Department of Ecology,
Evolution and Natural Resources
Ecology and Evolution
Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Galbraith-Kent, a Ph.D. candidate in the Steven Handel lab, gave a talk on
"Native and invasive plant community research in New
Jersey" to the Short Hills, NJ chapter of the
Garden Club of America on March 15th.
Moskowitz, a Ph.D. student in Mike May’s
lab, will be presenting a talk on The Butterflies of New Jersey this month to
the Crestwood Garden Club in Toms River, New Jersey.
Joe Paulin, Ph.D. candidate in David
Ehrenfeld’s lab, gave presentations to Union
and Burrlington County Master Gardeners on reducing
unwanted human-wildlife interactions around the home and garden.
Atlantic Estuarine Research Society
Congratulations to Celine Santiago Bass! Celine won
the Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award for her paper at the Atlantic
Estuarine Research Society (AERS) conference in Philadelphia
on March 10. The paper was titled "Effects of heavy gill parasite burdens
on the anatomy, physiology and behavior of Fundulus
heteroclitus." Celine also received a
graduate student travel award of $250.00 from AERS.
Sean Boyd, a Master’s
student in the David Bushek lab, gave a
presentation at the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society titled “Establishment
and Impact of an Asian Isopod in Delaware Bay.”
Two students attended the Benthic
Ecology meeting held in Quebec
City on March 8-12.
Ramey, a Ph.D. candidate working with Fred and Judy
Grassle, presented a poster titled “Life history, habitat
selection and dispersal of a dominant polychaete Polygordius sp. nov.”.
a Master’s student with Judy Grassle,
presented a poster titled “Evaluating essential shellfish habitat (EFH) of hard
clams, Mercenaria Mercenaria,
during larval settlement and early recruitment”.
Garden State Tree Conference,
March 30, 2006
The Garden State Tree Conference will be held at the Cook Campus
Center March 30, 2006. This conference is sponsored by
the New Jersey Arborists, a chapter of the International Society for
Several members of the DEENR/E&E family will be giving
- Greg Dahle will talk on”
Branch Modeling for Load Distribution”
Posters (Lead Authors listed only) will be given by several
members of Jason Grabosky’s lab:
- Frank Gallagher, Ph.D. candidate,
on his Liberty State
- Jess Sanders, a first –year Ph.D.
student working with CRSSA and the Pinelands Commission, on Utility R.O.W.
Vegetation Management Mapping.
- Bernie Issacson,
a DEENR undergrad, on the Hyperspectral Analysis of Oak Species with Bacterial
And Jason Grabosky
will present the following on Tree Architecture:
The response of 2 oak species from reduction
of Designed Soils for Pavement Support and Urban Tree Establishment.
The full schedule of events and registration information can
be found at: http://www.njarboristsisa.com/
John Quinlan's DMCS fisheries research group
presented two papers at the Ocean Sciences Conference in Hawaii.
- Quinlan, J.A., Manderson,
J.P., Shaheen, P., Law, C.G., Pessutti, J., Kohut, J.,
Bosch, J., and Creed, L. (OS103) Two Years of Observation: The Occurrence
and Possible Ecological Role of Layered Structure in the New
York Bight. Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Ocean Sci. Meet. Suppl., Abstract
John Quinlan was also
a convener, along with M. McManus and P. Donaghay, of
the “Oceanography and Ecology of Thin Plankton Layers" session at the
Jane Goodall Institute's
Roots/Shoots Summit. Green Campus Initiative.
Jordan and four Cook
College undergraduates (Allison Gillet, Angela Gorczyca, Mary
McLaughlin, and Erin Murphy) were invited to present their work as Rutgers
University Affiliates with the national Roots/Shoots organization. The
work presented includes the use of habitat restoration as an environmental
education program for K-12 programs. The conference was held in New
York on February 11-12.
Dahle, G.A., H.H.
Holt, W.R. Chaney, T.M. Whalen, D.L. Cassens, R.Gazo, R.L. McKenzie. 2006. Branch strength loss
implications for silver maple converted from round-over to V-trim. Arboriculture & Urban
Jordan, R. 2006.
Educating Citizens serves to educate at all levels of higher education. On the Horizon 14:
Petchey, O. L., J. McGrady-Steed, and
P. J. Morin. 2005. Measuring the functional diversity of food webs. Pages 334-347, in P. C. de Ruiter, V.
Walters, and J. C. Moore (eds.), Dynamic Food Webs- Multispecies
assemblages, ecosystem development, and environmental change. Elsevier-Academic Press.
Morin, P. J. 2005. Food Webs,
Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Functioning. Pages 267-269, in P.
C. de Ruiter, V. Walters, & J. C. Moore (eds.),
Dynamic Food Webs- Multispecies assemblages,
ecosystem development, and environmental change. Elsevier-Academic
Reed, A.J., Lutz, R.A., and Vetriani, C.
Vertical Distribution and Diversity of Bacteria and Archaea
in Sulfide and Methane-Rich Cold Seep Sediments Located at the Base of the Florida
Escarpment. Extremophiles, in press (published
online: DOI: 10.1007/s00792-005-0488-6)
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Congratulations on Joanna Burger. Joanna is the
recipient of a Women and Wildlife Award for 2006 from the Conserve Wildlife
Foundation of New Jersey.
to Peter Smouse
who will be receiving a GS-NB Faculty Teaching Award this year. This
well-deserved honor recognizes Peter for his many important contributions that
have promoted excellence in graduate education at Rutgers.
