of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Dr. John Kuser passed away on August 25, 2008 after a long
illness. We know that all of you will join us in remembering John’s many
contributions as a teacher, scholar, mentor and colleague. There will be a funeral
service on October 17th, 2:30 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church, 33 Mercer St., Princeton.
Plans for a campus remembrance for John will be announced in
to the incoming graduate students!
The fall 2008 semester brings us
eleven new graduate students. They come from diverse backgrounds and will be
doing their graduate work in many different areas.
- Brian Clough
joins Joan Ehrenfeld’s lab. Brian has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers in Ecology and Natural Resources. He will be
working towards his Master’s.
- Cara Faillace
will be working towards her Master’s degree with David Ehrenfeld. Cara’s
undergraduate degree is in Biology from Cornell University.
(Charlie) Kontos, a Ph.D. student, is advised by Rick Lathrop.
Charlie’s undergraduate degree is in Environmental Engineering from the
Steven Institute of Technology, his Master’s degree is in Biology from Montclair State.
- William (Bill)
Lynch received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers
in Sociology. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Julie Lockwood’s lab.
- Sonja (Sona) Mason
is working towards her Master’s with Judy Weis. Sona’s undergraduate
degree is in Ecology from the Columbia University School of General
- Christen McCoy
completed her undergraduate degree in Ecology and Natural Resources at Rutgers. She is continuing towards her Ph.D. in
Michael Sukhdeo’s lab.
- Joshua (Josh)
Moody, is working toward Master’s degree with David Bushek. He
completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Temple University.
- Patricia Rendo
is joining Julie Lockwood’s lab to complete a Master’s degree. Patricia
has her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Rutgers.
- David Smith
is joining Rick Lathrop’s lab as a Master’s student. David’s has a B.A. in
Visual Arts from Antioch
College and a B.A.
from Rutgers-Camden in Biology.
- Orion Weldon,
a Ph.D. student joining Julie Lockwood’s lab, received his B.S. in Marine
Science from Texas A &M University,
(Chris) Zambell completed his undergraduate degree at Kean University in Chemistry and his
M.S. in Biology at Rutgers-Newark. Chris is advised by Jim White.
has given three presentations this month:
Ridge Nursery Research and Extension Meeting:
August 28, 2008
“Tree Species Selection for the
- New York State
Arborist Meeting Poughkeepsie,
NY Sept. 22, 2008
“Implementing the ANSI A-300 part 1
“Integrating Trees and Pavement in
storm water management design.”
- Somerset County i-Tree training Sept. 25,
2008 i-Tree workshop
reports the following presentations:
the biological complexity in the coastal oceans: A decadal view from the
COOL Room. (University
of Southern California)
days in the Southern Ocean. Climate induced migration of the West
Antarctic Peninsula (Oregon
learned from a decade building the Coastal Ocean Observation Lab (Oregon State University)
in a new era of ocean observing: Potential payoffs for managing the
Mid-Atlantic Bight. (National Marine Fisheries Service, Sandy Hook, NJ)
Nick Skowronski, a Ph.D. candidate in Ming Xu’s lab, presented a poster at
the International Association of Wildland Fire meeting on Sept. 24th in Jackson, WY.
Skowronski, N.S., Clark,
K.L., Duveneck, M., Nelson, R., and J. Hom. Fire Severity and Carbon Loss
Estimated Using Pre- and Post- LiDAR Derived Fuel Measurements. International
Association of Wildland Fire Annual Meeting, Jackson, WY,
was the Keynote Speaker the Conference on Carbon and Biogeochemical Cycles on
Tibetan Plateau, July 27-30, 2008, Xining,
presentation was titled “The Tibetan Plateau is potentially a large carbon sink
in the 21st century.”
Ph.D. candidate in Ming Xu’s lab reports the following publication from her
- Han Han, Daniel Giménez
and Allan Lilly. Textural averages of saturated
soil hydraulic conductivity predicted from water retention data. Geoderma Vol. 146
(1-2), 31 July 2008, Pages 121-128
has the following publication:
CE, E. Chernobilsky, and R. Jordan.
