Matt Madsen

Research Scientist

 U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS


Dr. Madsen is a Research Scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Burns, OR.  He received his BS (2004) in Watershed and Earth Systems and his MS (2006) in Soil Science from Utah State University. His PhD (2009) was from Brigham Young University in Wildlife and Wildland Conservation. He joined the research group at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in May 2010.

Research Objective

The primary objective of Dr. Madsen’s research program is to determine the limiting factors controlling rangeland-reseeding success, and utilize this knowledge in the development of methods and technologies that result in the establishment of functional plant communities.  Linked objectives include: 1) quantifying the role and impact of edaphic, climatic and biotic factors (e.g., drought, seasonal temperature change, water repellency, crusting soils, salinity, weed competition), on rangeland reseeding success and plant productivity; 2) determining how barriers to restoration success vary at both individual plant and landscape level; and 3) develop and or identify seed enhancement technologies (e.g., seed coating, pelleting, deterrents, biological and physiological treatments, and other non-traditional methods) that are capable of mitigating ecological processes and conditions limiting plant establishment. 

Published Research


Madsen, M.D., D.L. Zvirzdin, S.L. Petersen, B.G. Hopkins, and B.A. Roundy.  Anchor Chaining’s Influence on Soil Hydrology and Seeding Success in Burned Piñon-juniper Woodlands.  Rangeland Ecology & Management 68: 231-240.

Davies, K.W., C.S. Boyd, D.D. Johnson, A.M. Nafus, and M.D. Madsen.  2015.  Success of Seeding Native Compared to Introduced Perennial Vegetation for Revegetating Medusahead-invaded Sagebrush Rangeland.  Rangeland Ecology & Management 68:224-230.

Davies, K.W., M.D. Madsen, A.M. Nafus, C.S. Boyd, and D.D. Johnson. 2014.  Can imazapic and seeding be applied simultaneously to rehabilitate medusahead-invaded rangeland? Single vs. multiple entry.  Rangeland Ecology and Management 67:650-656.

Madsen, M.D., D.L. Zvirzdin, B.A. Roundy, and S.J. Kostka.  2014.  Improving Reseeding Success after Catastrophic Wildfire with Surfactant Seed Coating Technology.  American Society for Testing and Materials 33:44-55.

Davies, K.W., J.D. Bates, M.D. Madsen, and A.M. Nafus.  2014.  Restoration of Mountain Big Sagebrush steppe following prescribed burning to control western juniper.  Environmental Management 53:1015-1022.

Madsen, M.D., K.W. Davies, D.L. Mummey, and T.J. Svejcar. 2014. Improving Restoration of Exotic Annual Grass-Invaded Rangelands Through Activated Carbon Seed Enhancement Technologies. Rangeland Ecology & Management: 67: 61-67.

Madsen, M.D., E.G. Coronel, and B.G. Hopkins. 2013. Soil Surfactant Products for Improving Hydrologic Function in Post-fire Water Repellent Soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal 77: 1825–1830

Davies, K.W., A.M. Nafus, and M.D. Madsen.  2013.  Medusahead Invasion Along Unimproved Roads, Animal Trails, and Random Transects. Western North American Nauralist 73:54-59.

Madsen, M. D., S. J. Kostka, A. Hulet, B. E. Mackey, M. A. Harrison, and M. F. McMillan.  2013.  Surfactant Seed Coating – A Strategy to Improve Turfgrass Establishment on Water Repellent Soils.  International Symposium on Adjuvants for Agrochemicals, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil - April 22-26, 2013.

Madsen, M.D., S.L. Petersen, K.J. Fernelius, B.A. Roundy, A.G. Taylor and B.G. Hopkins.  2012.  Influence of Soil Water Repellency on Seedling Emergence and Plant Survival in a Burned Semi-Arid Woodland.  Arid Land Research and Management, 26:3, 236-249.

Madsen, M.D., K.W. Davies, C.J. Williams, and T.J. Svejcar.  2012.  Agglomerating Seeds to Enhance Native Seedling Emergence and Growth.  Journal of Applied Ecology, 49:431-438.

Madsen, M.D., S.J. Kostka, A.L. Inouye, and D.L. Zvirzdin.  2012.  Postfire Restoration of Soil Hydrology and Wildland Vegetation Using Surfactant Seed Coating Technology.  Society of Range Management, Rangeland Ecology & Mgmt, 65(3):253-259.

 Madsen, M.D., S.L. Petersen, B.A. Roundy, B.G. Hopkins, and A.G. Taylor.  2012.  Comparison of Postfire Soil Water Repellency Amelioration Strategies on Bluebunch Wheatgrass and Cheatgrass Survival.  Society of Range Management, Rangeland Ecology & Management, 65(2):182-188.

Madsen, M.D., D.L. Zvirzdin, S.L. Petersen, B.G. Hopkins, B.A. Roundy and D.G. Chandler.  2011.  Soil Water Repellency within a Burned Pinon-Juniper Woodland: Sparial Distribution, Severity, and Ecohydrologic Implications.  Soil Science Soc Amer Journal 75:1543-1553 July-August 2011.

Madsen, M.D., D.L. Zvirzdin, B.D. Davis, S.L. Petersen and B.A. Roundy. 2011. Feature extraction techniques for measuring pinon and juniper tree cover and density, and comparison with field-based management surveys.  Environmental Management 47:766-776 

Davies, K.W., S.L. Petersen, D.D. Johnson, D.B. Davis, M.D. Madsen, D.L. Zvirzdin, and J.D Bates. 2010. Estimating juniper cover from NAIP imagery and evaluating relationships between potential cover and environmental variables. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 63:630–637. DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-09-00129.1.

Madsen, M.D., D.G. Chandler, and J. Belnap. 2008. Spatial Gradients in Ecohydrologic Properties within a Pinyon-Juniper Ecosystem. Ecohydrology 1: 349-360. DOI: 10.1002/eco.29.

Madsen, M.D., and D.G. Chandler. 2007. Automation and use of Mini Disk Infiltrometers. Soil Science Society of America Journal 71:1469-1472. doi:10.2136/sssaj2007.0009N.

Madsen, M.D., D.G. Chandler, and W.D. Reynolds. 2007. Influence of experimental bias and boundary conditions on saturated core hydraulic conductivity. Soil Science Society of America Journal 72:750-757. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2007.0254.

Lebron, I., M.D. Madsen, D.G. Chandler, D.A. Robinson, O. Wendroth, and J. Belnap. 2007. Ecohydrological controls on soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity within a pinyon-juniper woodland. Water Resources Research 43 (8): W08422, doi:10.1029/2006WR005398.


Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings

Madsen, M.D., K.W. Davies, C.S. Boyd, J.D. Kerby, D.L. Carter, and T.J. Svejcar.  2013.  Restoring North America’s Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystem Using Seed Enhancement Technologies. Proceedings of the International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia – September 15-19, 2013.



Madsen, M.D., S.L. Petersen, and A.G. Taylor. 2010. Seed coating compositions and methods for applying soil surfactants to water-repellent soil. Pub. No. WO/2010/111309. International Application No. PCT/US2010/28371.

Madsen, M.D., and T. J. Svejcar. 2011. Development and Application of “Seed Pillow” Technology for Overcoming the Limiting Factors Controlling Rangeland Reseeding Success” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/707,853 (0066.11).


For more information phone or email Dr. Madsen at:

(541) 573-8915 or