst groundwater contaminants in western Illinois: comparison of current conditions with historical data (with Sam Panno [ISGS] and Walt Kelly [ISWS])
  • Epikarstic groundwater ecosystems in Illinois (with Scott Cinel)
  • Belize: Bioinventory, taxonomy, conservation & management of caves, karst, and groundwater (with Sam Heads, Jean Krejca, Mike Slay, Jason Bond, Geoff Hoese & others)





  • Nevada: Bioinventory, taxonomy, conservation & management in subterranean ecosystems (with Tom Gilleland & Jean Krejca)


  • Shawnee National Forest cave bioinventory & management plans in southern Illinois (with Felipe Soto-Adames & Sam Heads)


  • T&E Invertebrate Assessment southern Illinois (with Jeremy Tiemann & Chris Taylor)
  • Biological monitoring in a mine restored as winter bat habitat, Illinois (with Clifftop Alliance)
  • Hydrobiid snails - biology and habitat use in Illinois & Missouri (with Bob Weck, Jeremy Tiemann, Chris Phillips, and Marlis Douglas) and in Arkansas (with Mike Slay)
  • Ozark cave biology (Arkansas, with Mike Slay)

A young (~80 days old) state-endangered troglobitic cavesnail, Fontigens antroecetes (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae). Video by Bob Weck, 2017.

  • Pseudoscorpion taxonomy


  • Stygobromus (Amphipoda) taxonomy (with John Holsinger & members of the Stygobromus Workng Group [Megan Porter, Matt Niemiller, Steve Taylor, Mike Slay, Dan Fong, Kirk Zigler, Chris Hobson, & Wil Orndorff)
  • Ecuador: bioinventory, taxonomy, conservation & management of subterranean biota (with Aaron Addison, Theofilos Toulkeridis, & Geoff Hoese). Our research led to being involved in a movie, Galapagos 3D (links to: youtube trailer, website), in which Taylor and Addison briefly appear.


  • Conservation, management, and bioassessment of Texas cave invertebrates (with Jean Krejca)


Other Research Areas

  • Braidwood Dunes & Savannah Nature Preserve invertebrate bioinventory (with Felipe N. Soto-Adames, Sam W. Heads, Alan Yanahan, Jim Wiker, Jamie Zahnieser, Dan Swanson and Scott Bundy).  Check out our web interface, still under development.


  • Regional biodiversity of terrestrial Heteroptera and Orthoptera in southwestern Illinois (with Sam Heads and Dan Swanson)


  • Lespedeza cuneata (Fabaceae) invasion dynamics (in collaboration with Tony Yannarell)


  • Heteroptera - biology, taxonomy and systematics
  • Aradidae

  • Carabidae (ground beetles) - diversity & ecology in Illinois

  • Algific Slopes (with Alan Yanahan)

  • Aquatic Zoology
  • Bioassessment of Illinois streams and rivers (with Chris Taylor, Kevin Cummings, Mark Wetzel, Andy Kuhns, & Jeremy Tiemann)
Entomology graduate students Dan Swanson (L) and Alan Yanahan (R) collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates in a Winnebago County, Illinois stream as part of the IDOT program's site bioassessments.  Photo by Mark J. Wetzel, 6 June 2013.

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