Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources


Faculty and Student Newsletter

November 2005


Previous newsletters may be found at:





Allison Candelmo, a graduate student working with Judy Weis, presented a paper at the Estuarine Research Foundation on "Behavior and condition responses of young-of-the-year bluefish (Pomatomus salatrix) to contamination via trophic transfer"


Greg Dahle, a graduate student in Jason Grabosky’s lab, will be giving a presentation at the Pacific Northwest Chapter of ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Utility Vegetation Management Conference on Nov 30th in Salem OR. The talk is titled “How utility through-pruning techniques relate to decay patterns in silver maples”.


Jason Grabosky presented "Best management practices for trees:  Tree hazard appraisal and risk management planning" to the Bergen County Parks Department on November 10.


Julie Lockwood gave a presentation at the University of Missouri - St. Louis in their Biology Seminar Series. The talk was titled “The role of propagule pressure in explaining invasion success.”


James MacDonald, a Ph.D. candidate in Judy Weis’ lab, presented a paper at the Estuarine Research Foundation on "Subtidal animal communities on R. mangle prop roots: What impact does nearby anthropogenic disturbance have on community composition and diversity?"


Peter Morin presented the opening and closing lectures at an international graduate-level community ecology course held in Zeist, The Netherlands, on November 6-11. Thirty-eight graduate students from several different countries (Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, USA) enrolled in the course. Peter's two lectures were titled "The State of the Art of

Community Topology" and "The Future of Community Ecology: New Directions and Unresolved Problems".  The course was organized by Professors Herman Verhoef (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) and Andre de Roos (University of  Amsterdam) under the auspices of SENSE, the Netherlands Research School for the Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment.




Dr. Shaokui Ge, a research associate in the labs of Ming Xu and Rick Lathrop, reports the following publications:

  • Ge, Shaokui   Raymond I. Carruthers  Zufei Ma, Guangxue Zhang, and

Dianmo Li.  2005 Spatial heterogeneity and population risk analysis of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, in China.  Insect Science 12: 255-262 2.  Anderson, G. L. Raymond Carruthers, Shaokui Ge and Peng Gong. 

Monitoring of   Invasive Tamarix Distribution and Effects of Biological

Control with Airborne Hyperspectral Remote Sensing. 2005, International Journal of Remote Sensing.  26:2487-2489 (Journal cover).

  • Ge, Shaokui   Raymond I. Carruthers, and Peng Gong. 2005  Texture

Analysis for Mapping Tamarix parviflora Using Aerial Photographs along Cache Creek, California.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (In


  • Ge, Shaokui,  James Everrit,  Raymond I. Carruthers  Gerald L.

Anderson.  2005   Hyperspectral characteristics of Canopy Components and

Structure for Phenological Assessment of an Invasive Weed.   Environmental

Monitoring and Assessment (In press)


Zachary T. Long and Peter J. Morin. 2005. Effects of organism size and community composition on ecosystem functioning. Ecology Letters 8: 1271-1285.


Dr. John C. F.Tedrow, Professor Emeritus, published “The Keys Project in Northern Alaska, 1951-53” in Arctic  Vol 58, No. 40.


Ai Wen, a Ph.D. candidate in David Ehrenfeld’s lab, is a co-author of an upcoming publication in Nature:

  • Gang Liu, Holger Seiler, Ai Wen, Troy Zars, Kei Ito, Reinhard Wolf, Martin Heisenberg, Li Liu.  "Distinct memory traces for two parameters of visual pattern recognition in the Drosophila brain". Nature, in press.


     Faculty Achievements and Activities:


Steven Handel is highlighted in the November/December 2005 issue of Sierra magazine. The issue discusses the importance of restoration ecology in urban areas, and highlights some of the research being done in the Handel lab and the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology. CURE is a joint effort between Rutgers and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The article is titled “Talkin’ Trash: Let a Billion Flowers Bloom.” For the complete article visit the Sierra website at:


The New Jersey Highlands Council has contracted with the Center for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis, director Rick Lathrop, to assist in the development of the NJ Highlands Regional Master Plan which is due out June 2006.  CRSSA will be collaborating with the Highlands Council, the US Geological Survey and the Bloustein School in undertaking the background land capability studies needed to develop the master plan.  CRSSA will take the lead on the Biodiversity and Natural Resources components of the Land Capability Analysis, as well as a Conservation Threat assessment. Rick Lathrop will lead the CRSSA team of John Bognar, Caroline Phillipuk, Mike Mills and Carl Figuerrido.


Julie Lockwood has accepted an appointment as Associate Editor for the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.


The Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute awarded a  $5000 grant  Judy Weis  to support the work of Celine Santiago Bass, a Ph.D. candidate in Judy’s lab. The grant was titled  "Effects of extremely high gill parasite loads of killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from Mill Creek in the Hackensack Meadowlands."


Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:


Frank Gallagher, a Ph.D. candidate in Jason Grabosky's Urban Forestry lab, was elected co-chair of the American Forest Foundation's Education Operating Committee. The committee is charged with oversight and direction of Project Learning Tree, an international environmental education program which uses the forest as a "window" on the world to increase students' understanding of the environment.


David Moskowitz, a graduate student in Michael May’s lab and a member of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, received an Environmental Excellence Award from the NJDEP at the League of Municipalities Annual Meeting in Atlantic City for his work on the East Brunswick Vernal Pool Protection Plan (Amphibian Road Kill Reduction Plan) for the Spotted Salamander Migration Road Closing Project.  More information about the award ceremony is can be found on the website:


Alison Seigel, a graduate student in Julie Lockwood’s lab, participated in a week-long workshop in Orlando, Florida, titled, "Counting Critters: An Introduction to Estimating Animal Abundance and Distance Sampling."  The workshop focused on the major survey methods (distance sampling and mark-recapture) and statistical theory for estimating the size of wild animal populations. Funding provided by the Duke Estate.


Shannon Galbraith-Kent and Amy Karpati, Ph.D. students in Steven Handel’s lab and Mikael Forup, a post-doctoral fellow in the Handel lab, were interviewed for The Reporter, Somerset edition, about the restoration work they have been involved in at the Duke Estate in Somerville. The article titled “Science gives land a helping hand: 'With restoration ecology, just the act of it is beneficial', appeared in the Thursday, Nov 17th edition.  To read the complete article see:



A Word of Thanks


Thanks to everyone in the department and program who generously donated to a Biloxi, Mississippi family [Bryan, Tabitha, Trenton (8yrs), & Erin (4yrs) Thompson] who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina.  The Thompsons have relocated to Northern Kentucky. Bryan and Tabitha have found work, the kids are attending school, and they're slowly making a new life there together.