of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
and Evolution Graduate Program Newsletter
Previous newsletters may be found at:
to the recipients of the
Outstanding Student Awards 2010
Each spring the Ecology, Evolution, &
Natural Resources Department honors graduating seniors in four areas with
Outstanding Student Awards. Awardees
are nominated by faculty based on their assessment of the student's
professionalism and performance both in and out of the classroom. Attention is also given as to how the awardee
reflects the ideals of the individual to whom the award is dedicated.
This year’s recipients are:
- Nathan Rausch – E. B. Moore Forestry Award
- Daniel Clark – J. Applegate Wildlife Conservation Award
- Ryan Tallmadge – M. Buell Ecology Award
- Allison Shiffner – R. Locandro Natural Resources Award.
- Amanda Giesler – P. Smouse Evolution Award. This is the inaugural
year for this award.
A departmental reception for our five
undergraduate award winners and their families prior to Baccalaureate on May 17th
Congratulations to E&E graduate students and faculty!
The Graduate School-New Brunswick annual awards
for graduate student teaching, graduate faculty teaching, and graduate student
research have been announced.
and Evolution is very pleased to report that students and faculty in our
program have received an award in each category.
- David Mellor, a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca Jordan’s lab,
received the GSNB Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award. David’s
resume states he is currently an instructor in the SEBS Portals to
Academic Student Success (PASS) where he serves as coordinator and
instructor for science learning skills for freshman and science majors on
academic probation. David has developed a curriculum for 100 students with
the goal of decreasing science major attrition. Last year David was the
Head TA for the General Biology courses taught through the Division of
Life Sciences, a position he attained after being a teaching assistant in
General Biology for 4 years
- Lena Struwe, a Department of Ecology, Evolution, and
Natural Resources faculty member and a member of both the Ecology and
Evolution and Plant Biology graduate programs, received the Excellence in
Graduate Faculty Teaching. Lena was
nominated by Plant Biology with a co-nomination of from Ecology and
- Steven Gray, a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca Jordan’s lab, received
the Graduate Student Research Award. Steven has several publications in
peer-reviewed journals and more in review. He has received funding for his
research from NOAA, NSF, the EPA and a Rutgers University Governors
Fellowship. His research covers areas as diverse as education research,
risk management, and ecosystem-based resource management; specifically his
studies are in the area of fisheries management.
The Graduate School–New Brunswick also announced the recipients of the
Bevier Fellowships. We are very pleased to announce that an Ecology and Evolution
graduate student was also awarded a Bevier.
- Wes Brooks’ research proposal titled “A community-based
approach to biological invasions and its implications for ecological
restoration” will be funded next year by a Bevier Fellowship. The Bevier
fellowship is awarded to a graduate student who has completed all the
course work and requirements for the Ph.D degree and is ABD (all but
degree) and in the writing stages of their graduate career. Wes is also a
Ph.D candidate in the Rebecca Jordan lab.
should also go to Rebecca Jordan for
her success in mentoring these students.
School of Environmental
and Biological Sciences 17th annual “A Celebration of Excellence awardees
have been announced:
Congratulations to Steven Handel on his receipt of the Sustained Research Excellence and Impact Award from the School of Environmental
and Biological Sciences. The nomination forms states that this award is presented to a faculty member whose
research has demonstrated sustained excellence; achieved broad recognition;
published in highly visible outlets; and had a major long-term impact on the
scientific community, as evidenced by grants or awards or through recognition
by industry, government, public policy, or the general public.
5th Annual Society of Ecological Restoration - Mid Atlantic Chapter:
co-sponsored the Mid-Atlantic Chapter meeting of the SER. held at the Cook Campus
Center on February 19th.
Rick Lathrop gave the plenary address titled” Ecological
Restoration: Why Bother? Establishing
Restoration Priorities in New Jersey’s
Two grad students and an
alumna gave presentations at the meeting
- Amy Karpati, a Ph.D. candidate in Steven
Handel’s lab, presented a poster titled "Quercus rubra associated ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in
disturbed candidate restoration sites and old-growth forests". Steven Handel and John Dighton
- Brooke Maslo, (Ph.D. 2010,
advisor Steven Handel) presented a poster titled: "Restoring
Beaches for Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus): a
CART Analysis of Nest-Site Selection.”