Jason Grabosky has
accepted an additional three year term on the Editorial Board for Arboriculture
& Urban Forestry (previously the Journal of Arboriculture).
Grabosky has accepted an invitation to serve on an
international committee working to develop a best management practices manual
to enable the new American National Standards Institute A-300 designation
for Preserving Trees During Construction Events.
The committee will be working to link and support multiple
tree-construction protection guidelines in use in several countries.
Dr. Lukas Kratochvil, currently a Lecturer and
Research Scientist at Charles University in Prague, has been awarded a Fulbright
Fellowship to collaborate with Henry John-Alder.
Dr. Kratochvil’s fellowship is titled “Physiological perspective on the evolution
and ontogeny of sexually dimorphic traits in eye-lid geckos (Squamata: Eublepharidae)”. Dr. Kratochvil
plans to spend 5 months in Henry’s laboratory beginning in March, 2007.
Congratulations to Judy
Weis, who has been awarded a Fulbright grant to visit Sulawesi (Indonesia)
this May focusing on marine pollution issues.
was one of two Cook College
faculty representatives sent by the Cook Executive Dean's Office to the
Santa Barbara Environmental Studies Summit. They reviewed the
state-of-the-art of the field and discussed the formation of a new organization
focused on the interdisciplinary issues of environmental studies. The
summit was held February 24-25.
Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
On March 3, 2006,
a PhD candidate working with Ken Able, served
as an invited member of the Selection Committee for the 2006 National Wetlands
Award. The National Wetlands Award
provides national recognition for on-the-ground wetland conservation efforts
and decades-long dedication to protecting these important natural resources.
The National Wetlands Award Program co-sponsors—the Environmental
Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Federal Highway Administration, and NOAA Fisheries—hope that recognizing
wetland leaders for their efforts will inspire others to follow their
example. Given the national importance
of wetlands, the federal agencies that sponsor the awards welcome the
opportunity to recognize and encourage voluntary wetland conservation
Jennifer Krumins was
awarded a Bevier Fellowship by the Graduate
Brunswick for the 2006-2007 academic year. Jennifer’s
research will “evaluate the causes and consequences of microbial biodiversity
within the context of an ecosystem.”
Moskowitz, a Mike May
Ph.D. student, has been selected for the J.P. Stevens High School Hall of
Honor for "outstanding community service and professional
achievement" and will be inducted at a ceremony on April 27th at the
Woodbridge Sheraton. Dave is a member of the East Brunswick Environmental
Commission and was instrumental in getting Beckman Road
in East Brunswick closed on special nights in the spring
for the salamander migration.
To read more about the migration see www.njnaturenotes.com .
Joe Paulin, Ph.D. candidate with
David Ehrenfeld received a student travel award from the Society of
Conservation Biology to attend the 20th Annual Meeting, Conservation Without Borders, San Jose, California,
24-28 June, 2006.
Linda Rohleder, a
Ph.D. student in Joan Ehrenfeld's lab,
received a Bayard Long Award for Botanical Research from the Philadelphia
Botanical Club. The award provides $500 to fund her project entitled
"Examination of the ability of Podophyllum peltatum L. to compete against the invasive herb Alliaria petiolata (Bieb.) Cavara & Grande."
Penn, Princeton Graduate Student Conference is being
held April 1st this year at U. Penn in Philadelphia.
The ecology graduate students from Princeton, University
of Pennsylvania and Rutgers
meet yearly to give presentations on their research. The usual format is nine
speakers, each giving 15 minute talks and an informal lunch gathering. The host
university rotates yearly with graduate students at the hosting university
responsible for organizing that years meeting.
Congratulations to three students who successfully
completed their qualifying exam and advanced to candidacy in the Ph.D program.
- Matt Kimball, a Ph.D. candidate in
Ken Able’s lab, on March 8th.
- Bill Landesman, a Ph.D. candidate
in John Dighton’s lab, on March 9th.
- Joe Paulin, a Ph.D. candidate in
David Ehrenfeld’s lab, on March 7th.
Tom Virzi, a Ph.D. candidate in Julie Lockwood’s lab,successfully
defended his preliminary proposal on March 6th. Congratulations Tom.
Peter Kourtev (Ph.D. 2001, Joan Ehrenfeld advisor) has
accepted a position in the Biology Department of Central Michigan University as
a microbial ecologist. The family is planning a July move. Congratulations Peter!
(Ph.D. 2000, advisor Joanna Burger) is an
Assistant Professor at Wagner College
in Staten Island, NY.
Two recent publications are listed below, one co-authored with Robert
- Levin, D.A, B.G. Palestis, R.N. Jones and R. Trivers. 2005. Phyletic hot spots for B chromosomes in angiosperms.
Evolution 59: 962-969.
B.G. 2005. Nesting stage and nest defense by common terns (Sterna hirundo). Waterbirds 28:
also recently became a father with the birth of his son, Connor Sullivan on
March 8th. Congratulations to the Palestis family.
Peterson, (Ph.D. 1992, Steward T.A. Pickett advisor) and
Sandra Erickson were married in Athens, Georgia
on March 11th. The wedding was attended by Rutgers
alums Walter Carson and Brian McCarthy and
their spouses. Chris is an Associate Professor in the Plant Biology Department
at the University of Georgia.
Sandra is employed in the Human Resources Office for the Physical Plant at the
university. Congratulations Chris and Sandra.
(Ph.D. 1998, Steven Handel advisor) recently presented a talk at the annual
meeting of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey titled, "Habitat
Restoration and Management of Grasslands, Invasive Shrubs and Cows."