Department of Ecology,
Evolution and Natural Resources
Ecology and Evolution
Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
Joan Bennett has
given three invited seminars this month:
Association of Clinical Microbiology, New Orleans, LA "The
mold that ate my house," Sept 7, 2007.
research laboratories, Biologics Research, Westpoint PA "Don't take
this wrong, but you are really good for a girl'..and other stories about
being a woman in science. Sept 21, 2007.
- New Jersey Center
for the Book and the Liberty
"Doing science with two X chromosomes: Sept. 25, 2007.
Dighton attended the XV Congress of European Mycologists
conference in St. Petersburg, Russia where he gave two oral presentations, two
posters, co-authored a third oral presentation and co-chaired a session.
- Dighton, Adams-Krumins and Gray, Fungal Succession on and
Decomposition of Gypsy Moth Frass;
- Nix and Dighton, Dynamics and structure of the phylloplane
fungal community of Vaccinium
macrocarpon (American cranberry) under different agricultural
Vasilevskaya, Tugay, Artishkova , Nakonechnaya, Dighton, Results of 20-years monitoring of soil
micobiota of 10-km zone of
- Dighton, Tgay, Zhdanova, Vasilevskaya, Zheltonozhsky,
Biological activity of the microscopic fungi isolated from the 10-km
alienation zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant;
- Barron, Dighton, An applied model for
macro-fungi conservation: fungal management in US National Parks.
gave two presentations this month:
Change at Home: What About the Biota” at the 2007 Environmental Congress
of the Association of New Jersey
Environmental Commissioners, West Windsor,
- Montclair State
University on Oct. 18
entitled ““Exotic Plants and the Soil: Pathways of Interaction”.
Frank Gallagher, a Ph.D.
candidate in Dr. Jason Grabosky’s Urban Forestry lab, gave a presentation
entitled “The Myths Associated with Sustainable Forestry”, at a meeting of the
American Forest Foundation. The audience consisted of natural resource education
personnel from both government agencies and NGOs from throughout the country.
The presentation was given in Idaho
City, Idaho on
Inga La Puma, a Ph.D. candidate in Rick Lathrop’s lab, gave two
presentations this month:
Disturbance in the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
Watersheds. Tuckerton Field Station, NOAA Review Sept 11th, 2007.
landuse change into LANDIS-II: Lessons from fire history in the Pinelands
of New Jersey. Rhinelander, WI, LANDIS-II Developer's Workshop Oct 15th,
Peter Morin was the keynote speaker for
the University of
Calgary Ecology and
Evolutionary Biology Annual Retreat, held at the University's Kananaskis
Barrier Lake Field Station Sept. 29-30 (see picture below). Peter gave two seminars, "Small Worlds:
Using Experiments to Explore Patterns in Community Ecology," and
"Developing Successful Strategies to Make the Most of Your Graduate
Later that same week (Oct. 4), Peter Morin presented an invited seminar in the Biology Department
at McGill University
The title of Peter’s talk at McGill was - "Community dynamics and energy: some lessons
from the small world of microbes".
Patricia Ramey, a
Ph.D. candidate supervised by Fred and Judy Grassle,
attended the 9th International Polychaete Conference in Portland Maine,
August 12-18 2007. She presented “Undescribed diversity in the genus Polygordius: pygidial glands as a useful
taxonomic character.” This is research Tricia has been pursing as a
collaborative effort with Dr. Dieter Fiege from the Senckenberg
Museum in Frankurt, Germany.
Peter Smouse and Eva Gonzales, a post-doc in his lab, gave
two invited presentations at the 3rd International Conservation Genetics
Symposium held at the American
Museum of Natural History
on Sept 27th – 29th.
E, Smouse PE, and Hamrick JL. 2007. Impact of
landscape disturbance on pollen-mediated gene dispersal in a dry tropical
tree, Enterolobium cyclocarpum.
P, Peakall R, Gonzales E, Sork E. 2007. Some challenges for
fine-scale structure analysis. 3rd
International Conservation Genetics Symposium at the American Museum of Natural History. Sept 27th
Lena Struwe gave
an invited symposium talk at 54th Annual Systematics Symposium "Biodiversity
and Conservation in the Andes" at the Missouri
Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Oct 12-13, 2007. She was one of
seven speakers. Lena’s talk was titled
"Speciation and Vicariance in Neotropical Macrocarpaea (Gentianaceae-Helieae)"
Tom Virzi, a Ph.D. candidate
in Julie Lockwood’s lab, gave an invited presentation this past month:
"Modeling American Oystercatcher Nest
Success Using Program MARK" at a special workshop on oystercatchers
at the Annual Conference of the International Wader Study Group held at the University of La Rochelle
from September 28 - October 1, 2007.
