of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources
and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter
may be found at:
to Dr. Paul Falkowski
on his election
The National Academy of Sciences!
This is an important recognition for his many contributions
to evolutionary biology, ecology, and the study of photosynthesis. Dr. Falkowski
is a Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences
and in the Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences. http://marine.rutgers.edu/faculty_pfalkowski.html
For more information,
see the press release at
On April 15th
DEENR celebrated the Lifetime Achievements of Dr. John Tedrow in his 90th
year. Family, friends and colleagues joined in the lunchtime gala. Dr. Tedrow,
although retired since 1982, can be found in his office most mornings writing
papers, book chapters and working on forensic soil science with local and
federal law enforcement authorities.
For an overview
of Dr. Tedrow’s many accomplishments and activities
Zac Freedman, a Ph.D. student in Tamar Barkay’s
lab, will be presenting a poster at the American Society for Microbiology
conference(May 21-25) in Toronto titled "Is the Mercury(mer) System of Thermus thermophilus HB 27 an Ancestor
to the Broadly Distributed mer System Among the
Bacteria?" Zac was awarded the Karl C. Ivarson
award ($800) through the Dept of Microbiology and Biochemistry to attend
a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Jason Grabosky’s Urban
Forestry lab, gave two presentations this month:
On May 9th he gave a talk entitled Changing Paradigms for
Changing Environments in Kansas City
at the annual Project Learning Tree’s (PLT) International Conference. PLT
is an environmental education program sponsored by the American Forest Foundation.
On May 16th, Frank gave a poster presentation
entitled “Soil Metal Concentrations and Vegetative Assemblage Structure in
an Urban Brownfield” at the Meadowlands Symposia, sponsored by the Meadowlands
Environmental Research Institute.
Krumins, a Ph.D. candidate in Peter
Morin’s lab, gave a talk at the 11th biennial Soil Ecology Society
Meeting in Moab, Utah on May 2, 2007. Talk titled: “Microbial Community and Soil Nutrient
Response to a Gypsy Moth Outbreak in the New Jersey Pinelands” Authors: Jennifer
Adams Krumins, Dennis
Gray and John Dighton
William Landesman, a Ph.D. candidate in the John Dighton lab, also gave a presentation at the 11th
biennial Soil Ecology Society Meeting in Moab, Utah. Bill’s talk was titled: Response of soil microbial
communities to manipulations of soil moisture and dry-wet cycles in two New Jersey forests. Co-authors: William Landesman and John Dighton.
Richard Lathrop, Director of CRSSA, visited CEMAGREF Institute in
Grenoble France from March 27-31, 2007. CEMAGREF is the leading government
institute in France devoted to agricultural and environmental engineering
research. While visiting France, Lathrop presented a seminar on landscape change
and bio-regional conservation planning in the Highlands of New York and New Jersey.
Richard Lathrop presented two papers at the US Landscape Ecology
Meeting in Tucson Arizona April 10-14, 2007: "Integrating Landscape Change
and Ecosystem Modeling of the Wildland/Urban
Interface of the New Jersey Pinelands" (co-authors - Zewei Miao, Ming Xu, Inga LaPuma) as part of the NASA-MSU Golley-Odum
Symposium on Integrating Remote Sensing of Forest Disturbances with Models
at Broad Scales; and, A Landscape Ecological Perspective as the basis for
Land Use Planning in the New York-New Jersey Highlands" as part of a special
session on Putting theory into Practice: Application of Landscape Ecology
Principles into Environmental Decision-Making.
Karen Mabb, a Ph.D. candidate in Julie Lockwood’s lab, attended the Parrots International Symposium
2007 sponsored by Parrots International, UCLA Institute of the Environment,
and UCLA Center for Tropical Research on April 28 & 29 at UCLA-
University of California, Los Angeles. Karen presented the following two posters:
- Southern California
Parrot Hotspots and Parrot Identification. Mabb, K.T. and K.L. Garrett.
- Introduced Yellow-chevroned Parakeets Brotogeris chiriri
California: A case study. Mabb, K.T. and K.L. Garrett
David Moskowitz, a Ph.D. student in the Mike May lab, gave the following presentations:
Myers Squibb Environmental Seminar: Butterflies
Club in Edison: Butterflies
Andrew “Pete” Vayda, Professor Emeritus
of Anthropology and Ecology, gave a presentation at
The Columbia University Earth Institute's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
division of Biology and Paleo Environment (BPE)
Spring 2007 Seminar Series. The talk was titled: "Causal Explanation of Indonesian
Forest Fires: Concepts, Applications, and Research Priorities," on Friday, May 04, 2007.
and S.N. Handel. 2007. Lessons from an urban lakeshore
restoration project in New York City.
