Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Ecosystem Design Group

THE ECOSYSTEM DESIGN GROUP team is experienced in scientific research, sustainable design and environmental consulting. To further our commitment to sustainable design practice, the team also conducts professional workshops and teaches graduate classes at The University of Texas at Austin.

Mark Simmons, Director of Research and Consulting

  • Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Management, Texas A&M University
  • M.Sc. in Botany, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • B.Sc. in Environmental Science, University of Lancaster, United Kingdom
  • Expertise includes green roofs and green wall design, sustainable turfgrass, low impact development (storm water), ecosystem restoration, urban meadows, roadside revegetation, riparian regeneration and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fire ecology.

John Hart Asher, Environmental Designer

  • M.L.A., 2007, University of Texas
  • B.A. in History, 1999, University of Mississippi
  • Related expertise includes sustainable green roof design and installation, sustainable roadside design, project management; sustainable water quality and detention practices, soil restoration/conservation practices, compost for restoration purposes, invasive species treatment and removal plans, and native plant species selection.

Matthew D. O’Toole, Environmental Designer

  • M.L.A., 2010, Texas A&M University
  • M.S. in Range & Wildlife Management, 2005, Sul Ross State University
  • B.A. in Geography, 1999, University of Texas at Austin
  • Related expertise includes project management, facilitation, master planning, land management, ecological restoration, site analysis, soil restoration/amelioration tactics, native turfgrass, invasive species management, prescribed fire coordination/implementation, Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), and workshops/webinars.

Michelle Bertelsen, Ecologist

  • M.S. Candidate Recreation, Parks & Tourism, Texas A&M University
  • B.A. in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, 1999, University of Texas
  • Related expertise includes ecological and land management, landscape restoration, water resource protection, and site analysis.

Michelle Bright, Environmental Designer

  • M.L.A., 2013, University of Texas
  • B.S. Environmental Studies and Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Related expertise includes urban ecology, master planning, sustainable design - SITES™, wetland systems, stream assessments, environmental site analysis, drafting and digital drawing, design and creative solutions.


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2013 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center