2008. Understanding collaborative learning processes in new learning
Bill Landesman, a
Ph.D. candidate in the John Dighton
lab, had the following paper accepted:
B.F., R.B. Langerhans, W.A. Ryberg, W.J. Landesman, N.W. Griffin, R.S.
Katz, B.J. Oberle, M. Schutzenhofer, K.N. Smyth, A. de St. Maurice, L.
Clark, K.R. Crooks, D. Hernandez, R.G. McLean, R.S. Ostfeld and J.M.
Chase. Ecological correlates of
risk and incidence of West Nile Virus in the United States. Oecologia.
reports the following in press:
R.L., J.L. Lockwood, M.J. Davis, A. Pedziwilk, K.A. Broadway, J.T.
Broadway, D. Okines and S.L. Pimm.
Survival of the endangered Cape Sable
seaside sparrow: an eleven-year study.
Journal of Wildlife
has the following publications:
S. M., Jones, C., Twardowski, M., Bowers, L., Kerfoot, J., Webb, D.,
Schofield, O. 2008. Studying resuspension processes in the Mid-Atlantic
Bight using Webb slocum gliders. Limnology
and Oceanography 53(6): 2180-2196.
Y., Zhijin L., Farrara, J. D., Moline,
M. A., Schofield, O., Majumdar, S. J. 2008. Synergistic applications of
autonomous underwater vehicles and regional ocean modeling system in
coastal ocean forecasting. Limnology
and Oceanography 53(6): 2251-2263.
reports the following publications:
M. F., J. Pirani, & L. Struwe. 2008. Morphology-based phylogeny and
revision of Prepusa and Senaea (Gentianaceae: Helieae ) —
rare endemics from eastern Brazil.
Kew Bulletin 63: 169-191.
C., V. A. Albert, & L. Struwe. 2008. Amazonian lowland, white sand
areas as ancestral regions for South American biodiversity: biogeographic
and phylogenetic patterns in Potalia
(Gentianaceae). Organisms, Diversity
& Evolution 8: 44-57.
J. E. W., L. Struwe, & E. Jin. 2008. Identification and
characterization of a new strain of the unicellular green alga Dunaliella salina (Teod.) from Korea.
J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 18(5):
Rachael Winfree has the following publication:
- Winfree, R. and C. Kremen.
2008. Are ecosystem services stabilized by differences among species? A
test using crop pollination. Published online 17 September in Proceedings of the Royal Society of
Ming Xu, his lab and collaborators have the following in press:
- Miao, Z., Xu, M., Lathrop, R., Wang, Y.
2008. Comparison of A-Cc curve
fitting methods in determining
maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate (Vcmax),
potential light saturated
electron transport rate (Jmax) and leaf dark
respiration (Rd), Plant, Cell & Environment (in
- Zhang, Y., Xu, M., Chen, H., Adams, J. 2008. Global pattern of
NPP to GPP
ratio derived from MODIS data:
Effects of ecosystem type, geographical
location, and climate, Global Ecology and Biogeography (in
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Dighton reports that the
faculty and staff of the Pinelands Field Station participated this summer in a Camden based NSF funded
REU program. The Principal Investigator (PI) was Heike Bucking. They had 10 undergraduate students from around the
state and other far flung regions of the USA
including Puerto Rico staying in the field station dorm for the first two weeks
before going to Camden
or the staying at the station to conduct their research over the following
eight weeks. John will be PI on the project for the next two years.
Dina Fonseca has a new graduate student in Entomology. Laran Kaplan has
her Masters from Clarke
University and will be
working on the ecology of parasite-host interactions. She started doing
research at the Center for Vector Biology last August.
Dina Fonseca is now also an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at UMDNJ.
Jordan attended a Working Group
meeting of the National Science
Foundation supported Center for Advancement of Informal Science
Education on September 18 and 19th.
