Department of Ecology,
Evolution and Natural Resources
Faculty and Student Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
The Grabosky lab
group continues to be busy.
The 81st Annual Conference for the International Society of
Arboriculture will be held August 7-10, 2005 in Nashville. The Grabosky lab will be in attendance.
- Dr. Jason Grabosky will
be presenting "Defining the ability of roots to lift pavement.”
using data from a mechanical root and pressure mapping system developed at
in the "Plant Health Care" general concurrent
This is Jason’s last year as
President of the Arboricultural Research and Education
Academy, and his last year
organizing and hosting the research and education sessions for the group,
this year with delegates from Australia,
Asia, Europe, and North
Jason will also be moderating one
half-day general concurrent session of papers on "Planting the Urban
- Greg Dahle, a
Ph.D. student in Jason’s lab, will be presenting "Decay patterns in
Silver maple parent stems converted from round-over to V-trims during line
clearance operations." during the half-day "Pruning"
general concurrent session.
Extension faculty Pedro Perdomo and
Nick Polanin will be presenting a poster "Training Hispanics in New
Jersey's tree care industry - bridging the language
- Frank Gallagher, a Ph.D. candidate
in Jason’s lab, was asked by the World Forestry Institute to co-lead a
trip in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Frank presented the eastern
view of the old growth forest issue on June 4,5, and 6th. The trip,
which included stops at Mount Hood and Crater
Lake, included representatives from the timber industry,
NGO's, and government officials.
At the Project Learning Tree annual
conference, a program of the American Forest Foundation, Frank presented a
poster session on developing an evaluative rubric for environmental education program
Matthew Kimball, a
Ph.D. student, and his advisor Dr. Kenneth Able presented a talk titled “The long-term
response of intertidal fish communities to restoration efforts at former salt
hay farms. “ at the American Fisheries
Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter Spring Meeting, May 11, 2005, at Rider University
Adams Krumins, a Ph.D. candidate in Peter
Morin’s lab, is presenting a talk at the American Society for
Limnology and Oceanography meeting in Santiago de Compostella Spain
on June 23, 2005 titled:
“ Effects of Food Web Diversity and Productivity on Bacterially Mediated
Decomposition.” Co-authors include: Zachary T. Long, Christopher F.
Steiner and Peter J. Morin.
Juan Jose Robledo Arnuncio and Dr. Eva Gonzales, Post-Doctoral Associates of the Smouse
group, and Dr. Delphine Grivet – more loosely associated, will present papers
at the Society for the Study of Evolution Meetings in Fairbanks, Alaska in June:
JJ, Alía R and Gil L. 2005. Mating system variation in Pinus sylvestris L. populations of contrasting size: An empirical
and modeling approach. Soc. Study
Evol. Meet., Fairbanks, AL,
E, Chang SM and Hamrick JL. 2005. Identification of glacial refugia by
phylogeographic analyses of a forest understory species, Trillium cuneatum. Soc. Study Evol. Meet., Fairbanks,
- Grivet D, Smouse PE and Sork VL. 2005. Woodpecker-mediated
seed movement in the California
valley oak using a maternal-identity approach. Soc. Study Evol. Meet., Fairbanks,
the following publications:
- Marchetti, M.P., J.L.
Lockwood and T. Light. Urbanization promotes invasion and extinction
but not homogenization among California freshwater fishes. Biological Conservation. In Press
J.L. P. Cassey, and T.M.
Blackburn. 2005. The role of propagule pressure in explaining
species invasion. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20(5):
There is continuing publication activity from the Smouse group:
Smouse PE and Robledo-Arnuncio JJ (2005) Measuring
the genetic structure of the pollen pool as the probability of paternal
identity. Heredity :94, 640-649.
- Mylecraine KA,
Kuser JE, Zimmermann GL and Smouse PE. 2005.
Rangewide provenance variation in Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides): Early
survival and growth in New Jersey
and North Carolina
plantations. For Ecol Manag (in press).
Martínez SC, Robledo-Arnuncio JJ
and Smouse PE. 2005. The
consequences and implications of introgression in the conservation of
forest trees. In: Gene Flow and Germplasm Management.
Issues in Genetic Resources, (de) Vicente, MC (Ed.). IPGRI, Rome.
- Peakall R and Smouse PE. 2005. GenAlEx 6: Genetic
Analysis in Excel. Population Genetic Software forTeaching and Research. Molec. Ecol. Notes (in press).
- Peakall R and Smouse PE. 2005. GenAlEx 6: Genetic Analysis in Excel. Population Genetic
Software for Teaching and Research
ã Aust. Natl. Univ., Canberra,
Dr. Ming Xu has published the following:
- Misson, L., Tang, J., Xu, M., McKay, M. and Goldstein,
A. 2005. Influences of recovery from clear-cut, climate variability, and
thinning on the carbon balance of a young ponderosa pine plantation, Agriculture and Forest Meteorology
- Liu, B., Xu, M., Henderson
M. 2005. Observed trends of precipitation amount, frequency, and intensity
1960-2000, Journal of Geophysical
Research (in press).
