of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources
and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter
may be found at:
- Lena Struwe
on her promotion to Associate Professor with tenure.
Jordan on her re-appointment as an Assistant
Rutgers- Penn- Princeton
Graduate Student Conference was held March 31st.
The annual R-P-P
Conference was held at Rutgers this year. The
retreat is organized by students as a forum for presenting short papers on
their research and a chance to share knowledge and ideas in an informal gathering.
Twelve papers were presented this year, with three of those presented by
- Jeanmaire Molina presented “Phylogeny and floral biology of
Leea”. Jean is a Ph.D. candidate in Lena Struwe’s lab.
- Patricia Ramey’s presentation was titled “Active post-settlement
habitat selection, by a deposit-feeding polychaete
(Polygordius jouinae) in a laboratory flume.” Tricia is
a Ph.D. candidate co-advised by Fred and Judy Grassle.
- Dominic D’Amore spoke on
the “Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) feeding taphonomy and its potential paleoecological
significance to Mesozoic Archosauria.”
Dom is a Ph.D. candidate
co-advised by Kathleen Scott and George McGhee.
a Ph.D. student in Tamar Barkay’s lab, is presenting a poster on Thursday April 26th
at the American Museum of Natural History’s Spring Symposium 2007: Small
Matters: Microbes and their role in Conservation. Zac’s poster is₤ titled; “ Is the Mercury Resistance (mer) System of Thermus
thermophilus HB27 an Ancestor to the Broadly Distributed mer System Among the Bacteria?”
Parker LaPuma, a Ph.D. candidate advised
by Rick Lathrop, presented a talk entitled "Forest biomass estimation and
change using kNN in the Highlands of New Jersey"
at the US-International Association for Landscape Ecology April 9th-
a Ph.D. candidate in David Ehrenfeld’s lab, was invited to give two lectures
on techniques to reduce unwanted human-wildlife interactions in suburban
areas for the Master Gardener Programs of Union and
Sharron Hicks Crane, a Ph.D. candidate co-advised by Tamar Barkay and John Dighton, will be attending the Mid-Atlantic States Mycological
Conference on April 21 at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Station in
Beltsville, Maryland. Sharron will be presenting a talk titled "The effects
of mercury on mycorrhizal colonization and growth of Pinus rigida seedlings"
a Master’s student in Julie Lockwood’s lab, has co-authored a paper that
will be published in the next issue of Human-Wildlife Conflicts,
a new peer-reviewed journal published biannually by the Jack H. Berryman Institute.
- DeNicola, A.J., D.R. Etter, T.E. Almendinger.
2007. Demographics of non-hunted white-tailed deer populations in suburban
areas. Human-Wildlife Conflicts 1. (in press).
Thom Almendinger co-authored a paper for New Jersey Birds that will be published
- Almendinger, T.E., C.D. Aquila, M. Sileo. 2007.
Occurrence and Documentation of Breeding Henslow’s
Sparrows at Duke Farms. New Jersey Birds 33
Teresa Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate in Bonnie
lab, has the following paper in press:
- Teresa R. Johnson and Wim L.T. van Densen. 2007. Benefits and organization
of cooperative research for fisheries management. ICES Journal of Marine
Matt Kimball, a Ph.D. candidate in the Ken Able lab, reports the following publication:
KW, Grothues TM, Hagan SM, Kimball
ME, Nemerson DM, Taghon GL Long-term
response of fishes to restoration of former salt hay farms: Multiple
measures of restoration success. Reviews
in Fish Biology and Fisheries. (in press).
James MacDonald, a Ph.D. candidate in Judy Weis’s lab, has the following online
- J. A. MacDonald, R. Roudez, T. Glover, and J. S. Weis “The invasive green
crab and Japanese shore crab: behavioral interactions with a native
crab species, the blue crab" Biological Invasions 9.”
currently online only
Achievements and Activities:
reports that Rutgers has been recognized as a foundation
school by Bartlett Tree Foundation. Jason is a board member of the foundation.
There will be an annual scholarship from the foundation to a Rutgers
obtained a two-year, $20,000 grant from the Endangered and Nongame Species
Program of NJ DEP to provide statistical expertise for their various research
has approved a proposal by Ed Green
and Bill Strawderman for a text tentatively titled
"Bayesian Inference in Ecology and Natural Resources." This will be an introductory
level book aimed at ecologists and/or natural resource managers with limited
math and/or statistical backgrounds.