Tom was also invited to participate in a follow-up
oystercatcher conference sponsored by the University
of Groningen at a research station on
Schiermonnikoog in the Netherlands
from October 3-5. This conference brought together oystercatcher
researchers from every continent to discuss shared conservation issues relating
to the world's oystercatcher species. Tom was invited as a North American
representative to discuss the conservation status of the American
reports the following book chapter:
Dighton, J. (2007) Nutrient cycling by
saprotrophic fungi in terrestrial habitats. In: Kubicek, C. P. &
Druzhinina, I. S. (Ed.) The Mycota IV Environmental
and Microbial Relationships (2nd Edn.) Springer-Verlag,
David Ehrenfeld and Jason Tesauro
(M.S. 2001 advisor D. Ehrenfeld) have the following publication:
The Effects of
Livestock Grazing on the Bog Turtle [Glyptemys
(=Clemmys) mulenberghii]. Herpetologica
63(3) 2007 293-300.
Grabosky, J., Gilman, E., Harchick, C.
2007. Use of branch
cross-sectional area for predicting pruning dose in young field-grown Quercus virginiana 'Cathedral' in Florida, US. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
James Mac Donald, a Ph.D. candidate in the Judy Weis lab, has the following
- Mac Donald, J.,
R. Roudez, T. Glover and J.S. Weis. 2007 The invasive green crab and
Japanese shore crab: behavioral interactions with a native crab species,
the blue crab. Biological Invasions 9: 837-848.
Patricia Ramey, a Ph.D. candidate working with
Fred and Judy Grassle, reports the
Ramey and Fiege, D. 2007. A ‘famous—or infamous’ marine worm? Journal of the Marine Biological Association. Global Environment, 5:
recently published the following papers:
- Smouse PE,
Robledo-Arnuncio JJ and González-Martínez SC.2007. Implications of
Natural propagule flow for containment of genetically modified forest
trees. Tree Genet. Genom. 3: 141-152.
- Robledo-Arnuncio JJ, Austerlitz
F and Smouse
PE. 2007. POLDISP: A software
package for indirect estimation of contemporary pollen dispersal. Molec
Ecol Notes 7:763-766.
Austerlitz F, Dutech C, Smouse PE,
Davis F and Sork VL. 2007. Estimating anisotropic
pollen dispersal: A case study in Quercus
lobata. Heredity 99:193-204.
Jason Grabosky reports two new grants:
- $25,000.00 Effects of structural pruning on red
maple trunk movement in wind Ed Gilman and Forrest Masters, University of Florida
and Jason Grabosky, Rutgers
study will determine if structural pruning enhances the ability of trees
to withstand category one hurricane force winds. The funding is to be used for field data
- $25,000.00 The early years: An analysis of street
tree mortality and survival in New York City Brian McGrath, Columbia University,
Erika Svendsen and Lindsay Cambell, USDA Forest Service, and Jason
University. A sample
of 14,000 trees from the 40,000 trees planted between 1999 and 2003 will
be analyzed to determine factors that influence survival. The funding is to be used for data
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
At the end of August, John Dighton visited the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI) in Stockholm as part of an international three member team to select a candidate for a research position in radioecology to be funded by SSI and establish a new research and teaching program at an existing Swedish university.
Peter Smouse and Eva Gonzalez,
a post-doc in Peter’s lab, presented a workshop titled “Spatial Genetics,” at the Universidad de Comahue, Bariloche,
(2007). This was a two week hand-on
workshop on genetic analysis, in spatial context, mounted by the University with
a grant from the American Genetic Association to the organizers. The attendees
were twenty-one very carefully vetted graduate students from all over Latin
America (Mexico to Argentina).
Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
Jeremy Feinberg and William Landesman are teaching fellows
this year on the NSF K-12 Teaching Fellowship with Kathy Scott. The program
pairs graduate students and some undergraduates in the sciences, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) with middle school teachers to develop
hands-on materials and activities to augment the current curriculum as
requested by the schools involved.
