Congratulations to PEEC student Samniqueka Halsey for being awarded a 2016 ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science Fellowship. Students were nominated by their graduate advisors. Nominees spanned 21 disciplines and represented large, mid-sized, and small institutions in 23 countries. 80% of nominees were female, and 20% were identified as an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority in their country of study. The nominations were evaluated and ranked by a panel of 18 experts (who were themselves diverse with respect to race, gender, discipline, and nationality) based on nominees’ overall potential for excellence in data science and/or computational science, and the extent to which they will help to increase diversity in the workplace. Congratulations to Samniqueka on receiving this highly competitive fellowship!
Congratulations to PEEC student Alonso Favela for being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Alonso’s application was based on his dissertation research on the domestication of the maize microbiome. NSF received close to 17,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers (33 to UIUC students). Congratulations to Alonso on receiving this highly competitive fellowship!
Incoming PEEC PhD student Sada Egenriether was awarded a 3-year Illinois Distinguished Fellowship to support her dissertation research on microbial communities involved in nitrogen cycling processes. Sada will be advised by Dr. Angela Kent and Dr. Wendy Yang. Congratulations to Sada on receiving this prestigious fellowship!
Incoming PEEC PhD student Rosemary Garcia was awarded a 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship to support her graduate studies examining how climate and non-climate factors influence the change in vegetation cover over time. Rosemary will work with Dr. Jonathan Greenberg for her dissertation research. Congratulations to Rosemary on her outstanding record of achievement that was recognized by the Graduate College in awarding this competitive fellowship!
Congratulations to the following PEEC students for winning these GEEB Symposium Presentation Awards: Judged by Faculty: Best Overall - Daniel Urban, Most Outstanding Talk by a PhD Candidate - Henry Pollock, and Most Outstanding Talk by a MS Candidate/Pre-Prelim PhD - Tara Stewart, as well as Judged by Students: Overall - Tara Stewart.
Congratulations to PEEC student Bailey Morrison for receiving the 2015 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. Her winning proposal was entitled, “The Velocity of Tree Cover in California". Bailey was one of the 64 students out of 400 applicants to win this highly competitive fellowship!
2/14/2015 Congratulations to the PEEC student speakers who have won awards at the Graduates in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (GEEB) Annual Symposium: in the Faculty Judge categories - Abigail Berkey for Most Outstanding Talk by a Ph.D Candidate; Miles Bensky for Most Outstanding Talk by an MS Candidate/Pre-Prelim Ph.D. In the Student Judge category, Miles Bensky for Best Overall Talk.
1/2015 Congratulations to PEEC student Kelsey Witt and her advisor Ripan Malhi on the article "Study of ancient dogs in the Americas yields insights into human, dog migration" (http://news.illinois.edu/news/15/0107AncientDogs_RipanMahli.html) on the front page of Inside Illinois!
12/2014 Congratulations to Cassandra Allsup for graduating with her Ph.D.
11/2014 Erin Welsh attended the 62nd Annual Entomological Society of America's conference in Portland, Oregon this November where she presented a poster titled "Evaluating potential effects of climate change on off-host tick ecology in Panama".
8/2014 Congratulations to Bethany Krebs, Simon Pearish, and Muchu Zhou for graduating with their Ph.D's. Simon is a lecturer at SUNY College at Potsdam, and Muchu is a Postdoctoral Researcher here at UIUC.
5/2014 Congratulations to Nicole Davros for graduating with her Ph.D. Nicole is a Wildlife Research Scientist at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
4/2014 PEEC has a lot of outstanding students. This year PEEC awarded 7 students each an Outstanding PEEC Fellowship for being exemplary PEEC students and giving back to the program in some way. Those students are Abigail Berkey, Melissa Chipman, Dora Cohen, Denise Devotta, Jason Fischer, Simon Pearish, and Henry Pollock. Thank you to all for going above and beyond to help make our program even better!
4/2014 PEEC student Lisa Powers was awarded the Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Congratulations, Lisa!
3/2014 Congratulations to PEEC students Miles Bensky and Andrew Sweet for being awarded SIB Clark Research Support Grants.
3/2014 PEEC student Tyler Refsland was awarded a Joint Fire Science Program Grant. Congratulations, Tyler!
3/2014 Congratulations to PEEC students Abigail Berkey, Dora Cohen, Jennifer Jones, Rachel Moran, Amanda Owings, and Selina Ruzi for being awarded PEEC Summer Research Grants.