- Carrie Norin, a Ph.D. candidate in Steven Handel’s lab, presented a
poster titled “Testing the role of Heat Shock
Protein 17.6 in Arabidopsis thaliana success: An investigation into plant
genotype selection for urban ecosystem restoration.” The poster was
coauthored with Steven Handel.
- Elena Tartaglia, a Ph.D. candidate in the Handel lab, presented a
poster titled “Mutualistic Interactions in the Urban Landscape: Can We
Restore Specialist Pollinators? Coauthored with Steven N. Handel and Kathryn Barry
projects involving work by faculty at the Haskin Shellfish Research Lab are
featured in the latest issue of Estuary News produced by the Partnership for
the Delaware Estuary: On page 6 is an article Dave Bushek (IMCS) wrote about the Delaware Estuary Living
Shoreline Initiative (DELSI) project pictured on the cover.
Aspa Chatziefthimiou a Ph.D. candidate in Tamar Barkay’s
lab has given two presentations:
- An invited talk at the
"Joint Symposium of Young Scientists in Ehime
University and National Institute
for Environmental Studies in Japan that took place on
January 28-29, 2010. The title was: "Mercury Contamination and its
Effects on Phylogenetic, Functional and Metabolic Diversity of Soil
Mercury Resistant Bacterial Communities". The authors were: Aspa D.
Chatziefthimiou, Allison L. Isola, Keya Thakkar and Tamar Barkay.
- Fermentation Club Seminar in
the Biochemistry and Microbiology Department on the 12th of February. The
title of Aspa’s talk was: "The Combined Effect of Mercury Toxicity
and Nutritional Stress on Soil Mercury Resistant Communities."
Siobain Duffy gave an invited talk in the
"Rare Events in Biology" meeting at the Princeton Center
for Theoretical Sciences Feb 3-4 entitled "Drift and adaptation in viral
22, David Ehrenfeld gave an invited
lecture in the Spring 2010 Seminar Series of the Intercollege Graduate Degree
Program in Ecology at Pennsylvania
State University. The title of the talk was: "Success and
Failure in Species Conservation."
Scholar Frank Gallagher, (Ph.D 2008, advisor Jason Grabosky) Urban
Forestry Program, gave a presentation entitled "Brownfields to
Greenfields, Ecological Risk and Ecological Function." The
presentation was given to the faculty and students Jersey
City University, at
the Center for Learning and Teaching in Jersey
City, New Jersey on
4, Frank Gallagher gave a presentation entitled
"Brownfield to Greenfield, The Science and
the Art" for the Association of Science Museum Directors, during their
2010 Mid-Winter Meeting at Liberty Science Center,
Jersey City, New Jersey.
Emma Green-Beach, an MS student working with Dave
Bushek, received a travel award in the form of lodging to attend Aquaculture
2010, the triennial meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association, The
American Fisheries Association Fish Culture Section and the World Aquaculture
Society in San Diego,
March 1-5, 2010. Emma presented a poster on her MS work "Dermo
Disease On Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts: Patterns Of Exposure And
Rebecca Jordan gave two invited presentations:
- “Targeting ecological
understanding for different audiences”.
Center for Research
into College Science Teaching and Learning seminar series. February 22,
- “Science literacy and citizen
science: exploring the broader impacts of our work”. Bowling Green State
University Biological Sciences seminar series. February 24, 2010.
Rick Lathrop has given the following invited
- NJ Society of American
Foresters “Issues pertaining to Forest Carbon in New Jersey. Assessing the Potential of
New Jersey’s Forests for Carbon Sequestration”. Hamilton, NJ.
January 22, 2010.
- NJ American Association of
Landscape Architects. “Climate change, Impacts and Interventions for
Coastal Landscapes”. Atlantic
City, NJ January
- Pinelands Science-Policy Forum
– “Protecting Water Quality in the Pinelands: Reversing the Barnegat Bay crisis. Presenter and facilitator
on the topic of Land Use.”
