of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Bert Murray, Professor emeritus, passed away after a
long battle with lung cancer on August 7, 2010. Bert was an integral and valued
member of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and the
Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program. Even in retirement Bert attended
program seminars frequently. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with his wife, Patti, at this
A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced later.
Donations in Bert’s memory may be made to the NJ Audubon Cape May
Welcome to the fall 2010 incoming graduate students:
The fall 2009 semester brings us twelve new and one
transferring graduate student. They come from diverse backgrounds and will be
doing their graduate work in many different areas.
- Kevin Aagaard comes to E&E from SUNY
Geneseo where he received a B.A. in biology. Kevin will join either the
Lockwood or the Morin lab to work towards his Ph.D.
- Curtis Burkhalter is joining the Lockwood lab to
pursue his Ph.D. Curtis has a B.A. in Biology and MS in Ecology from the University of North Florida.
- Jamie Caridad will be working towards her M.S.
in Ken Able’s lab. Jamie holds a B.S. in Marine Science from Richard Stockton
College of New Jersey.
- Colleen Conover is a Rutgers Douglass
with a B.A. in biology. Colleen will be working towards her Ph.D. with
- Margaret Doyle will join the Rick Lathrop lab
group. Margaret has a B.S. in math and German from Notre
and an MS in applied mathematics from the University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Margaret is a Ph.D. student.
- Natalie Howe has her B.S. from Yale University
in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and her MS in environmental studies
from the University
Natalie will be working with John Dighton towards her Ph.D.
- Molly MacLeod attended Marlboro College
where she received her B.A. in biology and ecology. She is joining the Rae
Winfree lab to pursue her Ph.D.
- Amy Manning, a Rutgers Cook
College graduate with
a BS in ecology, will be working toward her M.S. with Lena Struwe.
- Julia Perzley has her B.A. in biology from
Julia is pursuing her Ph.D. with Claus Holzapfel.
- Kimberley Thomas is coming to work with Bonnie
McCay. Kim has her B.S. in biology from the University
of Victoria, B.C. and her M.S. from
of Hawaii at Manoa
in oceanography. Kim is studying towards her Ph.D.
- Amanda Wenczel, who will be working towards her Ph.D with David Bushek at the Haskins
Shellfish Research Lab, has her B.A. in biology from Smith
College and her M.S. in Marine
Policy from the University
- Talia Young has her B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College. Talia is pursuing her
Ph.D. in the Olaf Jensen lab.
- Ashley DeNegre transferred into E&E in the
spring 2010 to work with Nina Fefferman towards her Ph.D. Ashley has a B.S.
in Psychology from the University
of Mary Washington.
The E&E family continues to grow
with the arrival of:
Jordan-Weis, third granddaughter of Pete and Judy Weis.
Stone Norin born to Carrie Norin and
husband Andy on August 4th.
Alexander, who is joining older brother Nathaniel, weighed 7 lbs., 4 oz
and was 20 inches long. Everyone is reported to be doing wonderfully.
Ecological Society of America; August 2-6 Pittsburgh PA.
- Wes Brooks, a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca Jordan’s lab, presented a talk
titled “Testing the biotic resistance hypothesis across spatial scales:
Evidence from tropical dry forests.”
- Curtis Burkhalter, an incoming Ph.D. student in the Julie
Lockwood lab, gave a presentation titled “Diversity, similarity and
resilience of arthropods in response to the restoration of the former pine
- Josh Caplan, a post-doctoral associate in Joan Ehrenfeld lab, gave the
following talk “Morphology, water
relations, and the invasive success of
Rubus armeniacus in the Pacific Northwest”
- Kenneth Elgersma, a Joan Ehrenfeld October 2010 Ph.D. student, presented "Plant
invasion density has linear and nonlinear impacts on the soil
Jordan presented a paper titled
“Laboratory materials: constraints or affordances?” and chaired a Special
Session: Public Participation in Research (e.g., Citizen Science) and Ecological
Literacy: Meeting the Challenges in Times of Rapid Climate Change and
accompanying workshop: Promoting Ecological Literacy and Climate Literacy:
Successful Strategies for Public Participation in Scientific
- Julia Perzley, an incoming Ph.D. student working with Claus Holzapfel, gave a
poster at titled "Characterization of the ecotone between taiga
forest and steppe grassland in northern Mongolia" This was
co-authored with Peter Petraitis
- Maria Stanko, a Ph.D. candidate in the
Peter Morin lab, gave a talk titled “Seasonal
variation in the role of non-native plants in an old field
plant-pollinator interaction network”
- Tom Virzi, a Post-doctoral Associate in the Julie Lockwood lab, gave a talk
titled: Conspecific Attraction and Population Recovery of the Endangered
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in the Florida
Everglades. Co-authored with J. L. Lockwood.
