Department of Ecology,
Evolution and Natural Resources
Ecology and Evolution
Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Monica Palta and Emilie Stander, Ph.D.
students in the Joan Ehrenfeld lab, attended
the EPA Graduate Fellows Conference in Washington,
DC on September 25 and 26th. Both presented posters;
- Emilie’s was titled
"The Effects of Urbanization on Nitrogen Cycling Dynamics in Urban
- Monica’s was titled “"Nitrate
removal in urban wetlands: examining the roles of vegetation, soils, and
hydrology in the creation of "hot spots" and "hot
moments" of denitrification"
- Emilie also was invited to
be a panelist in a session called, "Global Trends in Human and
Ecosystem Health: Links Between Land Use, Trade, and Climate Change."
students gave presentations at The 4th North American Ornithological Conference
held Oct 3rd to the 8th in Veracruz, Mexico.
- Julian Avery, a
Ph.D. student in Joanna Burger’s lab, presented a poster titled “Stopover ecology of nearctic-neotropical
and temperate migrants in New Mexico:
effects of disturbance in montane
- Ben Baiser, a Ph.D. student in Julie Lockwood’s
lab, presented a poster titled “The influence of water level on the
breeding success of Cape Sable seaside sparrows.”
- David LaPuma, a
Ph.D. candidate in Julie Lockwood’s lab
presented a poster titled "Little Sparrow on the Prairie: A landscape
approach to estimating return time of the Cape Sable
seaside sparrow (Ammodramus
maritimus mirabilis) following fire."
- Blake Mathys, a
Ph.D. candidate in Julie Lockwood’s lab,
presented a poster titled: "Contemporary Evolutionary Change of the
Introduced Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) Population in Bermuda".
- Holly Vuong, a Ph.D. student advised by Peter
Morin and Rick Ostfeld, presented a talk titled "An
exotic pathogen in an arid landscape: ecological associations of West
Nile virus and avian hosts in southern New
Kenneth Elgersma, a
Ph.D. candidate in Joan Ehrenfeld’s lab, attended
the 4th annual conference of the Neobiota
working group, a European-based international working group on invasive
species. The conference took place in Vienna
from Sept. 27-29. Kenneth presented a
poster titled, “Plant invasion alters seasonal dynamics of the soil microbial
Feinberg, a Ph.D. student in the Joanna Burger lab, presented
a paper titled: "The Southern Leopard Frog: Causes and Conservation
Strategies for a Regional Amphibian Decline on Long Island." on Thursday, October 5, 2006 at the Eleventh Annual
Pine Barrens Research Forum held at Brookhaven National
Steven Handel has been invited to
lecture on his research in restoration ecology at the University
of California - Irvine,
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the University
of Nevada - Reno,
Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Science.
Lockwood gave an invited seminar at the Lamont-Doherty
Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Seminar Series titled “The shape of
things to come: taxonomic homogenization of island bird faunas.”
Morin presented a research seminar at the University of
Maryland Center for Environmental Studies Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg
MD on Oct. 5. The title of Peter's seminar was "Using Experimental Model
Systems To Explore Environmental
Issues: Lessons from Small Worlds".
The Peter Smouse lab group
presented several papers at the International Union of Forestry Organizations
(IUFRO) in Alcalá, Spain in early October, where Peter chaired
the session on Population Genetics,
Robledo-Arnuncio JJ, Austerlitz F and Smouse PE. 2006. A novel indirect method of estimating
the pollen dispersal curve that is independent of effective density. In Population Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees. from Gene Function to
Evolutionary Dynamics and Conservation. Prog. Joint IUFRO Conf., Alcalá, SP,
Hamrick JL, Gonzales E and
Robledo-Arnuncio JJ. 2006. A comparison of the temporal pattern of
pollen structure in Enterolobium cyclocarpum
from four different locations in Guanacaste
Province, Costa Rica.
In ---. Prog. Joint IUFRO Conf., Alcalá,
Grivet D, Sork
VL and Smouse PE. 2006. Spatial
genetic pattern of dispersed seedlings in the California
valley oak. In ---. Prog.
Joint IUFRO Conf., Alcalá, SP.
Hamrick JL, Smouse PE and Peakall R. 2006. The impact of landscape
disturbance on fine-scale genetic structure in the Guanacaste
tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)
in Costa Rica. In ---.
IUFRO Conf., Alcalá, SP.