Lakehurst Naval Air Station, Lakehurst,
NJ. March 16, 2010.
- Rutgers University
Bloustein School for Planning and Policy
seminar series. “Assessing the Vulnerability of the New Jersey Coast
to Climate and Landscape Change”. New
March 25, 2010.
- Jacques Cousteau National
Estuarine Research Reserve. Preparing Your Community in the face of a
Changing Climate. Presenter and panel member. “A Status Update on Local
Indicators of Sea Level Rise”. Tuckerton New Jersey.
April 1, 2010.
Bonnie McCay was keynote speaker at a meeting
advertised in the following way: KATOOMBA XVI TO
FOCUS ON MARINE AND COASTAL ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: The Katoomba Group is
an organization dedicated to sharing information, ideas and developing the
implementation of payment for ecosystem services, or PES, where the providers
of an ecosystem service (e.g. fishermen) receive some sort of incentive from
the consumers of an ecosystem service to incorporate sustainable
practices. According to the Katoomba Group, “the oceans provide a great
many critical but undervalued ecosystem services that are nearing thresholds
for healthy functioning, putting coastal populations ever more at risk. Given
the failure of many conventional management measures and the insufficient
resources available for effective management, the time is ripe for the
development of new market-based tools. This first-ever Marine Katoomba Meeting
capitalizes on ever-expanding interest in finding innovative solutions to
conserve our valuable marine ecosystem services.” The meeting was 9-10
February at the Moore Foundation in Palo
Alto, CA. Find
more information at http://www.katoombagroup.org/event_details.php?id=37 Bonnie’s
keynote talk was on “The
Role of Community and Other Institutions in Providing Innovative Solutions for
Marine and Coastal Conservation,” summarized as “Community and other institutions, both
formal and informal, play a critical role in setting the stage for development
of marine markets and market-like mechanisms. But communities can also be at
risk from private sector investment, if issues of equity, access, common
property, and governance are not well understood and appreciated.”
a MS student working in the Dave Bushek lab, received a travel award of $125 to
attend the Spring 2010 Atlantic Estuarine Research Society meeting in Atlantic
City, March 4-6, 2010 where Josh presented a poster on his MS work titled,
"The Relationship Between Ribbed Mussel (Geukensia Demissa) Density
And Salt Marsh Shoreline Erosion",
Jack Siegrist, a Ph.D. candidate in Peter Morin’s lab,
together with Scott Ferson of Applied Biomathematics, helped teach an all-day
workshop on "Probabilistic Risk Analysis with Hardly Any Data".
Jack Siegrist also gave a talk on "Recommendations for
quantifying uncertainty in regulatory cost assessment" at the Society for
Risk Analysis annual meeting in December in Baltimore.
Jason Turnure, a master’s student in the Ken Able
lab, presented a poster titled "Small-small movements and site fidelity in
adult weakfish, Cynosion regalis: Diel and seasonal patterns in a
mid-Atlantic bight estuary" at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American
Fisheries Society Tidewater Chapter held in Annapolis, MD from March
18-20. Jay’s co-authors were Kenneth W. Able and Thomas M.
Grothues. Jay received $200 for the "Best Student Poster"
Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology) gave the
following three invited presentations:
- Cornell University, Dept of Entomology, Jugatae
Seminar Series: "The conservation and restoration of wild bees".
- Entomological Society of America
IN: "Native bee
- Michigan State
University, Dept of Entomology:
"Ecosystem services from native bees".
Wes Brooks, a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca
Jordan’s lab, has the following publication:
- Brooks, WR & RC Jordan.
Enhanced interspecific territoriality and the invasion success of the
spotted tilapia (Tilapia mariae) in South
Florida. Biological Invasions DOI
Lockwood reports the following publication in press:
- Van Houtan, K., O.L. Bass Jr.,
J.L. Lockwood, and S.L. Pimm. In Press. The importance of estimating
dispersal for endangered bird management. Conservation Letters.