Felson, a Ph.D. student in Steward Pickett’s
lab and Director of Design at EDAW, reports that EDAW has been selected for the
reforestation plan of New York City. The PlaNYC 2017 goal of replanting forests on
2000 acres of New York City’s
public land provides a unique opportunity to significantly improve the quality
of the urban environment, address concerns about environmental health and
climate change vital to all New Yorkers. The scale of the project, at almost a
million dollars, provides opportunities to test and establish new and
innovative ecosystem-based planting and maintenance strategies with robust
opportunities for research and adaptive management approaches. EDAW is working in collaboration with Donna
Walcavage LA+UD, along with top-ranking academic and government experts in
forestry and horticulture, who have done research in New York City and similar
environments, such as Richard Pouyat
(E&E Ph.D. 1992) of the Baltimore Ecosystem Service and Mary Cadenasso of UC Davis (E&E
Ph.D. 1998). This consultation will enable EDAW to garner the best current
knowledge and techniques to achieve their goal, and will also provide an
opportunity to demonstrate, test, and improve these techniques and further the
goals of reforestation and environmental improvement beyond the borders of NYC.
The team will work collaboratively in an integrative design
process with the NYC Parks Department and the Natural Resources Group to
generate innovative, visionary and compelling reforestation design,
construction, and maintenance proposals that capitalize on the unique historic
conditions and land types within New
James MacDonald, a Ph.D. candidate in Judy Weis’
lab, received an internship at the Center for Biological Diversity at the American Museum
of Natural History in New York City.
Jonathan Schramm and Linda Rohleder, PhD candiates in Joan Ehrenfeld's
lab, participated in National Public Lands Day at Washington
NJ on September 29. They helped
install a 1-acre deer exclosure and conduct a vegetation survey within it. This
project will be a public demonstration of the effects of overbrowsing by deer
on the forests at the park. Linda also gave a presentation entitled
"Creating a Backyard Habitat" which emphasized the use of native
Maria Stanko, Ph.D. candidate in Peter Morin’s lab, was asked to give a
workshop for the TA Project on Interacting with Students: Emails, Letters of
Recommendation, and Office Hours. The
workshop was held Sept. 19, from 12-1.
Congratulations to Maria Stanko, advisor
Peter Morin, on the successful completion of her Qualifying Exam on September
26th. Congratulations Maria!
Congratulations to the following on the successful defense
of their Preliminary Proposals:
- Blake Mathys, advisor Julie
Lockwood, on September 25th.
- Allison Candelmo, advisor Judy
Weis, on October 9th.
Qaiser Tarique, advisor Joanna Burger, successfully defended her
Ph.D. dissertation on Sept 27th. Congratulations Qaiser!
David Bart (Ph.D., 2003 advisor JeanMarie Hartman) and his wife
Janean announce the birth of their son Aaron Grey Bart (aka Gaseous Clay) on
12:36 am, September 13th. 8lb. 19 inches.
Everyone is doing very well.
Bass (Ph.D 2007, advisor Judy Weis)
reports the following publication:
- Bass, C.S. , S.
Khan and J.S. Weis. Associations of gill branching with gill parasite
infections in Fundulus heteroclitus. Journal of Fish Biology. 71: 920-925.
Jeremy Fox (Ph.D. 2000, advisor Peter Morin) reports a new
publication and provided the picture of the Calgary Ecology and Evolutionary
Biology Retreat above.
- Vasseur, D.A.,
and J.W. Fox. 2007. Environmental fluctuations can stabilize food web
dynamics by increasing synchrony. Ecology Letters 10:1066-1074.
Elizabeth Johnson (M.S. 1992, advisor
Peter Morin) and P. Timon McPhearson (Ph.D. 2003, advisor
Peter Morin) report the following publication:
Elizabeth A. and P. Timon McPhearson. 2007. Protecting Nature in Your Community. Center for Biodiversity and
Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, (AMNH) New York.
Liz and Timon had worked on this in the past.
It is now available as a short summary of the topic for policy makers and
educators in New Jersey.
AMNH published a number of copies and sent them to various public offices
around NJ. A digital copy is available from AMNH at this
also reports two new grants:
Nature of Ethics and the Ethics of Nature: The ultimate reality of the
good, the transcendent, and the flourishing of life, ($20,000), Science
and Transcendence Advanced Research
Series Research Planning Grant, P. Timon McPhearson, PI; Richard Randolph, Co-PI.
Community Outreach Through Education, ($10,000), Metanexus Local Societies Initiative Supplemental Grant
Prize, P. Timon McPhearson, PI; Robert