Ed Green’s re-appointment as Editor of Forest Science is official.
Ed is the first Editor to serve two terms.
was one of four keynote speakers invited by graduate students at the 8th
annual Ecological Integration Symposium held at Texas
on April 20-21.
The theme of this year’s symposium was “From Speciation to Extinction: Interdisciplinary
Approaches to Biodiversity.” The title of Peter’s talk was “Experiments on
Biodiversity, Community Dynamics, and Ecosystem Functioning”. More information
can be found at http://wfsc.tamu.edu/eis/
Once again the spring semester
was busy for the Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association. In addition
to the Rutgers-Penn-Princeton Conference mentioned in the presentations section
of this newsletter and the weekly Friday seminar series in which graduate
students present their own research to the group, they organized the following
- On Friday April 6th
, the E&E graduate students, in conjunction with the Environmental
Science graduate students and the Rutgers Graduate Student Association,
hosted the Fourth Annual Eminent Ecologist Lecture. This year’s invited
speaker was Dr. Robert Trivers ,a Rutgers
professor in the Department of Anthropology and Biological Sciences
and the recipient of this years Crafoord Prize for the Biological Sciences. Dr. Trivers gave a seminar titled, "Selfish Genetic
Elements” to a standing room only crowd in the Alampi Room at the Institute for Marine and
Coastal Sciences . Dr. Trivers also met with the graduate students and
faculty informally at well-attended open house that evening at the Log
We owe a special thank you
to IMCS for the use their seminar facilities for this special event and the
Run for the Woods:
- On Saturday, April 7th, the graduate
students held their annual fundraising event "The Run for the Woods." This is an annual 5K run at the Helyar Woods and
benefit the Woods and the Ecology & Evolution Graduate Student
Association. The near perfect weather led
to a record turnout of 70+ runners. The event was a huge success. The
proceeds from last year’s run were
used by Rutgers Garden
in rebuilding the foot bridge across the gorge in Helyars Woods.
On Saturday, April 28th, the EcoGSA will
again have a table at the annual Ag Field Day. This
year the students will 1) sell organic French fries, 2) hold a used book sale, and 3) sell
Ecology & Evolution T-shirts (designed by Domenic D'Amore) and E&E
canvas tote bags. Proceeds benefit the Ecology &
Evolution Graduate Student Association. T-Shirts and canvas bags are available
for purchase at other times from Ai Wen (aiwen@
aesop.rutgers.edu). Please stop by the booth located between Foran and Plant
Physiology to say hello.
Student Awards, Achievements, and
NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve
(NERR) Social Science Fellowship.
a first year Ph.D. student in Rebecca Jordan’s
lab, has received a NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Social
Science Graduate Research Fellowship. Steven will receive $30,000.00 in funding
for 12 months. Steven’s proposal is titled: “Documenting Stakeholder Perception and Knowledge
of Ecosystem-based Management: Creating an Informed Public and Fostering
Jeremy Feinberg, a Ph.D. student advised by Joanna
Burger, was awarded $19,713 by the New York State Biodiversity
Research Institute (BRI) for his project, “The Decline
of Southern Leopard Frogs from Long Island: Investigating Causes and Conservation Strategies.”
Graduate School New Brunswick Awards
Two students will receive
Graduate School New Brunswick Awards on April 26th at the Spring
Reception to be held at the Zimmerli
- Shannon Galbraith-Kent,
a Ph.D. candidate in Steven Handel’s
lab, is the recipient of tan Award for Teaching
by a Graduate Student.
- A Dean’s Research Award
will be given to Jennifer Adams Krumins, a Ph.D. candidate
in Peter Morin’s lab.
Special Study and Pre-Dissertation Awards were received
by three students:
- Wes Brooks, a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca
Jordan’s lab, received $1000.00 for his proposal to
study “Species Richness and Habitat Invasibility: Lessons from Habitat
- Jeremy Feinberg, a
Ph.D. student in Joanna Burger’s lab, received $900.00 to study “The Decline of Southern Leopard frogs from
Long Island: Investigating Causes and Conservation
- Wayne Rossiter, a Ph.D. student in Mike
Sukhdeo’s lab, was awarded $1000.00 for his proposal titled “Determining
mechanisms that produce aggregated distributions of trematode parasites in salt marsh systems.”
