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Dr. Angélica L. González

Group Leader

I am a broadly curious ecologist, but my research interests are all tied together by the understanding of the ways in which the availability, storage and transfer of energy and matter affect biodiversity, trophic interactions and ecosystem processes. I use experiments, observations, and data synthesis to answer questions that integrate biodiversity (taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional), species interactions and nutrient dynamics. 

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I completed my Ph.D. at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Zoology and the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, Canada. I am now an Associate Professor at Rutgers University. Google Scholar

Mark Nessel

PhD. student

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Drexel University. I am interested in a wide range of ecological topics. My research focuses on the effects of nutrient enrichment on ecological communities and ecosystems. In my research I use ecological stoichiometry as theoretical background  and natural microcosms to test general ecological theory on nutrient dynamics and community and ecosystem structure and function.

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In my research, I am using an integration of data synthesis approaches, experimental manipulation, and large-spatial scale surveys.

Udari Peiris

PhD. student, CCIB

I graduated from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka with a degree in Biological sciences specializing in Zoology. For my Masters at the University of Peradeniya, I studied biodiversity, ecotourism & environment management. I am interested in topics about biodiversity, community ecology and climate change with a special focus on arthropods. 

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My current research focuses on the effects of droughts on community structure, I will be using a combination of data synthesis approaches, and large temporal and spatial scale surveys.

Matt Wozniak

MSc. student, CCIB

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Rutgers University. Since then I have had a wide variety of experiences ranging from working for the United Nations to wildlife conservation non-profits. I am widely interested in all ecology topics, but my current research focuses on the study of how alterations to habitats affect the structure and functioning of ecological communities and ecosystems.

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To test these effects, I will use experimental manipulation using artificial aquatic microcosms as model system.

Ryan Curry

MSc. student, Biology

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Minnesota. I am interested in understanding the response of communities involving aquatic larvae to nutrient loading and environmental pollutants such as heavy metals. I am also looking at the cross-ecosystem consequences of these effects.

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I am studying vernal ponds across New Jersey, which vary in their nutrient loads.

Liliana Berrios

Undergrad student

I am a fourth year student at Rutgers University. I am getting my BS in Biology with plans to stay at Rutgers for my MS in Forensic Science. I have been working on a meta-analysis focused on the interactive effects of nutrients and temperature on a variety of ecological phenomena, from organismal to ecosystem responses.

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I am gaining data synthesis skills, which will help my research in graduate school.

Swetha Samuel

Undergrad student

I am a third-year undergraduate in Biology at Rutgers University. With my newfound interest in Ecology and the opportunity to be a part of the González Lab, I aim to further enhance my knowledge and skills in  ecological understanding. I will be looking at the effects of multiple global change drivers (warming, nutrient enrichment, drought) on plant-pathogen interactions.

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I will be learning data synthesis approaches in ecological research.

Dr. Joe Braasch

Postdoc

I completed my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona studying the effects of invasion and extreme drought on the genetics and community composition of California grasslands. I am interested in work that advances our understanding of ecological systems through the lens of environmental change, with a focus on climate change, biological invasions, and habitat fragmentation.  

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I am currently working on the reconstruction of spatial-temporal changes in ancient arthropod communities that accompanied periods of historic climate change. I am also using data synthesis to study the effects of drought on plants and animals. Google Scholar 

Tess Konnovitch

PhD. student, CCIB

I received my bachelor’s degree from La Salle University where I was a dual Biology and Environmental Science Major, with a minor in Education.   I am passionate about STEM education, especially the enhancement of STEM education in low-income school districts. I am interested in investigating the effects of anthropogenic activities (i.e., nutrient enrichment, warming) on ecological phenomena (e.g., populations declines, extinction).

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In my research, I am using a combination of data synthesis (i.e., meta-analysis), experimental manipulation, and large-spatial scale surveys.