- Ai Wen, a David and Joan Ehrenfeld October 2010 Ph.D. student,
habitat selection in active and abandoned cranberry farms in the Pine
Barrens, New Jersey."
- Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology) co-authored a poster
with Neal William of UC Davis titled “Landscape change does not drive
disassembly of pollinator communities or pollination of spring wildflowers.”
Siobain Duffy gave an invited presentation titled “How do geminiviruses evolve as
quickly as RNA viruses?” in the Advances in Plant Virus Evolution Symposium,
American Phytopathological Society annual meeting Charlotte, NC
August 8, 2010.
Steven Handel gave a presentation in June at the Dumbarton Oaks
Research Library, Garden and Landscape
Studies Center, Washington,
D.C., for the Symposium on Designing Wildlife Habitats. The talk was titled “Restoring
habitats to degraded urban areas - dreams and nightmares.”
Marci Meixler gave the following presentation:
- Meixler, M. S. 2010.
Streamside health and vulnerability mapping program and
application. New Jersey Geospatial
Forum, Trenton, NJ. 11 June.
Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology) was an invited speaker in
a symposium on "Plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented
Caplan, a post-doctoral
associate in the Joan Ehrenfeld lab, reports the following publication:
- Caplan JS, Yeakley JA (2010) Water relations advantages for
invasive Rubus armeniacus over
two native ruderal congeners. Plant
Joan Ehrenfeld and two of her former E&E Ph.D. students have
H. B. and J. G. Ehrenfeld. 2010. The influence of urban land use
on seed dispersal and wetland invasibility. Plant Ecology. 210:153-167.
J. and J. G. Ehrenfeld. 2010. Leaf litter and understory canopy shade
limit the establishment, growth and reproduction of Microstegium vimineum.
Biological Invasions. Online
first DOI 10.1007/s10530-010-9711-1
Bowman-Cutway received her Ph.D. in 2004 and Jonathon Schramm received his
Ph.D. in 2008.
Heidi Fuchs (Institute
of Marine and Coastal
Sciences) reports the following feature article:
- H. L. Fuchs, P. J. S. Franks. 2010. Plankton community properties
determined by nutrients and size-selective feeding. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 413:1-15
Jordan reports the
following co-authored publication. Lead author Peter
Groffman is a member of the E&E Graduate Program as well.
He is located at the Cary Institute for Ecosystems Studies in Millbrook NY.
P., C. Duarte, M. Nisbet, C.
Stylinski, G. Woodwell, A. Burgin, R.
Jordan, G. Coloso, and J. Previtali. Restarting the
Conversation: Challenges at the interface between ecology and
society. Frontiers in Ecology
and the Environment 8: 284-291.
Oscar Schofield (Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences) reports the following publication:
- Kahl, A., Fraser, W., Schofield, O.
2010. Autonomous gliders reveal water column features associated with
Adélie penguin foraging. Integrative
and Comparative Biology doi: 10.1093/icb/icq098
Weersing Thomas, an
incoming Ph.D. student working with Bonnie McCay reports the following
- Weersing, Kimberley,
Jacqueline Padilla-Gamiño, Barbara C. Bruno. 2010. What
microbe are you? The Science Teacher. 77(6):40-44.
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Ehrenfeld, Ph.D. student Laura Shappell and Rick Ostfeld (Rick is located at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies) were featured in the August September
issue of National Wildlife in the
article A Dose of Diversity. See the link below.
