Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources


Faculty and Student Newsletter

January-February 2005


Previous newsletters may be found at:





  • Greg Dahle, a graduate student in Jason Grabosky’s lab, was invited to give a presentation to the Indiana Arborist Association Annual Conference on Jan 12th. It was titled "Pruning Affects Tree Structure and Reliability".
  • Greg Dahle  also  delivered the following talk "Structural Reliability of Silver Maples Converted from Round-overs to V-trims" at the 40th Penn-Dell I.S.A. Shade Tree Symposium in Lancaster PA on Feb 8th. He also served as member on the panel

discussion on "Research Needs in Transmission ROW" on Feb 7th at the same


  • Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld  was a participant in the Opening Forum of the “Invasive Species and the Public Good” lecture series. The title of her talk was “Ecological Consequences and Management Innovations”. The Opening Forum was held at Yale University on Jan.24th.
  • Dr. Jason Grabosky has been very busy the past two months giving presentations to the following groups:

On January 4th  he gave a presentation at the North Jersey Ornamental Horticulture Symposium titled “Transplanting: Why we cannot get it right.”

January 7th he presented a lecture to the Rutgers OCPE Urban Forestry course

titled “Uses for trees in the urban landscape” and on February 4th his lecture to this group was titled “Establishing trees in parking lots.”

January 19th  his presentation to the New Jersey Association of Nurserymen and Landscape Architects (NJANLA) Trade Show and Educational Session was titled “Soils and the proper selection of plant material.

  • Dr. Grabosky was also in Florida in late January talking to Tree Ordinances by Design in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. His presentation to this group was titled “When you absolutely positively have to save the tree.”
  • On December 7th and 8th  David LaPuma,  a student in Julie  Lockwood’s lab,  attended the annual Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow working group meeting at Everglades National Park where he presented data from the last three years of their fire study. The title of the presentation was "The Lopez Fire Study Year 3: Return of the Sparrow". The meeting was hosted by Everglades Fire Management.
  • Dr. Richard Lathrop gave a talk, "GIS Profile of the NJ Highlands", to the Highlands Council on Jan 20th.
  • Clare Ng, graduate student in Kenneth Able’s lab, gave a lecture at the Tuckerton Seaport regarding her graduate research project of  tracking striped bass in the Mullica River-Great Bay Estuary and was featured in the Tuckerton Beacon on Thursday Jan 20, and in the Asbury Park Press's  Community Section on Wednesday Jan 26. We got full photo coverage! Links here:,21731,1181768,00.html

  • Dana Price, a PhD candidate in Michael May’s lab, gave a seminar at the American Museum of Natural History (New York) on February 15th.  The title was "Recyclers of the Earth: Dung Beetles of Central New Jersey".


Dr. Lena Struwe was a coauthor of two recent presentations:


  • Calió, F. A., J. R. Pirani, W. Peters, & L. Struwe. 2005. Prepusa and Senaea

(Helieae-Gentianaceae): endangered and endemic genera from Brazil with

six-merous flowers. IBC 2005, Vienna, Austria, July 2005.

  • Kinkade, M., W. Peters, A. M. Pohlit, & L. Struwe. 2005. Systematics of

Tachia (Gentianaceae): speciation patterns in South America using GIS and

phylogenetic data from morphology and DNA.  New York Area Plant Molecular

Biology Meeting, Brooklyn College, 15 Jan, 2005.


The following presentations were given at 2005 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; San Diego (Jan 4-8) by Robert Cox and his advisor Dr. Henry John Alder:


  • Carsia, R.V., R.M. Cox, P.J. McIlroy, and H.B. John-Alder. (2005) Ovarian influence on adrenocortical cell function in Sceloporus virgatus (Striped Plateau Lizard).
  • Cox, R.M., and H.B. John-Alder. (2005)  Does female reproductive investment constrain growth and promote male-larger sexual size dimorphism in Yarrow's Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii?  
  • Cox, R.M., S.L. Skelly, A. Leo, and H.B. John-Alder. (2005)  Testosterone regulates sexually dimorphic coloration in the Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulates.
  • John-Alder, H.B., and R.M. Cox. (2005) Growth effects of testosterone and castration in lizards (Sceloporus spp.) with female- vs. male-larger sexual size dimorphism.