Ralph Good Award for Pinelands Research
Landesman, a Ph.D. candidate advised by John Dighton
and Jennifer Adams Krumins, a Ph.D. candidate in
the Peter Morin lab, will share the
Ralph Good Award for Pinelands Research.
Zac Freedman, a Ph.D. student in the Tamar Barkay
lab, won a travel award from the Yellowstone National Park Research Coordination
Network (YNP RCN) for $1,100 for a proposal titled :
Spatial Diversity of Mercury Resistant Bacteria at Yellowstone
Parker LaPuma, a Ph.D. candidate in
the Rick Lathrop lab, has been invited to participate in Week 1 of The Buffalo
IGERT program in Geographic Information Science of the 2007 Vespucci Summer Institute, June 10-15, 2007, in Fiesole, Italy. Inga’s invitation includes
financial support for tuition, lodging, meals and travel to participate.
Inga will be one of 6-8 chosen from with 39 applicants.
James MacDonald, a Ph.D. candidate in Judy Weis’s lab, received a grant of
$3700 from the PADI Foundation for fieldwork in Honduras.
“The PADI Foundation encourages and supports underwater
science, environmental projects, and education. The Foundation will fund
and assist worthwhile projects that will enrich mankind's understanding of
the aquatic environment and encourage sensitivity to and protection of the
delicate ecological balance of underwater life.”
was named to the summer post of Chief Mangrove Scientist for Honduras
with the Education/Conservation organization Operation Wallacea; James will be heading their mangrove research
and conservation programs in Utila,
Honduras over the summer.
Jeanmaire Molina, a Ph.D. candidate in Lena Struwe’s lab, received ₤735.55 from the Systematics
Research Fund of the Linnean Society of London.
The New York Times weekend edition of March 25th
featured the salamander migration on Beekman Road in East
Brunswick. David Moskowitz,
a Ph.D. student in Mike May’s lab and a
member of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, remains instrumental
in promoting public awareness of the annual Beekman Road amphibian migration.
Maria Stanko, a Ph.D. student working in the Peter Morin lab, will be attending a two-day interdisciplinary
conference titled Networks in Ecology and Beyond. The conference is presented by the Program in Interdisciplinary
Math, Ecology and Statistics (PRIMES) at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, and will take place April 26-27, 2007.
Quals and Prelims:
Congratulations to two
students on the successful completion of their Qualifying Exam:
- Amy Karpati, advisor Steven
Handel, on March 27th.
- Wes Brooks, advisor
Rebecca Jordan, on April 5th.
Congratulations to three
students on the successful defense of their Preliminary Proposals:
- Matt Kimball, advisor
on March 8th.
- Kirsten Schwarz, advisors
Steward T.A. Pickett and Rick Lathrop, on April 3rd.
- Jeanmaire Molina , advisor Lena Struwe,
on April 20th.
SEBS Celebration of Excellence Awards
Several members of the DEENR /E&E family are receiving
Excellence Awards this year. Congratulations to the following:
- Recognition for Lifetime of Distinguished
Edmund Stiles (posthumously)
- Dana Price,
advisor Mike May, successfully defended
her Ph.D. dissertation on April 9th. Congratulations Dr.
Santiago Bass, advisor Judy Weis, successfully defended her Ph.D.
dissertation on April 11th. Congratulations Dr. Santiago
Phillip Cassey, a Post-doc from Julie Lockwood’s lab, received a
Human Frontiers in Science Young Investigators Award for a collaborative
project titled, "The chemistry of visual trickery: evolution and mechanisms
of egg mimicry in cuckoos". The award is for $750,000.
Ph.D. 1997, (advisor Peter Morin) has received
a British Ecological Society Early Career Project Grant of ₤23,900.
Sylvan Kaufman, Ph.D. 1999 (advisor
Peter Smouse) has published the first field
guide to North American invasive plants. It is written for homeowners, landowners
and outdoor enthusiasts.
The book includes full color photos for identification,
information about where the plants came from and what they do in the environment,
and how to control them.
- Sylvan Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman.
2007. "Invasive Plants, Guide to Identification and the Impacts and
Control of Common North American Species". Stackpole Books.
(Ph.D. 1998, Handel Lab) reports two presentations:
- "Prevention of invasive species aids
conservation while keeping down costs" at
Rhode Island Natural History Survey
conference in Narragansett, RI.
- "The role of plant-animal interactions
in conservation" at Roger Williams
University in Bristol, RI.