Faculty Achievements and Activities:
Rebecca Jordan led a professional development
seminar for teachers on Feburary 1.
Models, and Ontologies”. Funding was through a small grant offered through MetroWest's Partnership,
Invasions: The Ecology and Evolution of Exotic Birds by Tim M. Blackburn, Julie L. Lockwood, and Phillip Cassey.
Oxford University Press, 2009 was reviewed in Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol.25 No.3.
Rachael Winfree (Department of Entomology) reports the following two
- Strategies for Promoting
Reliable Crop Pollination by Native Bees. USDA AFRI. $400,000. PI, with N.
- Developing science-based
pollinator restoration protocols for use in Farm Bill conservation
programs. NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, State of New Jersey. PI. $32,304.
Student Awards, Achievements, and Activities:
a Ph.D. candidate in Rebecca Jordan’s lab, was awarded an Eagleton Institute’s
Governor’s Executive Fellowship. Wes will be interning with the US EPA’s National Center
for Environmental Economics’ Science Policy & Analysis Division in Washington, D.C.,
as part of a team of economists and scientists working to improve current
economic models of climate change by incorporating predictable ecological costs
and benefits of increasing carbon dioxide and temperatures.
Jeremy Feinberg, a Ph.D. candidate in Joanna
Burger’s lab, was selected as this years
recipient of the New Jersey Mosquito Control Assocaition (NJMCA) Jobbins Scholarship. The scholarship
an MS student in the Dave Bushek lab, was notified that he will be the 2010
recipient of the Melbourne R. Carriker Grant for Student Research from the
National Shellfisheries Association. Josh will receive $1250 in support
of his research on "The relationship between ribbed mussel (Geukensia
demissa) density and salt marsh shoreline erosion".
March 8th, 2010, Jessica Sanders, a
PhD candidate in Jason Grabosky's lab, competed in the Rutgers Strong Man
competition. The competition included
four strong man events. Jess took first
place in the lightweight women's division.
More information on the strongman competition can be seen at http://www1.recreation.rutgers.edu/Content/RU_Strong_2009.asp
The Torrey Botanical
Society awarded Elena Tartaglia, a
Ph.D. candidate in the Handel lab, the first Andrew M. Greller Graduate Student
Research Award for Conservation of Local Flora and Ecosystems. The award was $1000.
following on the successful defense of their Ph.D. dissertation:
- Allison Candelmo, advisor Judy Weis, January 26th.
- Yufei Wang, advisor Ming Xu, March 25th
- Ai Wen, co-advisors David and Joan
Ehrenfeld, March 31st
following on the successful completion of their Qualifying Exam:
- Brian Clough, advisor Joan Ehrenfeld, March 2nd.
- John Ruppert, advisor Ravit Golan Duncan,
March 30th .
following on the successful defense of her Preliminary Proposal:
Faye Benjamin, advisor Rachael Winfree, March 1st.
We wish good bye and good luck to
two of the E&E family:
- Marisol Gutierrez, a post-doc in Henry John-Alder’s lab, has
accepted a research position at Energizer Personal Care.
- Kristen Ross, (Ph.D. 2008, advisor Joan Handel) has accepted a
position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of
Biological Sciences at the University
of Illinois at Chicago. Kristen will be funded on an
NSF grant from the Coupled Human and Natural Systems program given to the
Chicago Wilderness Science Team. The position is for 3 years. For more
info on what Chicago Wilderness is, here is the website: http://www.chicagowilderness.org/index.php
Dahle, (Ph.D. 2009, advisor Jason Grabosky), has a new publication:
- Dahle, G.A. and J.C. Grabosky. 2010. Variation
in Modulus of Elasticity (E) along Acer platanoides L. (Aceraceae)
branches. Urban Forestry Urban Greening DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2010.01.004
Karena DiLeo (MS 2010, advisor John Dighton) has the
- Di Leo, K., Donat, K., Min-Venditti, A. &
Dighton, J. (2010) Chytrid abundance and ecological integrity in New
Jersey pine barrens waters and possible contributory environmental
factors. Fungal Ecology
Kimbery Donal and Amelia
Min-Venditti were undergraduates on the Pinelands REU program in 2008 and 2009
Jerald Dosch (Ph.D., 1996 advisor Donald
Caccamise) was recently appointed as the Director of Macalester College’s Field
Station, the Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (KONHSA). For the past six years, Dosch has been
serving as a visiting assistant professor in the departments of Biology and
Environmental Studies. As Director of KONHSA, Dosch will lead an effort
to reinvigorate the field station, with the goal of making Ordway one of the
college's showcase facilities and most distinctive educational resources.
