Department of Ecology,
Evolution and Natural Resources
Ecology and Evolution
Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Joan and David
Ehrenfeld were guests of the Ford Foundation and
the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and
Environment in India
in June. While there, they both presented talks:
gave a talk entitled “Exotic invasions in deciduous forests: a case study
of impacts and restoration” at the Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Academy
of Sciences, Bangalore,
- David delivered the third annual Khoshoo Memorial Lecture at the India International
Centre in New Delhi on June
14th. The lecture was supported in
part by the Ford Foundation.
- David lectured on “Energy and
Conservation” to the Ashoka Trust for Research
in Ecology and the Environment, in Bangalore,
India on June 19th.
Emilie Stander, a Ph.D. candidate in Joan
Ehrenfeld’s lab, gave
a presentation at the Society of Wetlands Scientists Annual Meeting held in Cairns,
Australia, from July
10-14. Her talk was titled, "Do
urban wetlands leak nitrogen? The
effects of urbanization on nitrate removal capacity of wetlands."
David Ehrenfeld. 2006.
“Transgenics and vertebrate cloning as tools
for species conservation.”
Conservation Biology 20(3): 723-732.
Meffe, Gary K., David Ehrenfeld, and Reed F. Noss. 2006.
“Conservation biology at twenty.”
Conservation Biology 20(3): 595-596.
Z. T., C. F. Steiner,* J. A.
Krumins, and P. J. Morin. 2006. Species richness and allometric scaling jointly determine biomass in model
aquatic food webs. Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 1014-1023.
*Zac Long is a former Ph.D. student and Chris Steiner is
a former post-doc in the Morin lab.
Lathrop, R.G., M. Cole,
N. Senyk and B. Butman.
2006. Seafloor habitat mapping of the New York Bight incorporating sidescan sonar data.
Coastal and Shelf Science 68:221-230.
Lathrop, R.G., D. Tulloch, C. Hatfield.
2006. Consequences of Land Use Change in the New York-New Jersey Highlands,
Indicators of Forest and Watershed Integrity. Landscape and Urban Planning (Online
Lathrop, R.G., P.
Montesano, and S. Haag. 2006.
A multi-scale segmentation approach to mapping seagrass
habitats using airborne digital camera imagery.
Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 72(6):665-675.
Patricia Ramey, a Ph.D candidate in the labs of Fred
and Judy Grassle. reports the following publication:
Leander and Ramey 2006. Cellular Identity
of a Novel Small Subunit rDNA Sequence Clade of Apicomplexans:
Description of the Marine Parasite Rhytidocystis
polygordiae n. sp. (Host: Polygordius
sp., Polychaeta). Journal
of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 53 (4): 225-313
In a few weeks, the new gentian species and genus Yanomamua araca will be
described by Jason Grant, Paul Maas, and Lena Struwe in the July issue of Harvard Papers
in Botany. This strange plant with violin-shaped leaves is only found on the
mountain Serra Araca in
not far from the tabletop mountains of Venezuela,
and represents another example of endemic, rare gentian species found by this
research group. The genus is named after the Yanomami
indian tribe, who inhabit
this region and southern Venezuela.
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Two interviews with David
Ehrenfeld were broadcast on Earthwatch Radio (UW
Sea Grant Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison). The broadcasts are syndicated to more than
130 stations worldwide.
Rick Lathrop participated in the
Pinelands Preservation Alliance Pinelands Summer Institute for Teachers on July 11, 2006. Rick's subject was "Life on the Edge:
Pinelands to Bay Transitions". After a morning on Barnegat Bay on Ocean's
County's pontoon boat exploring salt marsh islands and seagrass
beds, Rick led the group on walk around Cattus Island
to investigate the transition from Pine Barrens forest through salt marshes to
the bay's edge.
guest of the Sea Partnership Program of Hasanuddin
University, Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Judy
Weis spent two weeks in May running a Workshop on Marine Heavy Metal
Pollution. Judy’s hosts had arranged for a series of talks to be given at
various venues at the University and at the local environmental impact
management agency (BAPEDALDA). She gave seven different talks. They also took
field trips to three local sites to collect samples. There were about twenty
people who attended all sessions, and were the participants of the “workshop,”
and numerous others came to selected talks. The workshop participants were
mostly junior faculty and graduate students of the School
of Marine Science and Fisheries of Hasanuddin University, in addition
there were faculty from the Biology Department, the School
of Agriculture and Forestry, the
Biotechnology Division, and the Center for Coral Reef Research. There was also
a faculty member from another university in Makassar,
and a faculty member from a university in Kendari (in
Southeast Sulawesi). All participants received signed certificates
– Judy had to sign 150 of them.
Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
HMF Summer Research Grants:
- Kenneth Elgersma
received support for his proposal the “Novel Weapons Hypothesis of
Biological Invasions and Plant-Microbe Feedback.” Garlic mustard, an
invasive species, has been shown to suppress the arbuscular mycorrhizae
that are beneficial to the growth of native tree seedlings, thereby
suppressing native tree growth. The purpose of Kenneth’s research is
to determine if this effect confers an advantage to non-native tree
seedlings, or if it suppresses the growth of non-natives and natives
alike. In addition, in order to determine if co-occurring natives
have adapted to deal with garlic mustard’s negative effects, he will be
studying garlic mustard’s effect on native and non-native trees in garlic
mustard’s native range, in collaboration with Dr. Torsten
Vor at the Institute
University of Göttingen,
- William Landesman, received support for his project titled:
“Response of soil microbes to wet-dry cycles in dry and moist soils.”