  • Drake, D., Paulin, J. B., Curtis, P. D., Decker, D. J. and G. J. San Julian.  2005.  “Assessment of economic impacts from deer in the northeaster United  States.”  Journal of Extension Vol. 43 (1).
  • Ekaterina (Kathy) Sedia  and Joan Ehrenfeld  "Differential effects of lichens, mosses and grasses on respiration and nitrogen mineralization in soils of the New Jersey Pinelands" accepted for publication in Oecologia. 
  • Bryant, W.S., S.L. Galbraith, and M.E. Held. 2004. Natural terrestrial vegetation of Boone County, Kentucky: classification, ordination, and description. J. Ky. Acad. Sci. 65(2): 132-139.
  • Lockwood, J.L.  2004.  How do biological invasions alter diversity patterns? A biogeographical perspective.  Pages 297-310 In: Frontiers in Biogeography, edited by M. Lomolino and L. Heaney. Sinauer Press. 
  • Lockwood, J.L. and D. La Puma. 2004.  Fire effects on Cape Sable seaside sparrow demography: 2004 final report. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Tedrow, J.C.F. 2004. Polar soils in Encyclopedia of soils in the Environment. D. Hillel et al. (eds). Academic Press-London. pp. 239-249/


Grants and Fellowships:

·        Dr. Jason Grabosky received an additional $65,000 from the USDA Dept.of Forestry Urban and Community Forestry Focus Funding program for continued development of a free access website on Northen/Southern tree selection. Dr. Grabosky has previously received $97,000 for this purpose.


Faculty Achievements and Activities:

  • Dr. Julie Lockwood, and two of her graduate students, David LaPuma and  Ben Baiser,  attended a working group meeting on managing fire within Everglades National Park to benefit  the recovery of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow.  The meeting was held

in Florida City, Florida from December 7th to 9th.

  • Dr. Julie Lockwood attended an NCEAS working group meeting in Santa Barbara from Jan. 16th to 20th.  The working group is called, "Exotic species - insights into understanding ecology, evolution and biogeography" convened by Dov Sax, Jay Stachowicz and Steve Gaines.
  • Dr. Steven Handel was featured on the Swedish television show “Brain Office”. A crew was sent to Manhattan to interview Dr. Handel. Filmed in Central Park, the documentary was concerned with urban ecology.
  • Dr. Colleen Hatfield reports that United States Regional Association of the International Association of Landscape Ecology and landscape ecologists who work across a range of topics have provided us with their take on the question, What is Landscape Ecology? The answers are varied and illuminating of the richness of the field and the creative minds working in it. We encourage you to see for yourself and to read Colleen’s answers to that question at:


  • Dr. Lena Struwe received a $5000 planning grant from the New World Consortium for the proposal titled: " Assessing plant patterns of genetic diversity in Brazil using GIS and molecular systematics", together with Dr. Jose Pirani at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The grant will pay for a trip to collaborators in Brazil, and provide funding for preliminary data gathering for an upcoming NSF grant proposal.


  • Dr. Lena Struwe is bringing 3 graduate students and 4 undergraduate students to the NEEC meetings at Penn State, March 18-20, 2005.  All students will give oral presentations on their research. Kate Lepis and Angela Gorczyca will give talks on Chelonanthus, a taxonomically messy plant genus in South America.  Matt Kinkade, who is doing his George H. Cook thesis on another gentian genus, will present a talk on the phylogeny of Tachia, an anti-malarial plant group in tropical Latin America.  Phillip Miarmi and Wendy Peters have also been working with Tachia and will present their findings of species distribution correlations with environment using GIS and the development of a trilingual Field Guide to all Tachia. Cindy Frasier is continuing her work in exploring pantropical biogegography and large-scale evolution in the toxic plant genus Strychnos (Loganiaceae). Finally, Jean Molina will present some of her preliminary research results on the pollination biology of the genus Leea in the Philippines. Wendy, Phillip, Matt, and Angela are undergraduates whose work has been supported by an REU supplement by NSF.
  • On Dec 8, Dr. Lena Struwe organized a special invited seminar and workshop on the Convention of Biological Diversity, with invited speaker Len Hirsch from the Smithsonian, Washington, DC.  This was arranged as part of a training course for the ICBG Central Asia project.


Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:

  • Tavis Anderson, a graduate student in Michael Sukhdeo’s lab,  is a member of  the organizing committee for DES 2005 (Disease Ecology Symposium 2005).  The meeting is being held April 21-22 at Princeton University and information can be found at

  • Karen Mabb, a graduate student in Julie Lockwood’s lab,  was interviewed in  the  Jan 31, 2005 San Francisco Examiner for an article on parrots. To view the article go to
  • Shannon Galbraith-Kent’s art show, "Musical Notes", was displayed at the Art Gallery in the Busch Campus Center from January 17-28.  The show featured black & white photographs of street musicians and landscapes. Shannon is a graduate student in Steven Handel’s lab.



  • Dr. Ganesan Balachander, Ph.D. 1995, has received the Graduate School-New Brunswick Early Career Accomplishment Award. This award is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments within ten years of receiving your Ph.D.  Balachander, whose advisor was Dr. David Ehrenfeld, was Project Coordinator for the BR Hills project in India, Regional Director and then Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Network (BCN), Consultant to the Foundation for the Revitalization of Local Health Traditions in Bangalore, a Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer for Compatible Ventures Group, a division of the Nature Conservancy, Director of the Asian Programs for the Mountain Institute and is currently Representative and Head of the South Asia Programs for the Ford Foundation, based in New Delhi.

Balachander will receive his award at a recognition dinner to be held at the Zimmerli Art Museum on March 4th. Please join us in congratulating him!