3/2014 Congratulations to incoming PEEC student Samniqueka Halsey for being awarded the Illinois Distinguished Fellowship.
3/2014 Congratulations to PEEC students Beryl Jones and Amanda Owings for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
3/2014 Congratulations to the following students for being awarded the Spring PEEC Travel Grants: Abigail Berkey, Denise Devotta, Lisa Powers, Tyler Refsland, Andrew Sweet,and Kevin Wolz.
2/2014 Some PEEC students gave oral presentations at the Graduates in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (GEEB) Annual Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, IL. Congratulations to Katherine Heineman for being awarded the Most Outstanding Talk by a PhD Candidate judged by faculty for her talk "Variation in tropical tree wood nutrient stoichiometry along a soil fertility gradient," and to Denise Devotta for being awarded the Most Outstanding Talk by an MS Candidate/Pre-Prelim PhD judged by faculty for her talk "Evaluating geomorphic and temporal factors in regulating nutrient availability from alder to streams in southwestern Alaska." Also congratulations to Lisa Powers for being award Most Outstanding Talk by a PhD Candidate judged by students for her talk "Does white-nose syndrome impair reproductive capacity in the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)?" and to Kelsey Witt for Most Outstanding Talk by an MS Candidate/Pre-Prelim PhD judged by students for her talk "Ancient DNA analysis of dogs from southern Illinois."
12/2013 Congratulations to Therese Catanach, Brielle Fischman, Elena Lobo, and Sara Paver for graduating with their Ph.D.'s and to Morgan Carr-Markell for her Masters. Therese Catanach is a Teaching Assistant at Texas A & M. Brielle is a Visiting Professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Elena is a Business Development Manager at DMCii in the UK. Morgan is a Laboratory Technician at the University of Minnesota and and Adjunct Instructor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
10/2013 Congratulations to PEEC students Spencer Hellert and Selina Ruzi for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
10/2013 Congratulations to the following students for being awarded the Fall PEEC Travel Grants: Melissa Chipman, Spencer Hellert, Simon Pearish, Selina Ruzi, Michael Urban, Cassandra Wesseln, and Kelsey Witt.
10/2013 PEEC student Spencer Hellert presented a poster "Evolutionary Dynamics of the Limbs of Birds and Theropod Dinosaurs: Testing the Influence of Functional Constraints," co-authored b J. Marcot, at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting.
8/2013 Welcome to our five new graduate students this year: Miles Bensky (IGERT recipient), Jennifer Jones (IGERT recipient), Rachel Moran (IGERT recipient), Tyler Refsland, and Kevin Wolz (NSF Fellowship recipient).
8/2013 Congratulations to Katherine Amato for graduating with her Ph.D. She is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
8/2013 PEEC student Therese Catanach, co-authored by Kevin Johnson, presented "Insights into the phylogeny of diurnal raptors from their feather lice" at the American Ornithologists Union in Chicago, IL.
8/2013 PEEC student Jason Fischer presented a poster "The relationship between body condition and potential plumage signals in the American goldfinch across an urbanization gradient," co-authored by R.H. Hartland (an undergraduate mentee) and J.R. Miller, at the American Ornithologists’ Union and Cooper Ornithological Society Meeting in Chicago, IL. Jason also gave an oral presentation "Direct and indirect effects of supplemental food on house finch populations" at the same meeting.
8/2013 PEEC student Alyssa Magnetta gave a presentation "The alder rhizosphere influences soil microbial community composition" at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Minneapolis, MN. Alyssa was also awarded a PEEC Summer Research Grant and PEEC Travel Grant.
8/2013 PEEC student Sara Paver published a paper: Paver, S. F., Hayek, K. R., Gano, K. A., Fagen, J. R., Brown, C. T., Davis-Richardson, A. G., Crabb, D. B., Rosario-Passapera, R., Giongo, A., Triplett, E. W. and Kent, A. D. (2013), Interactions between specific phytoplankton and bacteria affect lake bacterial community succession. Environmental Microbiology, 15: 2489–2504. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12131
8/2013 Congratulations to PEEC student Sara Paver for becoming a finalist for the 2014 Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship.
8/2013 PEEC student Henry Pollock gave a presentation "The Role of Microclimates and Light Environments in the Habitat Selection of Tropical Understory Insectivores," co-authored by Z.A. Cheviron and J.D. Brawn, at the American Ornithologists’ Union Conference in Chicago, IL.