Ecological Restoration 25(2): in press.
P., J.L. Lockwood, T.M. Blackburn, and J.D. Olden. Spatial scale and evolutionary history determine
the degree of taxonomic homogenization across island bird assemblages.
Diversity and Distributions. (in press).
Lockwood, J.L. 2007 Learning to converse
at the big table. Book review of Key Topics in Conservation Biology. Ecology
David Moskowitz, a Ph.D. student in Mike May’s lab, had an article in the NJ\NY Trailwalker May\June 2007: Butterflies Along the Trail
N. S., Clark, K. L., Nelson,
R., Hom, J. and Patterson, M. (2007). Remotely sensed measurements of forest structure and fuel
loads in the Pinelands of New Jersey. Remote Sensing of
Environment, 108, 123-129.
Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial
CRSSA assists Duke
Farms in implementing GIS
- The Rutgers
for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) has recently signed
a contract with Duke Farms Foundation to provide geospatial information
services. The objective of the agreement
is to assist Duke Farms in more fully utilizing geographic information
systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) in meeting its
conservation, research and management objectives for the 3,000 acre Duke
Farm property in Hillsborough, New Jersey. This project is part of a
larger effort between Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological
Sciences and Duke Farms in promoting basic and applied research in ecological
restoration and management of open space lands.
report on Impact of Sea Level Rise on NJ coastal habitats
- The Rutgers
for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) has been working with
the American Littoral Society (ALS) on assessing the impact of sea
in New Jersey on coastal habitats. We have produced a report, as
well as a series of GIS based data bases and maps. We have recommended to
the state DEP that they take measures to protect coastal habitats – primarily
tidal wetland areas – through the creation of wetland “retreat zones” – areas
that would allow the wetlands to “migrate” in response to rising sea level. The link below will show you the report, as well as several
others that Rutgers CRSSA did in partnership with ALS: identifying coastal
conservation and restoration opportunities, and mapping the critical horseshoe
crabs habitats of Delaware
Bay to identify protection
and restoration priorities. The NJ
assessment reports and graphics are available at
Report on New Jersey Land Use Change Update
- Researchers at the Rutgers
for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis and Rowan University Department
of Geography are evaluating newly-released data to assess urban development
and loss of open space in New Jersey
occurring during recent decades. The research
team consists of Dr. Richard
Lathrop and John Bognar
(Rutgers) and Dr. John Hasse
(Rowan) and was funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The research utilizes a detailed digital map of land
use in NJ created from high resolution aerial photographs taken in 2002. The study compares land use changes and trends
between 1986, 1995 and 2002.
The preliminary results of this study confirm that
development pressure has continued at a remarkably robust rate during the
1995 – 2002 time period with urban development
increasing statewide by 105,988 acres. A corresponding
amount of open space was lost consisting of farmland, forest and wetlands.
The data also show that some regions of the state increased the rate of development
faster than others and that in some areas there has been an especially significant
increase in the rate of upland forest conversion. The increase in the rate
of forest loss is especially critical due to all the attendant ecosystem
services that forests provide such as watershed protection, carbon sequestration,
wildlife habitat, and recreation, to name just a few. For
more information go to:
CRSSA to provide
the New Jersey Forest Fire Service Digital Mapping Services
- The Rutgers
for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) has signed a one year
contract with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) to provide
a variety of digital mapping services to assist in their Fireshed Management Planning and other firefighting
Achievements and Activities:
attended a meeting of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National
Research Council in April.
and Steven Gray, a graduate
student in her lab, hosted a 3 part in-service teacher professional development
workshop supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Teacher as Scholars
program. Rebecca Jordan, Peter Morin,
and Andrew Pleasant were featured speakers.
Richard Lathrop was invited to serve as a member of a 5 person Listening
Panel to attend the U.S. Forest Service Forest Stewardship Program's Spatial
Analysis National Summit held in Interlocken
Colorado April 17-19, 2007.
Terry McGuire received the the 2007
SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education in the
category of Associate Professor.
Weis spent the first week of May in
Denver at a meeting of the National Research Council Committee
on Advancing Desalination Technologies. Judy was the only ecologist on the
was one of 25 invited participants at a NSF-sponsored workshop titled
“Really Big Biogeographically-Based Integrative Historical and Ecological
Science”. The workshop was hosted by the University
of Nevada - Las
Vegas near the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area
on 19-20 May 2007.
