Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources


Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter



July 2010



Previous newsletters may be found at:




Ignasi (Nacho) Bartomeus, a postdoctoral researcher working with Rae Winfree in the Department of Entomology, will give a presentation at the Horticultural Society of New York titled “Global Change and its Effect on Native Pollinators” on August 12th. For more information visit:


Siobain Duffy gave the following two presentations:

  • Viral emergence driven by fast mutation across genomic architectures. New Directions in Population and Evolutionary Genetics, BioMAPS, Rutgers University (6/16/10)
  • When did the Old World and New World begomoviruses diverge? 11th International Plant Virus Epidemiology Symposium, Ithaca, NY. (6/22/10)


Visiting Scholar Frank Gallagher (Ph.D 2008, advisor Jason Grabosky) Urban Forestry Program, co-presented with Jim Stark (Weyerhaeuser) and Todd Gardner (AFF) at the American Forest Foundation's, Project Learning Tree International Conference. The presentation was entitled "Can Carbon Credit Save the Forest"?


Visiting Scholar Frank Gallagher (Ph.D 2008, advisor Jason Grabosky) Urban Forestry Program gave a presentation at the American Institute of Professional Geologist, Annual Meeting on May 12. The presentation focused on the Phytostabilization of Brownfield Soils, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.


Marci Meixler reports a presentation:

  • Streamside health and vulnerability mapping program and application.  New Jersey Geospatial Forum.  11 June 2010.

David Mellor presented a poster at the Animal Behavior Society annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA, 27 July, 2010. "Do color-mediated male-male interactions act as a diversifying force in the Mbuna cichlids?"


Laura Shappell, a Ph.D. student in the Joan Ehrenfeld lab, gave a talk at the Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Shappell, L. J., J. G. Ehrenfeld, M. V. Sukhdeo, N. Tsipoura, K. Mylecraine, and B. J. Johnson. 2010. “Diversity of plants, birds, and mosquitoes in urban wetland patches: do correlations among diversity components affect potential dilution of disease risk for West Nile Virus?”


Lena Struwe reports the following presentations:

  • Brody, S., R. Graziose, I. Raskin, & L. Struwe. “Malarial Curatives from Northeast United States”. 1st Annual Conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants, July 20-23, 2010 - Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. [poster]
  • Chuaypradit, V., R. Graziose, & L. Struwe. “Dogwoods: a new anti-malarial drug?” 1st Annual Conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants, July 20-23, 2010 - Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. [poster]
  • Struwe, L. & Sasha Eisenman. “On the importance of being vouchered, identified, classified, and properly documented in botanical bioprospecting.” 1st Annual Conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants, July 20-23, 2010 - Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.



Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology)

  • Fiorella, K., A. Cameron, W. Sechrest, R. Winfree, C. Kremen. 2010. Methodological considerations in reserve system selection: a case study of Malagasy lemurs. Biological Conservation 143: 963-973 (the first author was an undergraduate Rae advised at Princeton and this is her undergraduate thesis work)
  • Winfree, R. 2010. The conservation and restoration of wild bees. The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology – New York Academy of Sciences 1195: 169-197.


Oscar Schofield (Marine and Coastal Sciences) reports the following publications:

  • Montes-Hugo, M. A., Ducklow, H., Stammerjohn, S., C. Sweeney, S. Coney, D. Martinson, R. Frouin, M. Maltrud, Schofield, O. 2010. Spring wind patterns and transient changes on summer DIC and chlorophyll a concentration in surface waters of the Western Shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research. doi:10.1029/2009JC005267
  • Zhang, G., Wilkin, J. L., Schofield, O. 2010. Simulation of water age and residence time in New York Bight. Journal of Physical Oceanography doi: 10.1175/2009JPO4249.1

  • Benoit Bird, K., Schofield, O., Moline, M. A. 2010. Zooplankton avoidance of a profiled open-path fluorometer. Journal of Plankton Research doi:10.1093/plankt/fbq053
  • Castelao, R., Glenn, S. M., Schofield, O. 2010. Temperature, salinity and density variability in the central Middle Atlantic Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research doi:10.1029/2009JC006082
  • Schofield, O., Ducklow, H. W., Martinson, D. G., Meredith, M. P., Moline, M. A., Fraser, W. R. 2010. How do polar marine ecosystems respond to rapid climate change? Science 328, 1520 DOI: 10.1126/science.1185779
  • Oliver, M. J., Petrov, D., Ackerly, D., Falkowski, P., Schofield, O. 2010. Comment on “The mode and tempo of genome size evolution in eukaryotes. Genome Research, 20(6): 874.


Judy Weis, (Biology Newark) reports the following publication:

  • Burridge, L., J.S. Weis, F. Cabello, J. Pizarro and K. Bostick 2010. Chemical use in salmon aquaculture: A review of current practices and possible environmental effects. Aquaculture  306: 7-23.


Faculty Achievements and Activities:

Bonnie McCay reports she is spending the summer at her usual field research site of Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada, doing research on fishing communities adapting to changes in the abundance and composition of fish and shellfish communities due to overfishing, seal predation, climate change, and what-not (sunspots? It's difficult to pinpoint any particular cause). Dr. McCay just finished volunteering to help The Lost Bird Project find and use a site for a 6 foot bronze statue representing a female Great Auk, once a great but flightless birds of the North Atlantic that went extinct by the mid 19th century. Todd McGrain, Associate Professor of Art at Cornell University, created The Lost Bird Project, memorializing Great Auks, Passenger Pigeons, Heath Hens, Carolina Parakeets, and Labrador Ducks this way.  Dr. McCay and colleagues found a site here on Fogo Island called Joe Batt's Point, and the statue looks out toward Funk Island, 60 miles away, its last known breeding site.