Global climate change could lead to an increase in the frequency of
drought conditions followed by heavy rainfall events. These dry-wet cycles can stress
microbial communities and lead to changes in nitrogen cycling, carbon
storage and other important processes.
The purpose of the project is to understand how soil microbes
respond to these wet-dry cycles. It
is possible that in soils that dry rapidly (such as Pinelands soil)
microbes might be adapted to frequent wet-dry cycles. Soils in Hutcheson
do not dry as rapidly and therefore wet-dry events might stress the
microbial communities there.
- David LaPuma
received support for “Where the Birds Are: Avian diversity and
distribution across successional communities at the Hutcheson
The proposed research will census
the migratory and breeding bird assemblages across successional vegetation
communities including actively cultivated land, old fields, conifer forest, and
the old growth stand of woods at the Hutcheson Memorial Forest. Results will
then be used with a historic database to detect changes in avian assemblages
over the past fifty years.
- Inga Parker LaPuma received support for her proposal titled “Structure
and diversity of landcover in Hutcheson
for comparison with avian breeding and diversity.” This proposal is
concerned with characterizing the flora of all landcover
types at found at HMF and ascertaining habitat variability within landcover types using the Forest Inventory Analysis
protocol. Along with providing a
significant contribution to data on structure and composition of trees,
shrubs and herbaceous layers for the entire property, this survey will
also provide a characterization that can be utilized in concert with
migratory and breeding bird surveys.
- Maria Stanko
received also received support for her proposed study.
Students who receive summer research support from HMF must
help with the annual Buell-Small Succession study.
This long-term old-field sampling has been conducted every summer since in
1958. For more information on this study visit the website:
a Ph.D. candidate co-advised by George McGhee and Kathy Scott, received a $1,000
award from the Delaware Valley Paleontological
Society-Paul Bond Scholarship Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation for his
research on feeding in Komodo lizards.
Jeremy Feinberg’s research has been
receiving quite a bit of press lately. Jeremy is a Ph.D. student in Joanna
is a small article that appeared in Newsday in June:
Ramey, a Ph.D. candidate in the labs of Fred and Judy
Grassle, attended a workshop June 15 2006 at Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for the purpose of planning proposals
for Ocean Exploration (NOAA/OE) of the Hudson
Santiago Bass, a
Ph.D. candidate in the Judy Weis lab, participated as an invited panelist at
the Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) at Rutgers/UMDNJ seminar on
An Inside Look" where she spoke to visiting
undergraduates about life as a graduate student.
Santiago Bass is
also an invited participant in the Faculty Horizons Workshop
at University of Maryland Baltimore County (July 13-15). The workshop is an NSF
grant funded workshop to help endow individuals (particularly women) with the
skills to secure tenure-track faculty positions entering science, technology,
engineering & math (STEM) fields. Celine will be one of a select
group of approximately 75 participants.
Emily Stander, a Ph.D. candidate in Joan
Ehrenfeld’s lab, has
been selected to receive an Outstanding Student Paper Award for her presentation
at the 2006 Joint Assembly of the Biogeosciences
Section of the American Geophysical Union. Her presentation titled “The effects
of urbanization on nitrate removal capacity of urban wetlands” was recognized
as among the best of a strong group of student presenters.
Tom Virzi, a Ph.D.
candidate in Julie Lockwood’s lab, has been
busy banding Osprey chicks at Island Beach
State Park the past two weeks. He has banded about 40 chicks and has been
doing demonstrations for student groups at the Sedge Island Natural Resource
to Tavis Anderson, advisor Michael Sukhdeo, on the successful completion of
his qualifying exam and his advancement to candidacy in the Ph.D program.
Mary Cadenasso, Ph.D.
1998, advisor Steward T.A. Pickett, has accepted a position as Assistant
Professor of Urban Ecology in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University
of California, Davis.
has spent the last two years at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental
Studies as lecturer and research scientist.
While there she developed two graduate courses one in urban ecosystems, and another in ecology and urban morphogenesis.
writes that her research focus is still on landscape heterogeneity and
ecosystem function. She is still working in Kruger
National Park, South Africa
looking at how the structure of riparian woodlands influences the flow of
nutrients transported by animals from the upland savanna into the river
systems. In Baltimore,
Maryland her focus is on developing a new
land cover classification to describe and quantify the structure of an urban
landscape as a first step in linking it to ecosystem functions such as
biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient and pollutant storage and
export. This classification integrates
built and non-built components of the landscape. Mary has also been collaborating with urban designers
at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia
University providing ecological
concepts and theory to the graduate students in the urban design studios each
fall. This collaboration has expanded to include integrating urban design
understanding and models with ecological understanding and models.