Dr. Julie Lockwood was awarded two grants: one a grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for Conservation of
threatened grassland birds within Duke Farms, $5450.00 and another from
the Critical Ecosystems Science Initiative, National
Park Service for fire effects on Cape Sable seaside sparrows, - $146,000.
Dr. Ming Xu was awarded a
National Science Foundation (NSF) grant totaling $768,838 in collaboration with
Drs. Daniel Murnick and Erik Hamerlynck. The proposal was titled “Development
and Field Validation of Innovative Instrumentation for Measurement of Ecosystem
Carbon Exchange using Isotopic Fluxes of CO2 Species.”
Achievements and Activities:
to Dr. Richard Lathrop and
J. Hasse. * The following paper was ranked
Number 2 out of the Top 25 papers in the Journal
of Applied Geography (May 2005).
J.* and R.G. Lathrop. 2003.
Land Resource impact indicators of
urban sprawl. Applied Geography.
Hasse is a RU Geography Ph.D. grad.
A delegation of Rutgers professors
visited Southern Thailand this past May 14-21, 2005 to investigate the possibilities
for greater academic interchange between Prince of Songkla University (PSU) and Rutgers. DEENR professor Rick Lathrop, IMCS professor John Dighton,
Biotech professor Gerben Zylstra and Political Science professor Mike Shafer
composed the delegation.
PSU's main campus in Hat Yai shares many of Cook
College's interests with
departments in natural resources, biology (ecology/marine science),
environmental science, plant science and biotechnology. We identified many possibilities for joint
research and educational collaboration in the areas of ecology,
coastal/watershed management and biotechnology.
Of special note is PSU's graduate program in Ecology with classes taught
in English. The delegation also toured
some of southern Thailand's
tsunami affected coastal areas, laying the groundwork for this summer's
extended visit by a cadre of Rutgers undergraduates
students. A lengthier report detailing
the delegation's findings will be ready later this summer.
Any faculty and students interested in learning more about
research/educational possibilities at PSU and Southern Thailand
are urged to talk to one of the professors listed above.
The Lockwood and Drake lab groups have been
- Ryan Sklar completed his George H. Cook Thesis, "Bias in estimating the
population sizes of grassland birds" as a member of the Lockwood lab
- Karen Mabb, and Julie
Lockwood visited Gainesville,
Florida to meet with Mike Avery of the
USDA Wildlife Services group. They settled on a collaborative
research venture dealing with the population dynamics of Monk Parakeets in
Florida. Karen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Lockwood lab
- Dr. David Drake, Tom Virzi* and Dr. Julie Lockwood
successfully taught the second week of the Ecology Spring Field Camp at Sedge
at Island Beach State Park, NJ.
This course is a two-week undergraduate field course. Those
interested in seeing pictures of the class should go to http://sedgeisland.blogspot.com/
and look for the Rutgers photos links on the right
side of the page.
*Tom is a Ph.D. student in the
The Smouse lab group reports the following activities:
Dr. Juan José Robledo-Arnuncio
participated in a major field study of tropical dry forest Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) in April,
contrasting levels of genetic connectedness across landscapes that are natural with
those that are anthropogenically disturbed.
Dr. Peter Smouse spent
two weeks in Bariloche, Argentina,
presenting a workshop on Population
Genetics in Excel, visiting field sites, and exploring future collaborative
opportunities with the Instituto Nacional Tecnología y Agropecueria (INTA). The
genera of forest tree species involved were Nothofagus
(5 species), Auraucaria and Austrocedrus.
- Mr. Pat
Mulhall (2005), a Cook Biology major in his second year, has joined
the Smouse group for Summer 2005, to obtain his first research experience.
He will be working on paternity analysis in Enterolobium cyclocarpum, the Costa Rican Guanacaste tree.
- Eva Gonzales
(2005), recently finished her Ph.D. studies at the University
of Georgia, and has joined the
Smouse group as a Postdoctoral Associate. She will be working on the Costa
Rican dry forest tree species Enterolobium
Jay Kelly, a Ph.D.
candidate in Andrew Vayda’s lab, led a tour through Helyar woods, on Edible and
Medicinal Wild Plants, for the New Brunswick
Middle School's After-School
Program on June 1st. Jay also visited the second grade classes at
Franklin Elementary School in Highland Park to teach them about rainforest
ecology on June 8th.
