Dr. Michael J. Blum

Associate Professor , PI


Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River & Coastal Studies


Director, Tulane / Xavier Center

for Bioenvironmental Research


Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

mjblum@tulane.edu

cbr.tulane.edu


Postdoc  US EPA (2002-2006)

Postdoc  UC Davis (2002)

PhD        Duke University (2002)

BA          UC Berkeley (1995)


Courses:


EEB 2050: Global Change Biology

EEB 4170/7170: Speciation &   

    Macroevolution

EEB 4190/7190: Wetlands Ecology

EEB 4230/7230: Molecular Evolution

    & Ecology


Erin Minor (Knapke)

Greg Glotzbecker

Dr. J. Michael Guill

Research Assistant Professor (2007-2008)

PhD graduate student

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

greg@glotzbecker.com


BS        University of Cincinnati (2006)


MS thesis graduate student (2007-2008)

Mat Quattrocelli

Brittany Bernik

Elisa Avila

Undergraduate student (2007-2008)

PhD graduate student

EPA STAR Fellow

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

bbernik@tulane.edu


BS     Tulane University (2008)




Undergraduate student (2007-2009)





Mark Hogan

Dr. Evon Hekkala

Lab Alumni

Heidi Connahs

Mark Fox

PhD graduate student

Board of Regents Fellow

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

mfox@tulane.edu


MS       Tulane University (2006)

BS        University of Maryland (1999)


Erick Gagne

PhD graduate student (co-advised)

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

rgagne@tulane.edu


BS       Washington & Lee University (2008)


 

Dr. Sunny B. Snider

Jessica Goldstein

Undergraduate student (2007-2009)

My current research uses a ‘genes to ecosystems’ approach to understand marsh processes and resilience. I use genetic tools to characterize intraspecific genetic variation in marsh plants, then document ecosystem-level consequences of this variation. Focusing on the interface of human and natural systems, I’ve received an EPA STAR fellowship to examine how genotypes used to restore Spartina alterniflora marshes influence the provisioning of ecosystem services including water treatment and shoreline stabilization. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I expanded my work to consider how oil contamination and cleanup activities might favor recolonization of specific genotypes. This work aims to support environmentally-sensitive remediation of oil-impacted marshes.

Completed a MS degree focusing on the defensive responses of salt marsh plants to herbivore attack along a gradient of salinity and tidal inundation. Currently enrolled in the PhD program at the University of North Dakota.

My dissertation project is an examination of the ecological consequences of catastrophic flooding on a coastal Louisiana brackish marsh. I’m particularly excited to be working in a vulnerable local ecosystem, and on a project that encompasses my major research interests: insect ecology, the evolution and ecology of stress tolerance in insects and plants, and complex interactions across trophic levels.  I am also pleased to be developing scientific illustrations for colleagues in the department, which is an enjoyable diversion from my own research.  For my parasitology thesis, I revised and updated the adult and larval identification keys to the mosquito species of Louisiana, and created a generic key to the female mosquitoes of Kenya.

I am pursuing ecological and genetic research to support conservation of stream fishes. The use of genetic diversity as a potential measurement of stream condition is a topic that I find particularly compelling.  I have recently completed a study of parasite loads in native fishes relative to watershed land use in Hawaii. For my dissertation research, I am examining landscape genetics of parasites infecting native stream fishes in Hawaii, and the influence of climate variation and watershed management on parasitism.

I am interested in the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary biology of freshwater fishes. Hybridization is a biological phenomenon that I find particularly interesting. The work that I have been involved with has focused on the mechanics and outcomes of hybridization. Some of the questions I am examining for my thesis research include the following- under what environmental conditions does hybridization occur? compared to parental species, do hybrids communicate differently? what are the relative strengths of prezygotic versus postzygotic reproductive barriers in fishes?

Assisted with research on coastal marsh responses to sea level rise, focusing on genotyping Schoenoplectus seeds from sediment cores and the molecular systematics of the Schoenoplectus americanus group.

Assisted with research on endocrine disruption and hybridization between non-native red shiner and native blacktail shiner in the Coosa River basin. Currently teaching high school biology in southeastern Louisiana.

Assisted with research on population genetics and phylopatry of migratory suckers and island biogeography of stream fishes. Recently held a position with the customs office of the US Dept of Homeland Security in Honolulu, Hawaii, and worked for a biotechnology company in Boston. Currently pursuing a medical degree.

Carried out research on the evolution of life-history traits, focusing on aspects of organisms' phenotypes that pertain to the timing and relative investment in growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Examined the interplay of natural selection with other factors, such as phylogenetic history and body shape, in producing the patterns of life-history variation seen among species and populations of darters. Currently teaching life sciences at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans.

