Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Chelcey Nordstrom (EENR '15) Wins Undergraduate Presentation Award at NAFEARecent graduate Chelcey Nordstrom (EENR '15) is no stranger to awards, having won the 1st place STEM Award from Meade Senior High School in Anne Arundel County, the Roger Locandro Award from the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources for the Outstanding Student in Natural Resources, and most recently, the Undergraduate Presentation Award from the North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA). Chelcey traveled to Missoula, MT to present her George H. Cook honors thesis, titled "Insect Colonization and Decomposition of Pig Carcasses in Varying Sunlight", at the annual meeting of NAFEA, which met jointly with the Society for Wildlife and Forensic Sciences. Upon returning, Chelcey resumed her studies with Dr. Brooke Maslo on the effects of commercial oyster aquaculture on the foraging behavior of federally threatened red knots during their migratory stopover in Delaware Bay.
Two recent publications from the Winfree lab give new insights on biodiversity preservation and ecosystem functionsDr. Rachael Winfree recently published an article in Ecology Letters (featured by Nature as a research highlight), which shows that the major contribution to crop pollination in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is provided by a few common native bee species, whereas many rare species contribute little to this vital ecosystem function. In a large, international study published this month in Nature Communications, Dr. Winfree and colleagues reported that wild bee species provide significant crop pollination services averaging over $3,000 per ha per year, but that these services are provided by only 2% of the species found in the countries where the research took place. Together, these studies suggest that if other ecosystem services are similar to crop pollination, then efficient conservation of ecosystem services would target only a few common species. read more
Unfortunately, such conservation actions would likely be insufficient to support threatened species. Hence, conservation of the biological diversity, at least of bees, should be motivated not only by immediate benefits from ecosystem services, but by the full richness of arguments for conservation. Co authors from Dr. Winfree's lab are postdoc Dr. Dan Cariveau, postdoc Dr. James Reilly, graduate student Faye Benjamin, and Winfree lab alumnus Dr. Ignasi Bartomeus.
See articles at Rutgers Today, wired.com, conservationmagazine.com, natureworldreport.com, latimes.com, sciencedaily.com, qz.com, independent.co.uk, theguardian.com, washingtonpost.com
Students Contribute to the Success of the Delaware Bay Shorebird ProjectWith red knots and ruddy turnstones in hand, students in the undergraduate Field Techniques course contributed to the success of the annual Delaware Bay Shorebird Project. Their participation in this activity is an annual happening under the tutelage of Professor Rick Lathrop and the watchful supervision of alumnus Dr. Larry Niles of LJ Niles Associates LLC, head of the International Shorebird Project and the Habitat Conservation Initiative of Conserve Wildlife NJ, and alumna Dr. Amanda Dey of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program in NJ Department of Environmental Protection. read more
Our interdisciplinary department specializes in ecology, evolution, and natural resource conservation. We study the evolutionary origins and maintenance of biodiversity, conserving and restoring native ecosystems, and issues of global change such as managing natural resources within urban ecosystems.