Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources


Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter


July 2007

Please join the Rutgers DEENR/E&E students and faculty

 past and present at the

Ecological Society of America Meeting in San Jose, CA.

We will be getting together at the poster session on

Tuesday evening, August 7th at 5:00 p.m.

Hope we see all of you there.



Previous newsletters may be found at:




Sean Boyd, a Master’s student in the David Bushek lab, gave an invited talk on Biological Invasions at the monthly seminar series that is hosted by the Bayshore Discovery Project in Bivalve.


Joan Ehrenfeld gave an invited talk entitled “Plant-soil feedback in exotic plant invasions: legacy effects of plant influence on microbial communities” at the 7th BIORHIZ Workshop, held in Hundested, Denmark (June 11-14th).


On June 13th, Frank Gallagher, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Jason Grabosky’s Urban Forestry lab, gave a presentation on the relationship between soil metal load and vegetative assemblage structure, implications for landscape design to the Architecture Program at Colombia University. Columbia is offering a summer studio on Liberty State Park. 


On July 25, David La Puma, a Ph.D. candidate in the Julie Lockwood lab,  gave a talk on Radar Ornithology to the Bucks County Birders (club) at the Peace Valley Nature Center, Doylestown, PA; entitled "Birding on a mega-scale - using Doppler radar to predict birding conditions in the Northeastern US"

Struwe, L., S. Dushenkov, S. Eisenman, M. Tadych, & I. Raskin. 2007. International education in biodiversity and biodocumentation - Collaborative approaches. The Third Republican Scientific Conference: “Ecological characteristic of biological diversity”, Pamir, Tajikistan, July 2007. [poster]


Struwe, L., R. Lathrop, & P. Smouse. 2007. Biogeography and environmental response through time using spatial evolutionary ecological vicariance analysis (SEEVA) in neotropical gentians. Botany 2007 meeting of the Botany Society of America held in Chicago, 7-11 July 2007.



Alex Felson, a Ph.D. student in the Steward T.A. Pickett lab, had a paper published in Urban Land this month. Ecological Experiments, June 2007


David La Puma, a Ph.D. candidate in the Julie Lockwood lab, published a popular science article in July/August edition of Wild Bird magazine entitled: "Mega-scale Observations: Using weather radar to predict birding conditions in your neck of the woods"

Oscar Schofield reports the following publications:

  • Finkel, Z. V., Quigg, A. S., Chiambi, R., Schofield, O., Falkowski, P. G. 2007. Phylogenetic diversity in Cd:P regulation by marine phytoplankton. Limnology and Oceanography 52(3): 1131-1138.
  • Schofield, O., Bosch, J., Glenn, S. M., Kirkpatrick, G., Kerfoot, J., Moline, M., Oliver, M., Bissett, W. P. 2007. Bio-optics in integrated ocean observing networks: potential for studying harmful algal blooms. In Real Time Coastal Observing Systems for Ecosystems Dynamics and Harmful Algal Blooms. Babin, M. Roelser, C. and Cullen, J. J. (Eds) UNESCO, Paris. 85-108.
  • Bissett, W. P., Arnone, R., Debra, S., Dye, D., Kirkpatrick, G., Mobley, C., Schofield, O. 2007.  The integration of ocean color remote sensing with coastal nowcast/forecast simulations of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).  In Real Time Coastal Observing Systems for Ecosystems Dynamics and Harmful Algal Blooms.  Babin, M. And Cullen, J. J. (Eds) UNESCO, Paris. 695-732.
  • Oliver, M., Petrov, D., Ackerley, D., Falkowski, P. G. Schofield, O. The mode and tempo of genome size evolution in eukaryotes. Journal of Genome Research. doi/10.1101/gr.6096207.
  • Schofield, O., Kohut, J., Aragon, D., Creed, L., Graver, J., Haldeman, C., Kerfoot, J., Roarty, H., Jones, C., Webb, D., Glenn, S. M. 2007. Slocum Gliders: Robust and ready.  Journal of Field Robotics. 24(6): 1-14.  DOI: 10:1009/rob.20200


 Faculty Achievements and Activities:

Scott Glenn and Oscar Schofield  were awarded the Technology Collaboration Award by the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center.


