Postdoc 2019, MSU Integrative Biology & EEBB
PhD 2020 Purdue University
BS 2015 Calvin College
Current position: Research Forester, USFS FIA
I am a quantitative ecologist, and I study ecology using a macrosystems approach. My research aims to understand ecological patterns and processes, especially in response to climate change. I typically use large-scale datasets such as Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) to address questions about the ways ecosystems are impacted by global change. During my postdoc in the Zarnetske lab, I investigated patterns and drivers of biodiversity using data from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
Postdoc 2016-2018 MSU Forestry
PhD 2016 University of New Mexico
MS 2010 North Carolina State University
BS 2007 University of Arizona
Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dell Lab @ NGRREC
I am a researcher whose interests lie at the intersection of macroecology and macroevolution. My work focuses on understanding ecological patterns over space and time as a function of physiology and simple theory.
Postdoc 2015-2019 MSU Forestry
lanynina (at) msu.edu
PhD 2014 Dartmouth College
BS 2009 Lyndon State College
BA 1995 College of Wooster
Current position: Quantitative Ecologist, USFS
Research Interests: I am interested in how abiotic factors, especially temperature, and species interactions combine to determine the structure and composition of biological communities. Much of my research evaluates how temperature affects the phenology and strength of biotic interactions between trees, insect herbivores, and their predators in northern forests. In the Zarnetske Lab, I developed methods for incorporating biotic interactions into species distribution models, with two invasive herbivores that feed on hemlocks (hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale) as an example system.
Postdoc 2016-2018 MSU Forestry
PhD 2016 University of Tennessee at Knoxville
BS 2009 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Current position: Data Scientist, SESYNC
Research Interests: I'm a community ecologist who works on using information on the traits of individual organisms to find out how organisms interact with one another, how communities of species change across space, and how they respond to human-caused global change.
Postdoc 2018-2019, Forestry, Integrative Biology
PhD 2018 University of Montana
BS 2012 Whitman College
Current position: Forest Health Scientist, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Research Interests: I am a systems ecologist with a general interest in how abiotic factors shape the biotic environment at different spatial and temporal scales. In the Zarnetske Lab, I developed computational tools to quantify geodiversity and disturbances with satellite remote sensing, and identified how geodiversity influences bird and tree biodiversity across spatial and temporal scales with statistical models.
Graduate Student Alumni
PhD, Fisheries & Wildlife and EEBB (2020)
MS University of Washington
BS University of California, Santa Cruz
Current Position: Senior Environmental Scientist, CA Department of Water Resources
Research Interests: I am a Community Ecologist interested in climate change effects on freshwater communities and functional traits. I use experiments, remote sensing, and functional trait databases to understand and predict responses of freshwater communities to environmental change.
MS, Forestry and EEBB (2017)
BS 2012 Environmental and Ecological Science, Statistics, Elon University
Current Position: Natural Resources Assistant, Mecklenburg County, NC
My research interests include understanding the effects of climate change on grassland systems throughout the state of Michigan. I am also interested in the spread and management of invasive plant species.
MS, Forestry (2015)
BS 2014 Michigan State University
Current position: PhD candidate, University Nevada, Reno
I am interested in the intersection of biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration. In particular, I worked on a global meta-analysis to quantify faunal biodiversity that can be conserved in REDD+ and other C-sequestration sites. I also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science at MSU.
Undergraduate Students and Technician Alumni
Frugivoria Project Alumni:
Nellie Chalem (MSU '21)
Caroline Blommel (MSU '20)
Alison McCormick (MSU)
Kate Kelly (MSU '20)
Major: Environmental Biology/Plant Biology; minor: Environmental studies and sustainability
I am interested in the plant sciences and conservation research, specifically the effects of climate change on biodiversity and agriculture. After I graduate, I hope to complete some seasonal conservation work where I can enhance my biological skill set and narrow my interests within the field. I am also interested in pursuing a master's degree in conservation biology.
Arpita Nayak (MSU '20)
Major: Zoology, Pre-Vet Track
I am interested in animal behavior, especially behavior and interactions between organisms within a community. I would also like to see how this behavior varies between captive animals and animals in the wild. After graduating from MSU I will attend the MSU Veterinary School. I would like to work in a sanctuary, rehabilitation center, or conservation area.