7/2013 Congratulations to PEEC student Morgan Carr-Markell for receiving the Graduate Teacher Certificate from UIUC's Center for Teaching Excellence, and also to PEEC student Jason Fischer for receiving the Teacher Scholar Certificate from UIUC's Center for Teaching Excellence.
7/2013 PEEC student Abigail Berkey gave an oral presentation at the 2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
7/2013 PEEC student Corey DeBoom published the following two papers this summer: (1) DeBoom, C.S., and D. H. Wahl. 2013. Effects of coarse woody habitat complexity on predator-prey interactions of four freshwater fish species. (In Press) Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. And (2) Wolter, M. H., C. S. DeBoom, and D. H. Wahl. 2013. Field and laboratory evaluation of dam escapement of muskellunge. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 33:829-838
6/2013 PEEC student Therese Catanach, co-authored by Chris Dietrich, presented a poster "Old World origins of multiple lineages of grassland insects" at Evolution 2013, the joint annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN) in Snowbird, Utah.
6/2013 PEEC student Jason Fischer gave an oral outreach presentation "Urbanization and anthropogenic food: Theory and Application," co-authored by J.R. Miller, at an Illinois Ornithological Society Meeting in Mt. Sterling, IL.
6/2013 PEEC student Spencer Hellert won the Stephen Jay Gould Award, a Paleontological Society Student Research Grant, for her research on "Causes of trait modularity and their relation to ontogeny in bird forelimbs."
5/2013 Congratulations to Carolyn Barrett, Daniel Scholes, and Helen (Bustamante) Wood for graduating with their Ph.D.'s. Carolyn has taken on two part-time roles as a research collaborator with Dr. Colin Beier and will also be an adjunct professor teaching 400/600 level Disturbance Ecology in Spring 2014 in Syracuse, NY. Daniel Scholes continues his research on the adaptive potential of plant endopolyploidy in response to herbivory as a PEEC Postdoc Research Scientist under the guidance of Ken Paige in Animal Biology here at UIUC. Helen Wood is now an Environmental Monitoring Officer for the Environmental Agency in the UK.
5/2013 PEEC student Sarah Cleeton was awarded a National Research Award ($2,130) from the American Ornithologists' Union.
5/2013 PEEC student Sarah Cleeton, co-authored by C. M. Roy, J. R. Miller, L. P. Fredericks, and B. F. Allan, presented a poster "Assessing the contribution of migrating songbirds to the southward expansion of Lyme disease in the Midwestern US" at the 131st Annual American Ornithologists' Union and 83rd Annual Cooper Ornithological Society joint meeting in Chicago, IL.
5/2013 Congratulations to PEEC students Abigail Berkey and Spencer Hellert for being awarded a Clark Research Support Grant from SIB and to Therese Catanach for being awarded a Ross Memorial Fund Award from SIB.
5/2013 Congratulations to PEEC student Henry Pollock for receiving the American Ornithological Union Werner and Hildegard Hesse Research Award, Illinois Ornithological Society Research Grant, PEEC's Summer Research Award, and the Wilson Ornithological Society Paul A. Stewart Award.
5/2013 PEEC student Michael Urban received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Graduate College at UIUC. The fellowship will support him as he finishes writing his dissertation during the next academic year.
5/2013 Congratulations to PEEC students Abigail Berkey, Morgan Carr-Markell, Sara Cleeton, Denise Devotta, Jason Fischer, Spencer Hellert, Alyssa Magnetta, Simon Pearish, Henry Pollock, and Lisa Powers for being awarded PEEC Summer Research Grants.
4/2013 Congratulations to PEEC students Abigail Berkey and Katherine Heineman for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
4/2013 PEEC student Jason Fischer presented the poster "House finch and house sparrow interactions along an invasion front," co-authored by E.D. Janssen (an undergraduate mentee) and J.R. Miller, and the poster "The mystery of tail white in the American goldfinch," co-authored by R.L. Hartland (an undergraduate mentee) and J.R. Miller, at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Symposium in Urbana, IL.
4/2013 As an outreach presentation, PEEC student Jason Fischer did a field demonstration of mist netting for a Central High School Biology Class in Homer, IL.
4/2013 PEEC student Jason Fischer gave an oral outreach presentation "City vs. country living: the effects of urbanization on birds," at the Champaign County Audubon Society Meeting in Urbana, IL.