Completed a MS thesis degree focusing on hybridization and evolutionary responses of coastal marsh plants to sea level rise. Recently graduated from the Tulane University Law School.

Assisted with research on hybridization between non-native red shiner and native blacktail shiner in the Coosa River basin. Recently completed graduate studies at the University of Chicago.

Danielle Drabeck

4+1 MS graduate student (2009-2010)


Completed a MS degree focusing on genetic diversity of native and non-native populations of Spartina patens. Currently pursuing a PhD degree in the Dept of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior at the University of Minnesota.

Seth Cunningham

Assisted with research on native fish species responses to watershed land use and in-stream conditions across Hawaii. Currently pursuing a PhD degree in conservation genetics at Fordham University with Dr. Evon Hekkala.

Lee Attaway

Undergraduate student (2007-2009)

Assisted with research on life history and morphological evolution of stream fishes, focusing on evolutionary responses of stream fishes to impoundment events. Recently completed graduate studies in biology at the University of New Orleans.

Dr. Chad Ferguson

Senior research associate (2008-2009)

Completed a doctoral dissertation on reproductive strategies and conservation genetics of the freshwater mussel Lampsilis cardium (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Also assisted with research on demographic responses of native amphidromous fishes to land use in Hawaii.

Currently a research scientist with the Ohio EPA and developing a non-profit organization to promote and sustain wilderness areas in the State of Ohio.

Carried out research on island phylogeography of freshwater fishes and invertebrates in Trinidad and Hawaii. Also assisted with research on coastal marsh plant responses to climate change. Currently working as an ecologist with NOAA in Washington DC.

Postdoctoral research associate (2008-2009)

PhD graduate student (2008-2009)

Postdoctoral research associate (2008-2009)

Travis Haas

I am interested in the ecology and evolutionary biology of freshwater fishes. I am particularly interested in stream fish responses to flow regimes.  I am carrying out dissertation research on the effect of water impoundment on fish morphology with respect to shape, swimming performance and fecundity. I have recently completed a study demonstrating that impoundment exerts a consistent pressure on stream fish morphology. My current work involves evaluating the nature of that pressure (ie. physical and ecological), time frames of response, and whether responses reflect selection on heritable traits or phenotypic plasticity.

Undergraduate student (2008-2009)

Undergraduate student (2008-2009)

Alice Zhang

Undergraduate student (2009-2010)





Completed a senior honors thesis on the role of sexual selection in biological invasions. Recently completed post-bac training at the NIEHS in RTP, North Carolina. Currently pursuing a medical degree.

Shemi Benge

Undergraduate student (2009-2010)

Assisted with research on hybridization between non-native red shiner and native blacktail shiner in the Coosa River basin, and responses of shiners to endocrine disruptors.

Nicholas Brasier

Undergraduate student (2010)

Assisted with research on native fish species responses to watershed land use and in-stream conditions across Hawaii.

Dr. Haisheng Li

Visiting Scholar (Summer 2010)

Professor, State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. Carried out research on the genetic diversity and invasion history of Spartina alterniflora introduced to China. Visit hosted as part of the Tulane-ECNU Ecopartnership supported by the U.S. State Department. Through the Ecopartnership, the two universities are working together to develop a global model for the sustainability of coastal cities, focused on restoration, conservation and enhancement of environmentally sensitive wetland areas.

Brandon Policky

Research associate (2009-2010)

Undergraduate student (2008-2009)

Assisted with work on the conservation genetics and phylogeography of native amphidromous gobies in Hawaii, as well as a study of genetic variation among migratory sucker populations in the Great Lakes. Currently pursuing professional opportunities in preparation for further graduate training.

PhD graduate student (co-advised)

Board of Regents Fellow

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

thaas@tulane.edu


BS        Lawrence University (2007)


Rebecca Hazen

PhD graduate student

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

rhazen@tulane.edu


NCCC    Americorps (2002-2003)

BS          SUNY Cortland (2001)



My research focuses on 1) variables affecting the diversity of interactions in multitrophic food webs, and 2) the phylogeographic signatures of invasion on multiple trophic levels. I use plant-caterpillar-parasitoid interactions as a model system for addressing my study questions. In bottomland hardwood forests of southeastern Louisiana, I examine the diversity of interactions in this system along a gradient of hurricane disturbance. This study is also an integral component of an ongoing collaboration with researchers at multiple sites across the globe, examining this tritrophic system using the same methodologies, to make powerful comparisons between different latitudes, altitudes and environmental gradients. More recently, I have begun work on on the phylogeography of the invasive Chinese Tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) and specialist herbivores of this plant from the genus Caloptilia. I currently have studies underway that aim to establish the distribution, genetic diversity and comparative phylogenetic relationships for Caloptilia specializing on T. sebifera across the species native and non-native ranges.