Dosch's appointment becomes effective on June 1, 2010." (see http://www.macalester.edu/biology/recentnews.html)
Graham (Ph.D. 1986,
advisor Robert Vrijenhoek) Reid Professor of Biology at Berry
Berry, Georgia, has the following
publications and presentations:
- Лайус, Д.
Л., Грэм, Д. Х.,
М. В., и Юрцева,
А. О. 2009.
98-110. [Lajus, D.L., Graham, J.H., Katolikova, M.V., and Yurtseva,
A. O. Fluctuating asymmetry and random phenotypic variation: history,
achievements, problems, perspectives. Bulletin
of Saint-Petersburg University 3: 98–110.]
- Raz, S., J.H. Graham, H. Hel-Or, T.
Pavlíček, and E. Nevo. Developmental instability of eight plant
species in divergent microclimates at “Evolution Canyon,” Mount Carmel,
Israel. June, 12-16, 2009, Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of
Evolution, Moscow, Idaho (oral presentation by J.H. Graham)
- Graham, J.H., S. Raz,
H. Hel-Or, and E. Nevo. 2010. Fluctuating asymmetry: methods, theory, and
applications. Symmetry 2(2) 466-540. http://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/2/2/466/. From this main page, you can download
the pdf file of the full paper. Symmetry is an open access journal.
Lin Jiang, (Ph.D.
2003; advisor Peter Morin) reported the following publication:
- Jiang, L., J. Tan and Z. Pu. 2010. An
experimental test of Darwin’s
naturalization hypothesis. American Naturalist, 175: 415-423.
(Ph.D. 2010, advisor Steven Handel) gave a presentation entitled "Practical
Guidelines for Restoring Piping Plover Breeding Habitat" at the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Piping Plover-Least Tern Workshop in Shepherdstown, WV, on January
Brooke also has a
publication in press:
- Maslo, B.,
S.N. Handel, T. Pover. 2010. Restoring beaches for Atlantic Coast
piping plovers (Charadrius melodus): a classification and
regression tree analysis of nest-site selection. Restoration Ecology.
Patricia Ramey, (Ph.D. 2008, advisors Fred and Judy Grassle) has
received funding for a 2.5 year postdoctoral position in Germany;
- German Science Foundation
(Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), Title: Systematic revision and
phylogeny of the Polygordiidae Czerniavsky, 1881 (Annelida: Polychaeta)
based on morphological and molecular methods, Principal Investigator:
D. Fiege, Senckenberg Museum of Natural History, Frankfurt.
Collaborators: P.A. Ramey (2.5 year Post Doctorial position), and
G. Purschke, University
Awarded $133,933 Euros
reports a publication in press:
J.F., Ramey, P.A., and Petrecca, R.F. Temporal and spatial
variation in infaunal community structure in physically active continental
shelf sediments at a long-term ecosystem observatory (LEO-15) off New Jersey, USA. Journal of Marine Research.
Tom Virzi, (Ph.D. 2008, advisor Julie Lockwood) presented the following paper at the joint
meeting of the Cooper Ornithological Society, American Ornithologists' Union
and Society of Canadian Ornithologists held in San Diego, CA on Feb 7-11:
- Conspecific Attraction and
Population Recovery of The Endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in the Florida Everglades. Coauthors: T. Virzi and J. L. Lockwood.
Tom also has publication to report
- The Effect Of Human Disturbance
on the Local Distribution of American Oystercatchers Breeding on Barrier
Island Beaches. International
Wader Study Group Bulletin.