2/2013 PEEC student Jason Fischer gave an oral presentation "The impact of urbanization on daily feeding activity: a test of foraging theory," co-authored by J.R. Miller, at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign Graduates in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (GEEB) Annual Symposium in Urbana, IL. Jason was awarded the Paul A. Stewart Award from the Wilson Ornithological Society for this work.
2/2013 PEEC student Amanda Owings published a paper "Preliminary DNA analysis of ancient Native American individuals from British Columbia," co-authored by Cris Hughes, Mary Rogers, John Lindo, and Ripan Malhi, and presented at the GEEB Symposium, 2-9-2013.
2/2013 Some PEEC students gave oral presentations at the Graduates in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (GEEB) Annual Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, IL. Congratulations to Bethany Krebs for being awarded the Best Overall Talk for her talk "Evidence for encounter-dilution effects in an urban vector-borne disease system" and to Daniel Scholes for being awarded the Most Outstanding Talk by an MS Candidate for his talk "Chromosome replication and the phenomenon of overcompensation in plants."
9/2012 Congratulations to PEEC students Simon Pearish and Daniel Scholes for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
8/2012 Congratulations to Claire Baldeck and Sarah Woodard for graduating with their Ph.D.'s. Claire Baldeck is now a Post Doctoral Researcher in the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University. Sarah Woodard is now a Research Assistant in the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center at the University of Florida.
5/2012 Congratulations to PEEC student Cassandra Allsup for being awarded the Clark Summer Fellowship from SIB.
4/2012 Congratulations to PEEC student Brielle Fischman for being awarded a Graduate College Conference Travel Grant.
3/2012 Congratulations to incoming PEEC students Beryl Jones and Erin Welsh for being awarded Illinois Distinguished Fellowships.
2/2012 Congratulations to PEEC student Sara Paver for being awarded the Best Overall Talk at the Graduates in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (GEEB) Annual Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, IL.
9/2011 Congratulations to PEEC students Carolyn Barrett and Melissa Chipman for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
5/2011 PEEC student Carolyn Barrett received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Graduate College at UIUC. The fellowship will support her as she finishes writing her dissertation during the next academic year.
4/2011 Congratulations to PEEC students Nicole Davros and Lisa Powers for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
3/2011 PEEC student Nicole Davros received a 2010 North American Bluebird Society (NABS) Research Grant and a 2010 Sigma Xi GIAR. She also received the WOS/Alexander Wilson Prize for Best Student Presentation at the recent joint meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO), Cooper Ornithological Society (COS), and Wilson Ornithological Society (WOS).
3/2011 PEEC students Nicole Davros and Corey Tarwater, along with Jeff Brawn and a few other co-authors recently had a paper published in the Journal of Avian Biology: J.D. Brawn, G. Angehr, N.M. Davros, W.D. Robinson, J.N. Styrsky, and C.E. Tarwater. 2011. Sources of variation in the nesting success of understory tropical birds. Journal of Avian Biology 42:61-68.
9/2010 Congratulations to PEEC student Carolyn Barrett for being awarded a Graduate College Conference Travel Grant.
8/2010 Recent PEEC graduate John Drake won the Billings Award for 2010 for the best physiological ecology talk at ESA. He gave an oral presentation on “Physiological causes of the age-related decline in pine forest productivity” with co-author Evan H. DeLucia.
5/2010 PEEC student Nicole Davros was awarded an American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) Research Award for her proposal entitled "An integrative approach to testing density effects in a migratory songbird."
5/2010 PEEC student Claire Baldeck received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Graduate College at UIUC. The fellowship will support her as she finishes writing her dissertation during the next academic year.
4/2010 Congratulations to PEEC students Carolyn Barrett and Sigrid Smith for being awarded Graduate College Conference Travel Grants.
3/2010 Congratulations to incoming PEEC students Katherine Heineman for being awarded an Illinois Distinguished Fellowship.
10/2009 PEEC student Katie Amato gave a presentation for National Geographic Live! on Thursday, October 29, in Washington, D.C., as part of their "Exploration: The Next Generation" series. The talk highlighted her work with seed dispersal by howler monkeys in Mexico in 2007-2008 as part of the National Geographic Young Explorers Grants.