Faith Slubowski (MSU '20)
Major: Environmental Biology/Zoology
I am fascinated by the way in which organisms interact with their environment and the way in which they respond to change. I am particularly interested in the conservation of these organisms and ecological communities, and what we can do to protect them. In the future, I plan on either attending veterinary school or pursuing a graduate degree in wildlife conservation, with the hope to eventually work with the national park system to study and conserve wilderness.
Emma Mushaka (MSU '21)
Major: Environmental Sciences and Management
After graduating from Michigan State, I hope to gain more experience with ecological research and possibly further my studies through graduate school.
Krymsen Hernandez (Univ. Nevada, Reno)
As a 2018 MSU SROP student, Krymsen investigated the potential to maximize conservation by aligning charismatic species habitat with functional diversity hotspots using species distribution modeling of Northern Andean cloud forest frugivore species.
warmXtrophic Project Alumni:
2019-2020: Moriah Young (B.S. Univ. Michigan 2015)
2018: Kathryn Schmidt (B.S. Univ. Michigan 2017)
B.S. 2016. Biology. Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Concentration. University of Texas, Austin
As a 2017 research technician, I worked on the project looking at how climate change is affecting grassland ecosystems.
Elizabeth Postema (Denison University '19)
Minor: English Literature
As a 2017 KBS REU, I investigated the effects of climate change on plant-herbivore interactions in a grassland ecosystem.
Tori Niewohner (Western Washington University)
Major: Environmental Science
Minors: Geographic Information Science, Environmental Policy
As a 2016 NSF REU, my summer research focused on the relationships between the abiotic and biotic factors of the environment and how they influence one another. Read about my summer of science (fiction) research here!
2016 Insect ID Work: Zach Wolfe (MSU), Steven Murtonen (MSU)
AquaXterra Project Alumni:
Ethan Hiltner (MSU '19)
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife
Specialization: Wildlife Biology and Management
As a CANR Research Assistant, Ethan worked on a database compiling functional traits of North American riparian spiders and aquatic insects as part of the aquaXterra project. Currently at UM SEAS program.
Tyler Treakle (College of William & Mary)
Majors: Biology, Environmental Economics
As a 2017 REU student, I've worked to understand the effects of climate warming on the movement rates of aquatic invertebrates in Michigan pond and stream ecosystems. These questions feed into a larger project looking at the effects of increasing temperatures on aquatic predator-prey interactions. I am very interested in climate change ecology and policy, and aim to pursue a graduate program related to environmental policy.
Simone Oliphant (Florida International University)
As a 2017 MSU SROP researcher, I worked on a trait database for the aquaXterra project with a focus on spiders, land predators of aquatic organisms.
Alyssa Sanderson (MSU)
Major: Environmental Biology/Zoology
Alyssa worked on a database of predator feeding traits for aquatic insects as part of the aquaXterra project.
Collin Love (MSU '18)
Major: Fisheries & Wildlife
Minor: Marine Ecosystem Management
Collin analyzed zooplankton community composition from the effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems, and more specifically how such alterations are affecting organisms that belong to coastal communities.
Jessie Ventzke (MSU)
Major: Environmental Biology/Integrative Biology
As a 2016 MSU URA, my summer research focused on experiments to examine the effects of climate warming on the feeding rates of a predator, Enallagma damselfly larvae, on its prey Daphnia, a planktonic crustacean.
Macrosystems Project Alumni:
Cameo Chilcutt (Northern Illinois Univ.)
As a 2018 NSF REU and MSU SROP student, Cameo investigated the effects of disturbance on species richness of birds and plants across co-located NEON and LTER sites.
Jay Jain (Louisiana State University - Shreveport)
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Software Development
As a 2017 iCER ACRES REU, my research involved predicting missing values in large biodiversity datasets utilizing statistical modeling and Bayesian inference.
Alex McKim (Clemson University)
Major: Computer Science
As a 2017 iCER ACRES REU, Alex's research in collaboration with Andrew Finley (MSU Forestry) involved efficient implementation of a statistical model called the Nearest Neighbor Gaussian Process (NNGP) that involves nearest neighbor searches for massive spatial data sets.
Aina - Laura's Pembroke Welsh Corgi from Ukiah, CA. She loves food, hiking, canoeing, chasing squirrels, and herding.