Graduate Students

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Photo of Hilary Barker

Hilary Barker
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in the role of both intraspecific genetic variation and the environment in structuring populations and communities. Specifically, my research addresses how the genetics of foundation species can influence higher levels of organization such as community assembly.
Advisor: Dr. Richard L. Lindroth

Photo of Kristin Braziunas

Kristin Braziunas
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My overarching research question is: How will changing climate and fire regimes affect forests and human communities in western landscapes during the 21st century, and how can human communities best adapt to a future with more fire? I am currently working with a process-based ecological model to simulate forest ecosystems in the Nothern Rockies.
Advisor: Monica Turner

Photo of Bieneke Bron

Bieneke Bron
Graduate Student
Research Topics: Infectious disease of wildlife have my interest, in particular zoonotic, vector-borne diseases with rodent hosts. I currently study plague disease dynamics: evaluating the role of small rodents (e.g. mice, voles, chipmunks) and their fleas in plague epizootics on prairie dog colonies as well as assessing the impact of the prairie dog oral sylvatic plague vaccine on non-target small rodents.
Advisor: Jorge Osorio

Photo of Nathan Byer

Nathan Byer
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in conservation biology, landscape ecology, conservation biology, and quantitative methods in ecology and conservation. My doctoral research focuses on predicting how turtle species in Wisconsin may be impacted by climate and land use change.
Advisor: Zach Peery

Photo of Anna Cates

Anna Cates
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I'm interested in carbon cycling and decomposition. I work in agricultural systems, an interesting leverage point for global cycles because management is so intensive and land area so huge.
Advisor: Randy Jackson

Photo of Olivia Cope

Olivia Cope
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in the ecology of plant defenses against herbivores. My research explores factors influencing the expression of defense costs in trees and the consequences thereof for stand composition.
Advisor: Richard Lindroth

Photo of Emily Cornelius

Emily Cornelius
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in disease ecology, migration and the immune function of birds. My current project examines the immune function of black-capped chickadees and their response to variation in resource availability and a small component examining small songbirds as reservoirs for West Nile Virus.
Advisor: William Karasov

Photo of Katelyn Geleynse

Katelyn Geleynse
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am studying plant ecophysiology, specifically interested in water movement through individual plants and whole ecological systems. I try to understand how different plants coexisting in the same ecosystem(s) use different water-conserving and/or capturing strategies, what the pros and cons of each of these strategies are and how these might be shifting in the face of climate change.
Advisor: Katherine McCulloh

Photo of Diana Guzmán-Coló

Diana Guzmán-Coló
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My three main interests are aspects of Ecosystem Management, Landscape Ecology and Education.
Advisor: Volker Redeloff and Anna Pidgeon

Photo of Winslow Hansen

Winslow Hansen
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in how warming and drying climate may alter post-wildfire tree regeneration and terrestrial nitrogen cycling in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of the Rocky Mountains.
Advisor: Monica Turner

Photo of Michael Hardy

Michael Hardy
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My PhD research combines dynamic occupancy modeling, population viability analysis, and landscape ecology to assess the current and future distribution and population dynamics of prairie grouse in Wisconsin under alternative land management strategies and projected climate change scenarios.
Advisor: Benjamin Zuckerberg

Photo of Jeremy Hemberger

Jeremy Hemberger
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My interests lie at the intersection of entomology, ecology, and conservation. Currently, my work examines native pollinators in cranberry agroecosystems with interests in developing applied conservation strategies and habitat models to assist growers in maintaining their native pollinator populations.
Advisor: Claudio Gratton

Photo of Jon Henn

Jon Henn
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I'm interested in how plant functional traits can affect plant communities under global changes such as fragmentation and climate change.
Advisor: Ellen Damschen

Photo of Michael Howe

Michael Howe
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I study: A) degradation of plant defense compounds by bacteria associated with insects, and B) how mountain pine beetle interacts with a historically naive host, whitebark pine.
Advisor: Kenneth Raffa