Jeanmaire Molina, a graduate student in
Dr. Lena Struwe’s lab, received a grant of $2700
from the J. and J. Ruinen Fellowship in Tropical Biology and the Center for
Tropical Forest Science-Arnold Arboretum Asia Program of Harvard University.
Jeanmaire will be conducting research in the Philippines
in her capacity as a Red Bank Environmental Commission member, Linda Rohleder organized
a volunteer planting day on May 22 at the Bellhaven Nature Area in Red Bank,
NJ. Volunteers from the local neighborhood, Monmouth County Master gardeners,
and the Red Bank Borough government planted more than 300 native plants on this
one-acre riverfront property. The event was covered by one of the local
newspapers "The Hub". Linda is a Ph.D. student on the Joan
Joe Paulin, a David Ehrenfeld Ph.D.
student, taught a class of fifth
graders in Mullica Hill, New Jersey
about black bear biology, research, things to do around the home to decrease
the chances of attracting bears, and how to react when encountering a black
bear. Although there have been five bear sightings in the area this past year,
none of the children had seen a black bear yet. However, a young male bear made
his way through nearby townships the following week. Joe tells us that as black
bears in the state increase, and continue to extend their range south and east,
it is important to be proactive in educating the public about coexisting with
bears. In 2004, black bears were sighted in all of New
Jersey’s 21 counties.
Several graduate students received Summer
Fellowships to conduct research at Hutcheson Memorial Forest.
- Myla Aronson’s work is examining the influence
of Microstegium vimineum, a
non-indigenous invasive grass, on canopy seedling dynamics. Specifically,
Myla is interested in the influence of M.
vimineum on seed germination, seedling establishment, growth and
survival of future canopy dominants such as Quercus rubra, Fraxinus americana
and Acer rubrum. Myla is a Ph.D.
candidate in Steven Handel’s lab.
- Kenneth Elgersma, a Ph.D. student in the Joan
is setting up plots to monitor growth of Norway maple (Acer platanoides), a tree invasive
in the U.S.
and native in Germany,
and Box elder (Acer negundo), a U.S.
native that is invasive in Germany. Kenneth is looking for evidence of
feedback between the plant and the soil microbiota. He hopes to do a mirror-image of this
study in Germany,
where Box elder is the invasive and Norway maple is the native
species. This, he hopes, will
contribute to an understanding of which effects are species-specific and
which effects are due to being either a native or a novel species.
- Carrie Norin’s project is titled “Density Dependent and Primary Production Effects on
Phytochrome-Mediated Shade Avoidance in Solidago.” Carrie is a Ph.D. student in the Steven
- Linda Rohleder, a Joan Ehrenfeld
Ph.D. student, is doing an
exploratory study to obtain baseline data on forest seed banks in
successional forests of know ages to compare natives and exotics.
- Maria Stanko, a Ph.D. student in Ted Stiles
lab, will be repairing and refurbishing the aviary located in HMF in order
to have a facility to perform feeding trial experiments with frugivorous
Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). This research will examine the food
choices and parental behavior of these birds in order to investigate how
the relationship between fruiting plants and their avian dispersers is affected
by the specific needs of caring for nestlings. Her plans for the facility will not
preclude its use by other students or faculty; in fact, she hopes the
repairs will stimulate interest in using this resource for other research.
Daniel Hernandez, advisor
David Drake, successfully defended his Ph.D.
thesis titled “Conservation and foraging dynamics of migratory shorebirds” on
June 13th. Dan, you may
remember from a previous letter, has accepted a tenure track position at
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Kristi MacDonald-Beyers, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. David
Ehrenfeld’s lab, has accepted a
position as the Conservation & Policy Associate at NY/NJ Baykeeper, the
citizen steward for the Hudson-Raritan estuary.
Kristi will be working with them on habitat conservation, restoration
and policy issues. Check their website
at www.nynjbaykeeper.org. for more information on the Baykeepers.
Dr. Torsten Vor, a Post-Doctoral Fellow
in Joan Ehrenfeld’s lab, is returning to Germany
to work in the Institute of Silviculture
at the University of Goettingen
on July, 15th . We are sorry
to see him leave and wish him all good things in the future. Torsten is planning to work on a common
project with the Ehrenfeld lab, so he will remain in touch.
J.C. Clement, a
former Post-Doctoral Fellow in Joan Ehrenfeld’s
lab, has accepted a tenured position at the University
of Grenoble. He will be conducting
research on landscape biogeochemistry and teach plant biology with a research
team supervised by Sandra Lavorel. J.C.
and Gwen are happy to be returning to France
at the end of July.
With this newsletter we say good-bye to two faculty who have accepted
positions at other universities.
moving to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. David will be a member of the
Wildlife Ecology Dept.
Hatfield is moving to California.
Colleen will be a member of the Biology Department at California State
We will miss their scholarship and friendship
and wish them all the best the future can hold.