Sarah Gutman

Charlotte (Grace) Sprehn

MS thesis graduate student (co-advised)

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

csprehn@tulane.edu


BS     Tulane University (2012)

Assisted with research on inundation and trophic cascades in coastal marshes of Louisiana Currently pursuing a MS degree at Indiana University (SPEA).

Undergraduate student (2010-2011)

Elizabeth Jarrell

PhD graduate student (2012-2013)

Research associate (2011-2012)

Completed a MS degree focusing on salt marsh plant-microbial interactions, coastal wetland plant community responses to sea level rise, and coastal restoration. Recently joined the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as a Coastal Research Scientist.

Dr. J. Derek Hogan

Postdoctoral research associate (2009-2011)

Carried out research on population connectivity and larval dispersal of native amphidromous fishes in Hawaii. Also assisted with research on the landscape genetics of freshwater fishes. Currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology. Currently an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Cassie Campbell

Undergraduate student (2011-2012)

Conducted independent research on the responses of coastal marsh Schoenoplectus sedges and Cladium sawgrass to sea level rise. Also assisted with research on genotypic variation in Spartina grasses. Currently teaching elementary school in New Orleans.

Postdoctoral research associate (2009-2011)

Completed research on invasion genetics, hybridization and the reproductive consequences of exposure to estrogenic contaminants in wild fish populations.  Currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Dept of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Jessica L. ward

Conducted conservation genetic studies of Caribbean and African crocodiles, imperiled frogs in the desert southwest of North America, and imperiled suckers in New York and the Great Lakes. Currently an Assistant Professor at Fordham University.

I am pursuing a MS thesis degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. While I will be conducting additional research on the population genetics of non-native parasites introduced to Hawaii (on which I completed a senior honors thesis),  I also will be studying the landscape genetics of Schistocephalus parasites in stickleback.

Undergraduate student (2010-2011)

Ben Mauro

Danielle Tarry

Undergraduate student (2010-2011)

Assisted with research on native fish species responses to watershed land use and in-stream conditions across Hawaii.  Currently pursuing an MPH degree at the Tulane SPHTM.

Assisted with research on endocrine disruption and hybridization between non-native red shiner and native blacktail shiner in the Coosa River basin.

James Meurer-Saavedra

Undergraduate student (2011-2012)

Assisted with research on the ecological genetics of biological invasions, focusing on the spread of red shiner in the Coosa River basin.

My early work examined how land use and landscape change destabilize hybrid zones, and how unstable hybrid zones relate to models of evolutionary diversification. This research focused on Neotropical butterflies that serve as model systems for the study of hybridization, speciation and adaptive radiations. My current research applies my understanding of hybridization and adaptive evolution to the study of land use, invasive species and climate change impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Although I have been involved in research that encompasses a range of freshwater and estuarine biota, I am now pursuing studies of freshwater fishes and coastal marsh plants.

Carried out research on the biogeography and recruitment dynamics of native fishes in Hawaii as well as the evolutionary diversification of freshwater fishes across the Lesser Antilles. Currently a postdoctoral research associate at Windsor University.

Dr. Ryan P. Walter

Postdoctoral research associate (2009-2011)

Sabrina Hunter

Research Associate (2012-2013)




Fleur Porter

PhD graduate student (2012-2013)



Completed a MS degree focusing on the urban ecology of the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) and rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens in New Orleans.

Frida Zink

Undergraduate student (2010-2012)

Fernanda Sa

Undergraduate student (2010-2012)

Assisted with and completed independent research on reproductive isolation of Red and Blacktail Shiners following exposure to endocrine disruptors. Currently enrolled in an accelerated nursing program.

Completed a senior honors thesis on the population genetics of native amphidromous snails in Hawaii. Assisted with research on the population genetics of native amphidromous fishes in Hawaii. Currently pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Connecticut on the molecular evolution and evolutionary ecology of bioluminescence in cephalopods.

Timothy Tate

Undergraduate student (2011-2012)

Assisted with research on the landscape genetics of native Hawaiian stream fishes. Currently pursuing an advance degree at the LSU School of  Dentistry.

Jeremiah Jackson

Undergraduate student (2012)

Xavier University

Assisted with research on the responses of coastal marsh Schoenoplectus sedges and Cladium sawgrass to sea level rise. Currently pursuing professional opportunities in preparation for graduate training.

Harris Howard

4+1 MS graduate student (2012-2013)

Completed a MS degree focusing on natural resource  management and policy for coastal restoration in the lower Mississippi River Delta. Currently pursuing a law degree at Georgia State University.

Madeline Dickson

Completed a senior honors thesis on reproductive isolation and behavior in Cyprinella minnows to better understand the ecological genetics of biological invasions involving hybridization. Recently joined an environmental consulting firm in the Greater New Orleans area.

