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Joseph Bentz , Ph.D.

Walter F. Bien, PhD

Research Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Director, Laboratory of Pinelands Research
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Office: PISB 315
Phone: 215.895.2266
Fax: Lab: PISB 301 J1
Lab Phone: 215.895.2271

Additional Sites:
The Laboratory of Pinelands Research
Warren Grove Range


  • BS, West Chester University
  • MS, College of New Jersey
  • PhD, Drexel University

Research Interests:

My research focuses on community ecology (New Jersey Pine Barrens), conservation biology, natural resource management, and restoration ecology.


Walter F. Bien, PhD is research professor and Director of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research.  He is Principal Investigator at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range (WGR), Burlington County, New Jersey where his research focuses on the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the Pine Barrens ecosystem. Current research projects at WGR include rare plant community analysis, fire management assessment,  fire effects on disturbance-dependent species, spatial ecology of the northern pine snake, lepidoptera community analysis, seed banking and dispersal mechanisms in Rhynchospora knieskernii,  pollination ecology in Gentiana autumnalis.

Bien received the 2006 Environmental Excellence Award from the United States Air Force Air National Guard for research at Warren Grove Range. His research has been highlighted on New Jersey News Science Edition, New Jersey NPR: Sounds of Science, and in People of the Pines (2007) by Plexus Press. He has collaborated with researchers from Rutgers University, Columbia University, Montclair University, Ramapo College, William Patterson, USDA, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, and New Jersey DEP on Pinelands issues. Bien is a member of numerous professional organizations and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in marine field methods, tropical ecology, terrestrial ecology and field botany. Bien is a strong advocate for environmental conservation and has collaborated with other scientists, government agencies, and NGOs with research interests in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Before coming to Drexel University Bien was a public educator for 31 years. He has been involved with secondary education outreach since coming to Drexel and serves on several external education committees. Bien received the 2007 Outstanding Research and Education Award from the New Jersey Marine Education Association. He has been on the Board of Directors for the Natural Resources Education Foundation at the Lighthouse Center in Waretown, New Jersey since 2001.  Bien is Co-PI on the Earthwatch Diamond Back Terrapin Project at Barnegat Bay and has been Co-PI on the Leatherback Turtle Research Project in Playa Grande, Costa Rica.


Selected Publications:

  • Bien, W.F., Spotila, J.R., and T. Gordon 2009. Distribution trends of rare plants at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range. Bartonia 64:1-18.
  • Smith, R.M., Bien, W.F., Spotila, J.R. and Avery, H.W. 2008. Coexistence of rattlesnakes and military operations: occurrence and spatial ecology of the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) on the Warren Grove Gunnery Range in the Pinelands of New Jersey. In: The Biology of the Rattlesnake. W. Hayes, K. Beaman, M. Caldwell and S. Bush (eds.), Loma Linda University Press, Loma Linda, CA pp. 606.
  • Sheridan, C.M., J.R. Spotila, W. Roosenburg, W.F. Bien and H.W. Avery 2010. Inter-population variation of multiple paternity in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Molecular Ecology. 19: 5497–5510.