9/2009 PEEC student Kelly Andersen just defended her PhD successfully, and she has received a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Postdoctoral fellowship to continue research on interactions between plants and soils in Panama. She will examine the uptake of organic and inorganic chemical forms of nitrogen by plants with different types of mycorrhizal associations. This research will use stable isotope surveys and enrichment experiments to investigate the relative importance of nitrogen uptake pathways and the influence of partitioning of nitrogen chemical forms in structuring plant communities. In addition, she recently had a manuscript entitled 'Soil-based habitat partitioning in understorey palms in lower montane forests' accepted for publication in the Journal of Biogeography.
8/2009 Recent PEEC graduate Mike Carey started a post doctoral position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Laboratory at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA. He will be examining the cumulative effect of nonindigenous game fishes on salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. This position is through the National Research Council Research Associateship Program.
8/2009 PEEC has a leadership change. Carla Cáceres is now on board as the new director of the program. We thank Jeff Brawn for his past service in this position. While Jeff is now the department head of NRES, he will continue to be involved in PEEC.
5/2009 Among our recent PEEC graduates, students Anne Readel and Mike Allen are embarking on careers in policy-related venues. Anne has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin Law School and will be pursuing a career in Environmental Law and Policy. Mike received a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss policy fellowship to explore public policy issues in Washington, D.C.
5/2009 Recent PEEC graduate Matthew L. Richardson accepted a postdoctoral research position in the lab of Glen Hartman (USDA/Crop Sciences) at UIUC to investigate the inheritance of genes in the soybean aphid which allow it to feed on soybean plants that are resistant to a common biotype of the aphid.
5/2009 PEEC students Ben Clegg and Corey Tarwater received Dissertation Completion Fellowships from the Graduate College at UIUC. The fellowships will support them as they finish writing their dissertations during the next academic year.
4/2009 PEEC student Brielle Fischman received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This award gives her a $30,000/year stipend for 3 years to work on her research fulltime and lots of other perks.
3/2009 PEEC student Cassandra Allsup and fellow grad student Emily Wheeler had an article published in the "Fresh Perspectives" column of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. They talk about ways to understand and utilize feedback well. Faculty member Dee Eggers contributed the faculty response to the article.
3/2009 Former PEEC student Eli Saetnan has had two papers from her thesis accepted for publication. She examined the effects of grazing on small mammal communities in Norway. Look for her work in Journal of Mammalogy and Journal of Chemical Ecology. She also recently accepted a position as a Teaching Fellow in Animal Behaviour at Aberystwyth University, and she is having a great there so far!
3/2009 PEEC student Matthew L. Richardson had the following article accepted by Science Activities: "Using an exploratory Internet activity and trivia game to teach students about biomes." The publication resulted from curricula Matthew developed for local middle school students while serving as a fellow in the NSF GK-12 program.
2/2009 PEEC student J. Dylan Maddox recently gave his exit seminar and will be defending this semester. He had a publication from his thesis accepted in Ecology last month: "Seasonal sex allocation by common grackles? Revisiting a foundational study." It is currently in press, so look for in the next few months.
1/2009 PEEC students Brielle Fischman and Hollis Woodard spent three weeks of January at the Workshop on Molecular Evolution in the Czech Republic. At the Workshop, they learned about molecular evolutionary research, including how to test for positive selection across a phylogeny. They plan to apply their new knowledge by looking for genes under positive selection in social bees with this technique.
11/2008 Chris Smith, Ph.D. 2008, is the recipient of the 2008 George C. Eickwort Student Research Award, given by the North American Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. The award is designed to recognize "exceptional research and scholarly activity by students in the field of social insect biology." Chris was advised by Andy Suarez.
11/2008 Matthew L. Richardson, a Ph.D. candidate in PEEC, received an Educational Mini-Grant from the Entomological Foundation for "Implementation and evaluation of insect-based curricula in secondary classrooms." The grant will fund part of a teacher workshop at which university scientists will share practical lessons for K-12 classrooms, share strategies for evaluating the efficacy of lessons, and introduce teachers to simple statistics their students can use.
11/2008 PEEC student Brad Cosentino got a publication accepted in Molecular Ecology. He and his collaborators studied the link between salamanders' movements and population-level effects on genetic divergence in plethodontid salamanders. He has worked with the group on salamander dispersal and population genetic structure in New Hampshire since 2003, when Winsor Lowe and Gene Likens were his mentors in a NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.