Rebecca Jordan recorded a
segment for the upcoming Water exhibit at the JV Zimmerli Art Museum
Lathrop was interviewed by Editor-in-chief
Joe Francica of 'All Points Blog' @ Directions Magazine about his study on land use and land cover classification of the entire
State of New Jersey entitled “Changing Landscapes in the Garden State:
Urban Growth and Open Space Loss in NJ 1986 thru 2007." The interview
highlights the specifics about the GIS technology and techniques he used and
the implications for New Jersey's
communities and legislature to act upon his findings for smart growth
initiatives within the state.
Terry McGuire (Department of Genetics) reports that his new course Evolutionary
Medicine (447:356) was one of three National Model Courses for 2010 for SENCER
(Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) an NSF
funded national dissemination project. The selection of this course reflects
SENCER’s new direction in providing innovative science teaching in courses for
The course can be seen
More information on the
SENCER models can be found at:
Greg Dahle and Jason
Grabosky, Rutgers Urban & Community Forestry Program, were awarded
$25,000 by the International Society of Arboriculture to conduct a literature
review on tree biomechanics.
Green and Co-PI’s Rick Lathrop and Joan Ehrenfeld received $60,000 from
McIntire-Stennis and $100,000 from the USDA Forest Service to map soil carbon
in the NJ Coastal Plain using hierarchical Bayesian spatial models. The grant
duration is for three years.
Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
Emma Green-Beach, a master’s student advised by David Bushek (Haskins
Shellfish Research Lab) and her research on the oyster disease Dermo were
featured in the August 6th edition of the Martha’s
Vineyard Gazette article “Oysters Galore Prompt More Study to
Ensure Healthy Ponds.”
Inga La Puma, a Ph.D. candidate in Rick Lathrop’s lab, been
selected as the next recipient of the William H. Greenberg Fellowship.
Ph.D. 200 , advisor Henry
John-Alder, reports the following publications:
- Cox, R.M., and R. Calsbeek. 2010. Cryptic
sex-ratio bias provides indirect genetic benefits despite sexual conflict.
Science 328: 92-94.
- Cox, R.M., and R. Calsbeek. 2010. Sex-specific
selection and intraspecific variation in sexual size dimorphism. Evolution 64: 798-809.
- Cox, R.M., and R. Calsbeek. 2010. Severe costs
of reproduction persist in Anolis lizards despite the evolution of a
single-egg clutch. Evolution 64:
- Cox, R.M., E.U. Parker, D.M. Cheney, A.L. Liebl,
L.B. Martin, and R. Calsbeek. In press. Experimental evidence for
physiological costs underlying the trade-off between reproduction and
survival. Functional Ecology doi
- Cox, R.M. 2010. Body size and sexual dimorphism.
Pp. 220-225 in: The Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. Edited by M. Breed
and J. Moore. Academic Press, Oxford.
- Calsbeek, R., L.A. Bonvini and R.M. Cox. 2010.
Geographic variation, frequency-dependent selection, and the maintenance
of a female-limited polymorphism. Evolution
- Connallon, T., R.M. Cox and R. Calsbeek. 2010.
Fitness consequences of sex-specific selection. Evolution 64: 1671-1682.
- Gasc, A., M.C. Duryea, R.M. Cox, A. Kern and R.
Calsbeek. 2010. Invasive predators deplete genetic diversity of island
lizards. PLoS ONE (in press)
Martine (MS 2001, advisor John Kuser) and his award winning research were reported
in the Press Republican. E&E and
Natural Resource Management get a mention.
Safina, (Ph.D. 1987, advisor Joanna Burger) founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, will receive this year's Sylvia Earle
Award at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey CA. The press release information about the award
reads “Award guidelines specified the nominees should be individuals whose work
has made important contributions in one or more of the following categories:
ocean science, issue awareness, educational outreach, conservation advocacy,
effective policy implementation, public engagement in ocean conservation and
sustainability, grass roots action and tangible results in preserving ocean
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
Walters (Ph.D. 2000, advisor Andrew
Vayda), received his promotion on July 1 to Full Professor at Mount Allison
University in New Brunswick, Canada.