Pluess AR, Sork VL, Dolan B, Davis
FW, Merg K, Grivet D, Papp
J and Smouse PE. 2006. Short distance dispersal patterns of pollen in California
valley oak, Quercus lobata (Fagaceae). In ---. Prog. Joint IUFRO Conf., Alcalá,
Kristen Ross and Jonathon Schramm,
both Ph.D. candidates in the Joan Ehrenfeld
lab, were invited to speak and
participate in a panel discussion at the D&R Greenway land Trust’s 2006
Landowners Forum on September 27, 2006 located at the Johnson Education Center
in Princeton, NJ. The focus of the forum was to share research and control
efforts on four invasive, exotic species: Garlic Mustard, Japanese Stiltgrass, Japanese barberry, and Multiflora
Rose. Jonathon gave a talk titled: “A case study of Microstegium vimineum
(Japanese stiltgrass)” and Kristen gave a talk titled
“Space Invaders of the Prickly Kind: A case study of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii).”
Alison Seigel, a PhD candidate in Julie Lockwood's lab, presented a
poster on "Conservation of threatened birds on agricultural
grasslands" at the Eastern Native Grass Symposium in Harrisburg,
PA on October 11th.
Lockwood, J.L., D. La Puma, P. Cassey, M. Davis and K.H. Fenn.
Fire effects on the Cape Sable seaside sparrow: 2006 annual report. Everglades
National Park, Homestead, FL.
Julie Lockwood received a grant from the Critical Ecosystems Science
Initiative, National Park Service for “Recovering small Cape Sable
seaside sparrow subpopulations: the breeding and dispersal of sparrows in the
eastern Everglades” - $45,172
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Professor Emeritus, was part of a half day symposium at The Wildlife Society
annual conference in Anchorage,
Sept. 23-27. The symposium was entitled "Challenging Education: Why
Experiential Learning is Necessary for Professional Development."
His talk was "The role of universities in developing experiential
learners: A view from the rocking chair." He was proud to
share the podium with many wonderful colleagues who included daughter, Jodi
(Stemler) and Katie's husband, Ben Bobowski (both Cook
College and Nat Resource
alums). As Jim said in his talk at the Conference “It's pretty
special when you have reached a point in your career when your children
are also your colleagues.”
Of course this professional experience had its fun side. The
Applegate family spent a week in Cordova with both daughters, their spouses and
children trying to fish out the Copper River. They
sent home over 200 pounds of salmon and Carol reports they definitely didn't
dent the population.
Rutgers Cook and NJAES made the
following announcement in an Oct 10th press release:
“A ceremony on Thursday,
September 28, marked the activation of the John and Eleanor Kuser Endowed
Faculty Scholar Fund in Urban and Community Forestry. Jason Grabosky, who was named Faculty Scholar in Urban Forestry in
2003, now is steward of the fund.”
The complete release can be read at:
Ed Green has been invited and agreed to
serve a second three-year term as Editor of Forest Science.
Rebecca Jordan participated in the citizen science roundtable at
the North American Association of Environmental Educators Annual Research
Symposium held in St.
on October 9 and 10.
Steven Handel was invited to be the
Opponent (the external examiner) Sept. 15 at Stockholm
University's Dept. of Systems
Ecology. The Ph.D. candidate was in the
field of urban ecology, and Handel had to question him, alone, for two hours in
front of an audience of 120. The
candidate passed, and there was a six hour celebratory dinner. Steven reports that neither the exam nor the dinner
was for the timid.
Steven Handel has been elected an
Adjunct Professor of Ecology by the University
of California - Irvine,
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
This appointment will facilitate collaboration among the faculty and
students there and at Rutgers, and the professional
new Orange County
a 1,800 acre complex where Handel's group is designing the natural habitat
Qualifying Exams and Prelims
Congratulations to Greg
Dahle on successfully completing his Qualifying Exam and advancing to
candidacy in the program.
Congratulations to Dr. Jay Kelly on the successful defense
of his Ph.D. dissertation. Dr. Kelly will be working for various state and
non-governmental organizations on endangered plant species.
Congratulations to Jacalyn Toth Brown on the successful defense of her
Master’s thesis on October 16, 2006.
Jeremy Fox, Ph.D. 2000, advisor Peter Morin, reports the following publication:
- Fox, J. W. 2006. Current
food web models cannot explain the overall topological structure of
observed food webs. Oikos 115:97-109.
extended E&E family continues to grow:
Zac Long (Ph.D. 2004, advisor Peter
Morin) and Amy Long (M.S.
2005, advisor Steven Handel) announce the birth of Saybren Thomas Long. Saybren
, born Oct 9, 2006, is the
namesake of his great, great, great grandfather born Oct 9th in 1834. Amy, Saybren, Zac and Finn are all
Phil Stouffer (Ph.D. 1989, advisor
Harry Power ) Kelli and their son Paul are thrilled to announce the arrival on
September 20 of William Keeley Stouffer. He weighed in at 8 lbs 10 ounces. He and Kelli are both doing great.