Felipe Rezende

PhD. student, Brazil

I am currently a doctoral student in the postgraduate program in Ecology at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gustavo Q. Romero and co-advised by Prof. Dr. González. My research is focused on how global warming and land use influence (directly and indirectly) multiple dimensions of ecological stability in tropical freshwater ecosystems. 

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To test these effects, I will use artificial aquatic mesocosms as a model system. 

Alexa Derago

MSc. student, CCIB

Alexa is co-advised between Profs. Drs. González and Piccoli. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in xxx from xxx.

My research is focused on developing a computational pipeline to reconstruct ancient ecological networks based on paleoecological remains of soil arthropods. In this research, I am considering multiple spatial and temporal scales as well as constraints in species links due to predator-prey body size ratios.

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I am using computational models integrated with paleoecological data.

Concetta Magliocetti

MSc student, Biology

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ursinus College, where I had the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of insects.  Although, I am interested in a broad range of ecological topics, my current research is focused on quantifying trophic niches and species niche overlaps of aquatic predators using stable isotope approaches and analyses using tools like SIBER or nicheROVER in R.

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I am doing surveys of predators, mainly odonates, in vernal ponds across New Jersey.

Andrew Carpen

Undergrad student

I am a senior at Rutgers University, working towards the completion of my bachelor’s degree in Biology.

My work focuses on trophic niche dynamics along natural nutrient and temperature gradients, through the analysis of tropical aquatic communities. To do this, I am using stable isotope analyses.

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In my research I will use stable isotope analyses and models using tools like SIBER or nicheROVER in R.

Aiman Nadim

Undergrad student

I am a freshman at Rutgers University, majoring in Biology. My research interests lie in the aging process of organisms and the genetics behind it. Additionally, I like to explore statistical methods and their applications to scientific investigations. I am currently assisting in a meta-analysis work focused on the effects of warming and nutrients on ecological processes. 

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I seek to gain skills on data synthesis, including best practices in data management and statistical approaches in ecological research.

Former Lab Members

Olivier Dézerald. Postdoc

My research aims to predict the structural and functional responses of food webs to various natural or human-driven environmental changes.  I am a Research Scientist at INRAE, France.

Katrina Dewitt. Master in Biology

I completed my Master in Biology in 2020, which focused on looking at intraspecific patterns in the stoichiometry of pitcher plants across a geographical gradient.  I am currently a PhD student in the Gilbert Lab at Duke University. 

Caleb Gilbert.

Morgan Kelly. Master in Biology

I completed my Master in Biology in 2019, which focused on exploring the muldimensional trait niche of animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) using key functional traits: elemental content (C, N, and P) and body size.

Sandra Benavides, PhD student (UNICAMP, Brazil

Sandra was co-advised by Gustavo Romero and Angélica L. González. I completed my PhD. in 2021, which focused on the responses of aquatic communities and nutrient cycling to changes in environmental temperature and nutrient fertilization. For this study, I used field-warming experiments crossed with nutrient fertilization. 

Juliana S. Leal. PhD Student. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Brazil

Juliana was co-advised by Vinicius Farjalla and Angélica L. González. I completed my PhD in 2019, which focused on how light availability influence regime shifts in energy pathways (i.e., leaf litter vs. algae) and ecosystem stability in aquatic communities. 

Ryan Walker. Master in Biology

I obtained my Master in 2018, and my thesis project focused on exploring the effects of temperature changes on the nutritional needs and feeding behavior of spiders.

Tiffany Lutz. Master in Biology

I graduated from a Master in Biology Program in 2017. My research focused on the prey capturing and feeding efficiency of predators along environmental gradients.

 

Undergraduate students

Paula Khoiniha

Rhea Sharma

Lauren Calabria

Nazia Azam

Julia Defeo (Honors student)

Lillian Kappatos

Iayra Bates

Madeline Oliver

Aillen Kwok

Alexis Brickner

Rachael VanCuren

Richard Vereneck

Marissa Minardi 

Ryan Curry

Angela Wollard

Claudia Vaca

Rachel Carr