Ignasi (Nacho) Bartomeus, a postdoctoral researcher working with Rae Winfree in the Department of Entomology, received a 2 year Postdoctoral Spanish Government Fellowship to work on assessing pollinator declines with Rachael Winfree.


John Dighton reports the following grant and is looking for other parties interested in the project.

  • New grant from USDA McIntire Stennis program '*Impacts of Forest Thinning and Soil Disturbance on Sustainability in the NJ Pine Barrens' * for John Dighton & Dennis Gray that will support their ongoing project of attempting to change pine barrens upland pine dominated forest with ericaceous understory into a lower density of canopy with graminoid understory by a combination of thinning, ericaceous plant removal and soil disturbance. This is a fully replicated block

design. Dr. Dighton is looking for other folks who may have interest in making observations on other organisms than soil mesofauna, roots, mycorrhizae and soil nutrients. They also have plenty of wood and brush piles at the edges of experimental plots that may be good resources for other organisms that they are not measuring. If you would like more details and especially if you think you could add a project to this manipulation experiment, please contact John of Dennis for more information and please come down and take a look.


Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology) reports a grant:

  • Conserving native bees and valuing their services for sustainable specialty crop production. USDA-SCRI-CAP Planning Grant. PIs R. Isaacs and M. Vaughn;  Rae is a member of 7-person organizing committee. $50,000


Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:

Hutcheson Memorial Forest Center -2010

  • Julian Avery, advisor Julie Lockwood, and Elena Tartaglia, advisor Steven Handel, have received summer research awards to begin or continue research conducted at the Hutcheson Memorial Forest Center. Each has been awarded $1500 for work to be done in the coming year.


Linda Rohleder, Ph.D. candidate in Claus Holzapfel's lab, and Bill Olson taught the “Vegetation Identification for Wetlands Delineation – North” course on May 13-14 as part of the professional Wetland Delineation Certification course series offered through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.


 Maria Stanko has accepted a full-time lecturer position in the biology department at NJIT in Newark, NJ.  In the fall semester, Maria will be teaching Ecological Field Methods and coordinating the labs for Foundations in Biology. Maria, who is advised by Peter Morin, will be defending her Ph.D. this fall.



Patricia Alvarez, (Ph.D. 2009, advisor James White) has received funding from Conservation International for $100,000 to start a plat project in Manu, Peru.


Jeremy Fox, (Ph.D. 2000, advisor Peter Morin), reported a publication:

  • Fox, J. W., W. A. Nelson, and E. McCauley. 2010. Coexistence mechanisms and the paradox of the plankton: quantifying selection from noisy data. Ecology 91:1774-1786.


Ganesan Balachander, (Ph.D. 1995, advisor David Ehrenfeld), has been appointed to the Board of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).  He is the Chair of the Science Task Group of the Board.


Steven Gray (Ph.D. 2010, advisor Rebecca Jordan) reports the following publications:

  • Gray, S., M. Ives, J. P. Scandol, and R.C. Jordan. 2010. Categorizing the risks in fisheries management. Fisheries Management and Ecology. 17(5)
  • Gray, S. and R.C. Jordan. 2010. Ecosystem-based angling: incorporating recreational fishermen into ecosystem-based management. Human Dimensions of Wildlife. 15(4) 233-246..


The E&E family grew again this past month with the birth of son Jonah Lake Gray to Steven and Lindsay Gray on July 9th. Jonah weighed 7.5 lbs. Mother, son and dad are doing well. Steven, advised by Rebecca Jordan, defended his Ph.D. on June 11th.


Lin Jiang (Ph.D. 2003, advisor Peter Morin) reports the following publication:

  • Violle, C., Z. Pu and L. Jiang. 2010. Experimental demonstration of the importance of competition under disturbance. PNAS 107: 12925-12929.


Jay Kelly, (Ph.D. 2006, advisor Pete Vayda), received the Research Award from Clean Ocean Action for the 25th anniversary of their Beach Sweeps. Jay also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his research and educational efforts related to marine debris and how it is impacting New Jersey’s beaches.


Bill Landesman (Ph.D. 2009, advisor John Dighton) has the following publication:

  • Landesman, W.J., Dighton, J., Response of soil microbial communities and the production of plant-available nitrogen to a two-year rainfall manipulation in the New Jersey Pinelands, Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2010), doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.06.012


JeanMaire Molina (Ph.D. 2009, advisor Lena Struwe) presented the following poster:

  • Molina, J., J. Wen, & L. Struwe. 2010. Phylogeny and Biogeography of Leeaceae (Vitales): Laurasian Tertiary Dispersals to Gondwanan Continents. International Conference on New Frontiers in Plant Systematics and Evolution. Beijing, China, 7-9 July, 2010. [poster]


Jenny Momsen, (Ph.D. 2007 advisor JeanMarie Hartman), accepted a position as an tenure- track assistant professor in the department of Biology at North Dakota State University. Jenny was hired to research how students learn biology at the undergraduate level.


Kirsten Schwarz, (Ph.D. 2010, advisor Steward T.A. Pickett), accepted a post-doctoral fellowship with Mary Cadenasso at the University of California, Davis.


William Reiners, (Ph.D. 1964, Botany), recipient of the GSNB Distinguished Accomplishments in Biological Sciences Award in 2006-2007 has published the following book:

  • Reiners, W.A. and J.A. Lockwood. 2009. Philosophical foundations for the practices of ecology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 212 p. 

Alison Seigel (Ph.D. 2009, advisor Julie Lockwood) has accepted a position as an Associate in Science Instruction at Middlebury College in Vermont to teach Ecology and Evolution Laboratory. 



Chris Martine wanted to clarify that his promotion to associate professor came without tenure as the promotion was two years early.