Photo of Gavin Jones

Gavin Jones
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in biogeography, climate change ecology, species conservation, and the application of novel statistical methods to understand wildlife populations. Much of my research has focused on how terrestrial species will respond to a changing climate. As a Master's student in the Peery Lab, my work will investigate the effects of spatial and temporal variation in weather and habitat on territory occupancy dynamics in spotted owls, and then use these empirical relationships to develop a model that predicts how owl populations might respond to future climate change.
Advisor: Zach Peery

Photo of Keefe Keeley

Keefe Keeley
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in how farmers use and value their woodlands. I am investigating the potential of integrating forestry and grazing practices to mimic oak savanna structure and function - i.e. silvopasture - on farms in the Driftless region. I am also collaborating with cacao farmers in Peru to implement agroforestry techniques and monitor impacts on wildlife.
Advisor: Steve Ventura

Photo of Soo Yun Kim

Soo Yun Kim
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in public engagement and understanding of science. Particularly, I am interested in how the public receives information and develop attitudes/behaviors about science and environmental issues such as climate change, carbon emission, recycling and renewable energy.
Advisor: Young Mie Kim

Photo of Katie Laushman

Katie Laushman
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I'm researching the invasive Amynthas ('jumping earthworm') in the UW Arboretum and the changes in ecological structure and plant communities. More broadly, I'm interested in botany, ecology and conservation work.
Advisor: Sara Hotchkiss

Photo of Alexandra Linz

Alexandra Linz
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I study the ecology of freshwater bacteria in order to understand how bacterial communities act on ecosystem scales. Specifically, I am interested in the role of bacteria in carbon cycling and how carbon is exchanged between taxa in the bacterial community.
Advisor: Katherine McMahon

Photo of Phil Manlick

Phil Manlick
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I'm a community ecologist studying the effects of anthropogenic land-use change on niche dynamics, competitive coexistence, and reintroduction success in North American carnivores. My dissertation aims to develop a mechanistic understanding of predator-driven ecological restoration in order to re-establish diverse carnivore communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate.
Advisor: Jonathan Pauli

Photo of Alex McAlvay

Alex McAlvay
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My work explores the evolutionary consequences of traditional resource management carried out by Rarámuri and Tzotzil people in Mexico. I am combing phylogeography, phytochemistry, and ethnoecological interviews to document recent anthropogenic differentiation of weedy field mustard populations.
Advisor: Eve Emshwiller

Photo of Kristin Michels

Kristin Michels
Graduate Student
Research Topics: For my dissertation, I'm investigating the edge effects on an old-growth forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan using data from modern vegetation surveys and paleoecological data (i.e., pollen, charcoal, carbon/carbonates) from benthic lake sediments.
Advisor: Sara Hotchkiss - Quaternary Paleoecology (Botany Department)

Photo of Danny Minahan

Danny Minahan
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in the Ecology and Evolution of plant-pollinator interactions. My research is focused on the foraging behavior of bee pollinators, and how environmental and landscape factors influence these behaviors.
Advisor: Johanne Brunet

Photo of Lucas Nell

Lucas Nell
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in the evolution and ecology of species interactions. My PhD research explores how community interactions drive evolution in pea aphids, their symbionts, and natural enemies.
Advisor: Tony Ives

Photo of Ali Paulson

Ali Paulson
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in the processes that lead to change in the structure and composition of plant communities over time. Currently, I am investigating the effects of white-tailed deer on functional trait distributions in the forests of Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Advisor: Don Waller

Photo of Vera Pfeiffer

Vera Pfeiffer
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My research focuses on pollination ecology in wild and constructed landscapes; specifically, describing spatially-explicit characteristics of pollinator movement and pollen transfer; testing hypotheses regarding the influence of the landscape on these ecological and evolutionary processes, and modeling habitat attributes that underlie bee diversity in residential landscapes.
Advisor: Janet Silbernagel