Lena Struwe is the organizer for the Colloquium “Integration of spatial and ecological data in evolutionary studies” at the Botany 2007 meeting of the Botany Society of America held in Chicago, July 7-11 2007.



Department of Defense- Office of Naval Research (award lifetime year 2007) “Characterizing storm impacts on nearshore nepheloid layers using optical Slocum gliders” Schofield, O., Glenn, S. ($25,000).  This project will use robots to assess the impact of large storms on the water column physics, biology, and optics offshore Martha Vineyard during the summer storm season.


Joint Oceanographic Institutions and National Science Foundation 2007-2013 “Network for ocean research, interaction, and application – NORIA” Schofield, O., and Glenn, S. M. ($410,998). This project is part of a $30 million dollar effort to build the cyberinfrastructure backbone for the National Science Foundation Ocean Observatory Initiative (a $310 million investment slated to begin next year by NSF).  Rutgers are the project scientists for this effort being lead by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Rutgers will define the science user requirements for the cyberinfrastructure.


NOAA Coastal Services Center 2007-2010 “Phased Deployment and Operation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARCOOS) – Rutgers scientists (Glenn S. M. lead PI of program, with Janice McDonnell, Josh Kohut, Oscar Schofield, John Wilkin) and 19 other academic and commercial institutions. This is a $9,000,000 proposal is funded to build an integrated ocean observing network to assist in human health/safety and provide the foundation for data driven ecosystem decision making for the Mid-Atlantic continental shelf.


Department of Defense- Office of Naval Research 2007-2010 “Using Gliders to Resolve Dynamics of Dust and Phytoplankton in the Mediterranean” Oscar Schofield and Scott Glenn (Rutgers) and Chuck Tress (NATO SCALANT) ($250046).  Dust has often been hypothesized to be an important driver for the primary productivity of the Mediterranean; however the dust that is potentially driving the changes in ocean color also leads to a bias in the satellite estimates of the biological activity.  Given this, is the ocean signal associated with atmospheric dust related to the stimulated phytoplankton productivity or is it simply the dust itself?  This project will quantify the impact of dust on both the in situ optical properties and biological communities over relevant spatial (100 kms) and temporal (month) scales in oligotrophic waters.


Advisory Panels:

Joan Ehrenfeld has been reappointed to the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council for a second 3-year term.


Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:

Jennifer Adams Krumins, a Ph.D. candidate in Peter Morin’s lab, received second place for student oral presentations at the 11th biennial Soil Ecology Society Meeting in Moab, Utah on May 2, 2007.  Jennifer’s talk was titled: “Microbial Community and Soil Nutrient Response to a Gypsy Moth Outbreak in the New Jersey Pinelands.”


Stacey Lettini, a Ph.D. candidate in the Michael Sukhdeo lab, was awarded Best Student Presentation for her talk titled “The energetic costs of parasitism in an intermediate host.”  at the American Society for Parasitology meeting held in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, June 21-25, 2007



Mark L. Kraus, Ph.D. (1986, Judy Weis) has accepted the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Everglades Foundation in Palmetto Bay, FL.  The foundation is a philanthropic organization, as well as having a science team, both focused on Everglades restoration.  Mark lives in Palmetto Bay with his wife of 25 years, Doris Bull Kraus, Ph.D. (NCAS 1984, Bob Lederhouse) and their three teenage daughters.


Chris Martine (BS '96, MS '01, advisor John Kuser) an Assistant Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, announces four publications due this summer: papers on the reproductive biology of Australian eggplant relatives (Acta Horticulturae) and a Bayesian method for predicting woody plant invasions (Diversity and Distributions), plus new editions of his and his wife Rachel's illustrated field guides to Shrubs and Vines (2nd edition) and Trees (6th edition) found in New Jersey.