Professor Emeritus, recently attended The Fifth International Symposium on
Grass Systematics and Evolution at the University
of Copenhagen in Denmark.
reports the following activities:
on the organizing Committee on the “Integrated Ocean Observing System
Modeling framework symposium” which was held in Arlington, Virginia
to the steering Committee for the Federation of Observing Environmental
Networks (FEON) for NSF Computer Science Directorate.
to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marine Biology
Rachael Winfree was quoted in Science News, “Bumblebees deliver disease”,
16 August 2008.
Ming Xu was an invited scientist at a
Joint Workshop on Climate Change by NSF and NSF-China, Sept. 4, 2008, Shanghai, China
Dighton has been awarded
an International NSF award for undergraduate research looking at thinning and
forest floor disturbance in the NJ Pine Barrens and related forest harvest
practices in Finland
of clear felling and post harvest residue removal. We will be working with
Dr.Helja-Sisko Helmisaari of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla).
Carrie Norin and advisor Steven
Handel received $5000 from an NJAES Internal Hatch Award for the project
entitled, "The Role of Phenotypic Plasticity in Defining Appropriate
Genotypes for Ecological Restoration."
Orion Weldon, a
Ph.D. student in Julie Lockwood’s lab, received a $900.00 Special Study Award
from the GSNB. As Orion explained in his proposal the award will enable him to
attend “The 3rd Annual Cerulean Warbler Summit and 2nd
Annual Golden-winged Warbler Summit held in Bogota, Colombia
from October 21 – 25, 2008. The goals of this summit, through multiple
intensive workshops, are to: create a five year conservation management plan
for both species, discuss issues in all areas of these warblers ranges driving
population decline, and develop coordination and information sharing between
industries, farmers, land managers, and conservationists.”
Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
Joe Paulin, a Ph.D. candidate working with David Ehrenfeld, accepted
a position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as Manager
and Program Coordinator of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine
Sanctuary. Joe will be coordinating
research and educational efforts for conservation projects involving several
threatened and endangered species including humpback whales, sea turtles, dolphins,
and monk seals. He will also be developing
a new management plan for the sanctuary.
Congratulations to the following:
On the successful defense of
their Ph.D. Dissertation:
- Thomas Virzi,
advisor Julie Lockwood, on September 18th.
- Andrew Reed, advisor Rich Lutz, on
On the successful completion of
- Niall Dunne,
advisor Steven Handel, on September 11th.
Kornbluh, advisor Peter Smouse, on September 23rd.
- Erin Esteves,
advisor Karl Kjer, on September 29th.
On the successful completion of
her Qualifying Exam:
- Di Li, advisor Don Schaffner, on September 8th.
On the successful defense of
their Preliminary Proposal:
- Tavis Anderson, advisor Michael Sukhdeo, on
- Wes Brooks,
advisor Rebecca Jordan, on September 12th.
- Ileana Perez,
advisor Costantino Vetriani, on September 12th.
- Amy Karpati,
advisor Steven Handel, on September 23rd.
The extended E&E family continues to
grow at a fast pace. We welcome six new babies with this issue! Three were born
within 24 hours of each other and there are more on the way.
- Stacey and
Brian Lettini welcomed daughter Kaitlyn Elizabeth on August 22nd.
Kaitlyn weighed 6 lbs, 15.6 oz and was 18 inches long.
- Yufei and
Pingli Wang welcomed daughter Jiahui (Jasmine) Wang on September 3rd.
Jasmine weighed 7 lbs, 3.6 oz and was 20 inches long.
- Sean Tristan Aronson was born to Myla and Scott Aronson on September 11th. Sean
weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and was 18 ¾ inches long.
- Inga and David
La Puma welcomed Corinna Wren on October 1st. Born at home,
Corinna weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz.
- Matthew and
Busy Kimball welcomed Ann Caroline on Oct 1st. Ann weighed 8lbs 12oz.
- Greg and Iwona
Dahle welcomed Lucille Anna on Oct 2nd. Lucy topped the
weigh-in at 9.0 lbs and 20.5 inches.
are happy and healthy but report being in need of sleep.
Ph.D. 2008, advisor Jason Grabosky, and Part Time Lecturer, received the Nancy Zimmerman Memorial "Running
with Scissors" Award The award is given to those individuals willing to
push boundaries to protect or enhance the natural resources of the harbor and
its watershed. The award is given annually by The Baykeeper, an NGO that
focuses on the environments of the New
whose mission it is to protect, preserve, and restore the ecological integrity
and productivity of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary - the most urban estuary on the