Photo of Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I study the intersection of population dynamics, species interactions, and ecosystem processes in aquatic environments. My current research explores the causes and consequences of midge population fluctuations in Lake Myvatn, Iceland.
Advisor: Tony Ives

Photo of John Rodstrom

John Rodstrom
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I study the ecology, life history, and conservation of migratory fishes. My current work focuses on species that spend their adult lives within the Great Lakes but must migrate up tributaries in order to reproduce. Specifically, I am studying how dams and road crossings on these tributaries affect migrations and the likelihood that fishes can pass over these barriers.
Advisor: Peter McIntyre

Photo of Robin Rohwer

Robin Rohwer
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I study the microbial community of Lake Mendota, specifically how bacteria influence and are influenced by nutrients and other environmental conditions. I use DNA sequencing techniques to observe the genes and types of bacteria that make up the Lake's microbial community.
Advisor: Katherine McMahon

Photo of Isabel Rojas-Viada

Isabel Rojas-Viada
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am interested in riparian and wetland ecosystems, their ecology and role in supporting biodiversity, and alternatives to recover their functionality and biodiversity loss.
Advisor: SILVIS Lab, Anna Pidgeon and Volker Radeloff

Photo of Emmanuel  Santa-Martinez

Emmanuel Santa-Martinez
Graduate Student
Research Topics: My research project involves examining the foraging behavior of honey bees, bumble bees, and alfalfa leafcutting bees on alfalfa plants and quantifying their impact on selfing rate and the potential for gene flow. I'm studying how distinct bee species forage within and among plants and deposit pollen over successive flowers. My research will help others understand how distinct pollinators mediate mating systems and impact the genetic structure of plant populations.
Advisor: Johanne Brunet

Photo of Lisa Schomaker

Lisa Schomaker
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am currently exploring the spread of Sphagnum moss on the Big Island of Hawaii and its impacts on cloud forest communities. In addition, I'll be re-surveying a series of high elevation bogs on Maui to monitor changes in community composition over the last 40 years.
Advisor: Sara Hotchkiss

Photo of Paul Schramm

Paul Schramm
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I work with the novel Fast Limnological Automated sensing platform to study the spatial heterogeneity of lakes and rivers. I also work on developing and testing low cost in-situ sensors.
Advisor: Emily Stanley

Photo of Monika Shea

Monika Shea
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I am broadly interested in landscape ecology, forest ecology, spatial analysis, and conservation. For my PhD I am working with the Public Land Survey witness tree records from the mid-1800s to determine the drivers of vegetation in the Upper Midwest Tension Zone.
Advisor: David Mladenoff

Photo of Quinn Sorenson

Quinn Sorenson
Graduate Student
Research Topics: How do human caused changes to the environment (e.g., fragmentation, history of agricultural) alter plant communities and what tools can we develop to maintain high levels of ecological function and biodiversity.
Advisor: Ellen Damschen

Photo of Laura Szymanski

Laura Szymanski
Graduate Student
Research Topics: Soil carbon stabilization, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem dynamics.
Advisor: Erika Marin-Spiotta

Photo of Amy Uhrin

Amy Uhrin
Graduate Student
Research Topics: From a seascape perspective, I utilize remote sensing techniques, field experiments, scenarios, and modeling to examine the influence of natural and human-influenced disturbances (e.g., hurricanes, tidal currents, vessel groundings, and commercial fishing gear) in seagrass ecosystems and other marine/coastal environments.
Advisor: Monica Turner

Photo of Carly Ziter

Carly Ziter
Graduate Student
Research Topics: I'm broadly interested in landscape ecology, ecosystem services, and biodiversity research. My PhD research investigates how landscape structure, land-use history, and biodiversity impact multiple ecosystem services in urban landscapes, primarily in the city of Madison.
Advisor: Monica Turner