Julie Lockwood reports two new grants:
- With Julian Avery, a graduate student in her lab, from the Bermuda
Audubon Society for Conservation Status of Eastern Bluebirds in Bermuda,
- With Blake Mathys, a Ph.D. candidate in her lab, from the National
Geographic Society for Do non-native species show macro-evolutionary
patterns? Non-native passerines and the Island Rule - $14,000
Hutcheson Memorial Forest Fellowships:
Six students were awarded funds from HMF for studies
David A. La Puma,
advisor Julie Lockwood - $1500.00. - Where the Birds Are Year II: Continued study of avian
diversity and distribution across a successional gradient at the Hutcheson
Inga P. La Puma, advisor Richard
Lathrop - $1000.00. - Continued sampling of varied landcover types to assess the vegetation structure
and diversity of Hutcheson Memorial
Maria Lee Stanko, interim advisor Peter Morin- $1500.00. - Research into mutualistic plant-animal
Aabir Banerji, advisor Peter
Morin- $1500.00. - Pollen-Mediated Predator-Prey Dynamics on Pepper Plants
and Their Conspecific Neighbors
advisor Julie Lockwood- $1500.00. - In an
effort to determine where and what forest interior species are breeding at
HMF Ben will use the spot mapping technique to determine the species richness
and territories of breeding birds in the old and secondary growth portions
Charles Hofer, advisor Claus Holzapfel-
$1500.00. - Trophic Transfer of Heavy Metals at an Abandoned
Urban Brownfield Site: The Effects of Heavy Metals on Nest Success of Resident
Student Awards, Achievements, and
Jonathon Schramm, a Ph.D. candidate in the Joan Ehrenfeld lab, was in Santa Barbara, CA the week of May 14th participating in
a workshop sponsored by The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
(NCEAS) on "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes."
The workshop was the capstone to a seminar course that students from eight
different institutions around North America took part in this semester at Columbia University. The workshop participants were preparing their research
from the course for potential publication.
Holly Vuong, a Ph.D. student co-advised by Peter Morin and Richard
Ostfeld, was accepted into the DIMACS/AIMS/SACEMA US-Africa Advanced Studies
Institute on Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases in Africa. This is a two week workshop for graduate students
from the United States and Africa to learn mathematical epidemiology and control of
emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases. The workshop will be followed
by a three day capstone workshop to allow the students to interact and collaborate
with American and African researchers who are already established in the
field of mathematical disease modeling. The workshops take place near Cape Town, South Africa from June 11th through June 27, 2007. The acceptance into the program covers flight, and
room and board.
to Kenneth Elgersma, advisor Joan Ehrenfeld, on the successful defense of his Preliminary Proposal
on April 30, 2007.
James Vasslides, advisor Ken Able, successfully defended his Master’s thesis on May 3, 2007. Congratulations James!
Myla Aronson (Ph.D. 2007, advisor Steven Handel) has finished
her first year teaching at Luther College. Myla will be teaching at
Luther next year also. She has accepted a post-doc
position for this summer through the fall with Sue Galatowitsch
at the University of Minnesota. The main project will be examining vegetation change
of restored prairie wetlands 19 years after restoration.
Myla will also be working this summer with Peter Reich examining invasions
at the BioCON project.
As part of the Sundance Channel's new channel "The Green,"
Dr. Mark Laska, (Ph.D.1996, advisor
Peter Morin) founder and president of Great Eastern Ecology,
was featured May 1st on a segment on Eco Biz. To see the segment click on
this link: http://www.sundancechannel.com/thegreen#/video.
Celine Santiago Bass
(Ph.D. May 2007, advisor Judy Weis) has accepted the position with Mark Laska's company Great Eastern Ecology as their Senior
Managing Scientist in charge
of office and field operations throughout the Mid-Atlantic states
and New England. Great Eastern Ecology is a multidisciplinary
consulting firm that specializes in restoring and enhancing natural habitats
in and around cities throughout North America. “Celine
will play a key role in managing many of our projects at a time Great Eastern
is experiencing rapid growth,” said Mark S. Laska, Ph.D.,
the firm’s founder and president.
Celine also reports a publication:
- Santiago Bass, C., S. Khan, and J.S. Weis. 2007.
Morphological changes to the gills of killifish associated with severe
parasite infection. Journal of Fish Biology (In press).
The baby boom here in E&E continues with
the arrival of Agatha Helen Dahle.
Greg Dahle and his wife Iwonna welcomed daughter
Agatha Helen on April 23rd. Agatha weighed
7 lbs 9 oz and 19 inches long. Mom and daughter are both doing well. Greg is a Ph.D candidate in the Jason Grabosky Urban Forestry