11/2008 PEEC student John Drake had his first first-author paper published in Plant, Cell, and Environment. It explores the respiration of fine roots of trees, a less understood piece of the global climate change puzzle. The research took place partially at Duke's loblolly pine FACE (free-air carbon dioxide enrichment) experiment, and the work was done in collaboration with Paul Stoy (University of Edinburgh), Rob Jackson (Duke University), and John's advisor Evan DeLucia.
11/2008 Allison Bormet, a M.S. student in PEEC, got her abstract accepted and even received a travel grant to attend the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting in January. She'll be presenting research on the evolutionary rates and patterns of artiodactyl limb reduction.
11/2008 PEEC student Matthew L. Richardson was among the graduate students at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Reno, NV. He presented both his dissertation research and education-focused talks in a syposium that he organized.
11/2008 PEEC students Hollis Woodard and Brielle Fischman have been accepted to go to the 2009 Workshop on Molecular Evolution in the Czech Republic. At this prestigious 2-week course, they will participate in lectures, demonstrations, and computer laboratories that cover various aspects of molecular evolution, taught by leaders in the field.
10/2008 Ph.D. candidate Anne Readel has had several publications accepted recently. They relate to her research exploring the effects of habitat alterations on turtle physiology, immunology, and infectious diseases. You can watch current and future issues of Copeia, Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences, Herpetological Conservation and Biology, and Herpetological Review for her work. Click on the thumbnail for a picture of her checking a turtle trap.
10/2008 Corey Tarwater, a Ph.D. candidate in PEEC, has recently had two articles published from her thesis research on neotropical passerine birds--they are in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology and Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
9/2008 Five PEEC students (Claire Baldeck, Matthew Richardson, Brad Cosentino, Sigrid Smith, and Mike Allen) attended a statistics workshop at University of Missouri at St. Louis. The workshop was led by Dr. David Anderson and dealt with making statistical inferences about the relative support for multiple models using AIC and related likelihood techniques. They learned a lot and had a great time meeting graduate students at the host university. They shared notes from their trip at their Ecolunch seminar on 10/23.
9/2008 Helen Bustamante, a Ph.D. candidate in PEEC, gave a talk about her recent collaboration with post-doc Nils Carlsson at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY. This summer, Nils and Helen investigated a phenomenon Helen had seen in the river whereby virtually all adult zebra mussels disappeared from the freshwater part of the estuary at the end of summer. They designed a set of exclusion experiments to investigate predation on zebra mussel populations in the river. The talk title was "Who's eating Hudson River Zebra Mussels?" and was geared to a general audience. It was part of the DEC program series at Tivoli Bays Visitors Center, Watts dePeyster Hall, Tivoli, NY. (Click on photo for full image of them in the field.)
In addition, Helen was recently awarded a fellowship from the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve for the quality and relevance of her work to river management and her continuing outreach activities.
9/2008 PEEC student J. Dylan Maddox began a yearlong fellowship teaching in K-12 schools through UIUC's NSF GK-12 program. He's spending much of his time teaching biology classes at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in St. Joseph, IL.
In addition, Dylan has recently had two papers published on his thesis research--they are in Journal of Ornithology and American Naturalist.
9/2008 Matthew L. Richardson, a Ph.D. candidate in PEEC, was just named the Co-Chair of the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education for the Illinois State Academy of Science.
8/2008 Ariane Peralta, a PhD student in PEEC advised by Angela Kent, was one of 9 student poster award winners at the 12th International Society for Microbial Ecology Conference in Cairns, Australia (August 17-22, 2008). Ariane's poster, "A soil, microbial, and plant community ecology approach to wetland mitigation assessment," summarized results from a 28-site wetland survey investigating patterns in community composition among soil microorganisms and plants to potentially enhance wetland monitoring. This work was performed in collaboration with Jeff Matthews (INHS) and Anton Endress. Ariane received Travel Awards from the UIUC Graduate College and PEEC to support her summer conference travel. (Click on photo to see her smiling with her poster!)
8/2008 Many PEEC students shared their research and soaked in the science in conferences in August. Dylan Maddox and Corey Tarwater went to a joint meeting of three ornithology organizations in Portland, and a slew of students (too many to list individually!) went to Ecological Society of America's annual meeting in Milwaukee. Many students were grateful to receive funding from the program to help defray travel costs. Corey received a grant from American Ornithologists' Union for travel.
8/2008 Congratulations to incoming PEEC students Katherine Amato and Muchu Zhou for being awarded Illinois Distinguished Fellowships.