Assisted with a range of projects that relate to aquatic conservation and management, including field research and lab work on native Hawaiian fishes.

Hailing from West Caldwell (NJ), I am currently majoring in English and I’m premed. But I love fish.

Ben Kravis

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

bkravis@tulane.edu

Alex Gulachenski

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

agulache@tulane.edu

I am pursuing my degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology with an emphasis on interfaces with public health and infectious disease. I am currently assisting with research on the urban ecology of rodent-borne infectious disease. 

Zhao Dan (Danny)

Visiting Scholar (Summer and Fall 2012)

Doctoral student, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. Carried out research on the resurrection ecology and evolution of salinity tolerance in Schoenoplectus americanus, as well as responses of coastal marsh plants to oil exposure. Visit hosted as part of the Tulane-ECNU Ecopartnership supported by the U.S. State Department.

Alessandro Powell

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

apowell1@tulane.edu

I am currently assisting with research on the ecology of rodent-borne pathogens and the distribution of infectious disease in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Undergraduate student (2012-2013)

Dr. Demetra Kandalepas

Postdoctoral Research Associate (co-advised)

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118



PhD        LSU (2011)

MS         SE LA University (2004)

BS          University of Toronto (2001)

I am conducting research on the rhizosphere microbiome of Spartina alterniflora to determine whether plant-microbial interactions govern salt marsh ecosystem responses and recovery following environmental stress.  This work is being done to understand outcomes of oiling resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and complements additional studies that I am conducting on plant-fungal associations with Dr. Sunshine Van Bael.

Amber Fessler

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

afessler@tulane.edu

I am pursuing my degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and I am currently assisting with research on the evolutionary ecology of plant-animal relationships and biological invasions. 

Stasia Widerynski

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

swideryn@tulane.edu

I am currently assisting with research on the structure and function of the urban forest in metro New Orleans.

Stephanie Piper

Undergraduate student

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

spiper@tulane.edu

I am currently assisting with research on the population genetics and ecology of non-native parasites in native Hawaiian stream fishes.

Anna Peterson

PhD graduate student

Board of Regents Fellow

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

apeter1@tulane.edu


MS         University of Colorado (2013)

BS          University of Colorado (2008)


http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kGaaKlsAAAAJ&hl=en

I am broadly interested in understanding how anthropogenically driven alterations of ecological communities can influence the emergence or spread of pathogens in both wildlife and human populations. I have a special interest in concentrating my research on systems that have direct applicability to conservation, management and human and wildlife health. My master's degree research focused on investigating host/pathogen dynamics in an amphibian system, where I sought to clarify the role that an invasive species plays in influencing pathogen infection patterns in sympatric native species. I am very excited to transition to a new system where I will focus on the complex interactions between human and ecological diversity by investigating population genetics and pathogen dynamics in urban rodents in New Orleans.

Greg Glotzbecker

PhD graduate student

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

greg@glotzbecker.com


BS        University of Cincinnati (2006)


I am interested in the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary biology of freshwater fishes. Hybridization is a biological phenomenon that I find particularly interesting. The work that I have been involved with has focused on the mechanics and outcomes of hybridization. Some of the questions I am examining for my thesis research include the following- under what environmental conditions does hybridization occur? compared to parental species, do hybrids communicate differently? what are the relative strengths of prezygotic versus postzygotic reproductive barriers in fishes?

Bruno Ghersi Chavez

PhD graduate student

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

bghersi@tulane.edu



Fellow        NIH International Clinical

                   Research Program


VetMed       Universidad Nacional

                   Mayor de San Marcos  (2006)


I am interested in Emerging Infections, zoonosis and public health. Disease ecology, more specifically how environmental change affects species diversity and disease transmission and risk. I’m currently involved in the study of urban ecology of rats and the risk of disease in post Katrina New Orleans.

Dr. Fernando Alda

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Center for Bioenvironmental Research

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA 70118

alda.fernando@gmail.com



PhD        University Complutense of

               Madrid - National Natural

               Science Museum, Spain (2008)

MS         University Complutense of

               Madrid - National Natural

               Science Museum, Spain (2005)

BS          University of Navarra (2002)


http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=pqNxZC8AAAAJ&hl=en

I am broadly interested in studying the patterns of within and among species genetic differentiation and understanding how these are determined or shaped by geological, ecological or even human-related processes. To answer these questions I have used a number of species models representing evolutionary scenarios at different taxonomical and temporal scales. Currently, as a postdoc at Tulane University, I am investigating the relative roles of geological development and contemporary dispersal in the evolutionary history of island freshwater taxa, by comparing the genetic patterns of differentiation of native amphidromous Hawaiian fish.