Committee Chair

Shaw, Joey

Committee Member

Hunt, Nyssa; Hossain, A.K.M. Azad


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


A floristic inventory in the Walls of Jericho Forever Wild Tract was conducted during the 2021-2023 growing seasons. The Walls of Jericho Forever Wild Tract is a 5,142 ha protected area in Jackson County, Alabama. In total, 32 collection trips were made for a total of ~56 field days, resulting in 709 species, representing 372 genera in 125 families. Forty species of conservation concern were documented, including 12 S1 and 17 S2 species. Eighty-five (12%) of these species were non-native. The top three most represented families were Asteraceae (14%), Poaceae (9%) and Cyperaceae (7%). Additionally, we modeled suitable habitat using MaxEnt to survey for two federally listed species; Apios priceana (Fabaceae) and Clematis morefieldii (Ranunculaceae). While no occurrences were found, the model successfully delineated suitable habitat in which several other rare species were found, such as Blephelia subnuda (Lamiaceae), Asplenium ruta-mariana (Aspleniaceae), and Viburnum bracteatum (Viburnaceae).


I would like to thank my loving and supportive family, including my parents Jana and Kirk Kristian, my father Mark Billings, my siblings Shaylee and Corey and my dog Grover. I would especially like to thank Avery Young, who provided countless support both in the field and at home. I would also like to thank all members of the Shaw lab, especially Seyvn Brothers who tirelessly reminded me of deadlines and helped me get through numerous conferences and presentations. I also cannot express my appreciation enough to my advisor, Joey Shaw. He taught me to become a much better botanist by helping me through keys and lending knowledge and guidance to press better specimens. And of course, for always helping me find enough funding to eat and guiding me through the crazy world of academia. Thanks to the Alabama Department of Natural Resources for providing funding for the habitat modeling work, with a special thanks to Wayne Barger for helping in the field and with planning and implementing the project. Thanks to my committee members Nyssa Hunt and Dr. Azad Hossain for guidance with the modeling and statistics. Finally, I would like to thank my life-long mentor, and “great-aunt Mary”, Mary Barkworth, who has always been a wonderful source of guidance and reassurance in the stressful and sometimes frightening world of botany and academia. Truly, without Mary I would not be where I am today.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Plants--Jackson County (Ala.)--Identification


Floristics; Botany; MaxEnt; Species Distribution Models

Document Type

Masters theses




xv, 119 leaves





Date Available


Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 2025