Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

News of Our Graduates

News of Our Graduates


Jillian Decker, Ph.D. Nutrient controls on phytoplankton composition and ecological function among hydrologically distinct habitats in the Upper Mississippi River.
Dr. Decker has been hired as Assistant Professor of Biology at Rockland Community College.

Michael Tessler, M.S. Diversity and distributions of stream bryophytes: does pH matter?
-Mr. Tessler has accepted a Ph.D. Fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History and will begin his new studies in Fall 2013.

Stephanie Tougas, M.S. Effects of surrounding land use patterns and stream quality on darter fish (Percidae) species composition in Tennessee.
-Ms. Tougas is currently interning at the American Museum of Natural History in the Ichthyology department. She is using geometric morphometrics to differentiate between two species of Congo River cichlids (Lamprologus tigripictlis, and a new species).


Roziland Becker, M.S. Spatial partitioning of soil fungi along an urban to rural gradient.
-Ms. Becker works as a program Coordinator for the Helmsley Trust.

Huansheng Cao, Ph.D. Effects of population size on fitness effects of mutations and long-term fitness trajectories in bacterial populations.
-Dr. Cao is a currently a postdoc at Northern Illinois University.

Anthony Caragiulo, Ph.D. Population genetic structure and phylogeography of pumas (Puma concolor).
-Dr. Caragiulo is currently a post-doctoral Research Fellow, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, NYC.

Alison Cucco, M.S. Urbanization effects on plant productivity and soil enzyme function.
-Ms. Cucco is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. Francis in Brooklyn, NY.

David Waring, M.S. The effects of urbanization on the population dynamics of the invasive plant Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard).
-Mr. Waring recieved a Grellar Research Grant from the Torrey Botanical Society.  He is currently working for the National Park Service in Moab, UT


Jesse Ross, M.S. Vocalization of the stripe-throated wren, Cantorchilus leucopogon
Mr. Ross is currently a Research Analyst with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Alvaro Cure Dominguez, M.S. Habitat restoration assessment for an endangered bog turtle 

Jennifer Epstein, M.S. Supply and processing of dissolved organic matter in urban streams in Westchester County, NY
Ms. Epstein completed a 2-year program with the Peace Corps assisting local communities in Benin as a Community Economic Development Volunteer.  She has recently accepted a position as a scientist with Riverkeeper in their water quality program.

Anne McDonough, M.S.  The relationship between fatty acid composition, torpor, and the evolution of seed hoarding in mammals
Ms. McDonough is currently attending veterinary school at Kansas State University and expects to finish with her DVM in May 2013


Kevin Dougherty, M.S. Transposable elements and the evolution of intracellular bacteria 
-Mr. Dougherty is currently working as a research techinician in the Plague lab at Fordham Univeristy.

Kurt Gabel, M.S. Analysis of agricultural Best Management Practice effectiveness through water chemistry and macroinvertebrate bioassessment 
Mr. Gabel is currently the field director of the East of Hudson district Watershed Water Quality Operations division with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYDEP).  His group is responsible for monitoring drinking water quality of reservoirs and controlled lakes and their tributaries.  In addition, the group monitors wastewater treatment facilities and reservoir outlets for the presence of pathogens. 


Christina Castellano, Ph.D. Ecology and conservation of the wood turtle, Glyptemys insculpta, at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Pamela Greengarten, M.S. Occurrence of soil and tick-borne fungi and related virulence tests for pathogenicity to Ixodes scapularis.
- Ms. Greengarten is traveling around the world, and is planning to pursue her Ph.D. when she returns to the United States.

Shannon Morath, M.S. The effect of alternative floral resources on the pollination of cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) in New York City community gardens.
- Ms. Morath will begin a Ph.D. program at Rutgers University in 2010.


Gretchen Gary, M.S. Changes in plant growth, reproduction, and offspring vigor with increasing distance from and urban center.
- Ms. Gary is currently working in Anchorage, AK as a Global Warming Policy Intern with the National Wildlife Federation.

Kevin C. Matteson, Ph.D. Diversity and conservation of insects in urban gardens: Theoretical and applied implications.
- Dr. Matteson was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Fordham University and was working on compiling historical records of bees in NYC, some dating back to the 1890s. He also helped to coordinate NYC Bee Watchers, a citizen science program run by the American Museum of Natural History and the New York City Parks Department.
Listen to an interview with Dr. Matteson on WFUV's Fordham Conversations program. (Click on the "May 31, 2008" link to hear the interview.)

Dr. Matteson recently accepted a position as Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Emily Minor at University of Illinois at Chicago.  In addition, a paper of Kevin's, based on his dissertation research, has been published in Urban Ecosystems and was featured on the Conservation Maven blog.
Monica Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D. Trophic relationships in northeastern stream ecosystems: Importance of the quality of food sources for macroinvertebrates.


Megan Avolio, M.S. The effects of organic and inorganic nitrogen and host tree species on ectomycorrhizal fungi.
- Ms. Avolio is currently attending Yale University.

Blair Madden, M.S. Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the abundance, distribution, and community structure of Plethodontids at multiple scales.

Jonathan Mates-Muchin, Ph.D. Changes in forest productivity and nitrogen cycling association with decline of eastern hemlock.

- Dr. Mates-Muchin is an Environmental Review Planner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.


Steve DiLonardo, M.S. Effects of different forms of organic carbon and UV radiation of freshwater plankton communities.
- Mr. DiLonardo  was a Water Ecologist in the Watershed Water Quality Science and Research Division of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He recently began employment with NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene - Division of Health Care Access and Improvement - Principle Care Information Project (PCIP) as a Research Scientist.  His work involves infectious disease surveillance (Influenza at the moment) and the establishment of informatics for automated retrieval of data. 

John Tirpak, Ph.D. Modeling ruffed grouse populations in the central and southern Appalachians.
- Dr. Tirpak is Science Coordinator at the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture.


Jeremy Kamen, M.S. Presence of Archaea in freshwater aquatic systems in New York State.

- Mr. Kamen is now a freelance editor.

Guy Robinson, Ph.D. The paleoecology of southeastern New York State.
- Dr. Robinson has authored and been cited in multiple publications, including a news article in the journal Science [Science, 300:885] and "Sporomiella and the late Holocene extinctions in Madagascgar," published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science [PNAS, 100:19].

Greg Turner, Ph.D. Host composition, light, and nitrogen effects on ectomycorrhizal communities from Quercus seedlings grown in soils from regional hardwood-hemlock forests.
- Dr. Turner is an Assistant Professor of Biology at West Chester University.


Linda McCauley, M.S. Phylogenetic relationships of freshwater brown algae (Phaeophyceae) based on RuBisCO large subunit and ribosomal DNA sequences.

- Ms. McCauley is a Research Assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Patrick O’Brien, M.S. Effects of urbanization on benthic algal communities in streams of southeastern New York State.

- Mr. O’Brien was a Research Scientist at the New York Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) in their watershed group.  He currently workds as a scientist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Joan Petersen, Ph.D. Phylogenetic affiliations and physiological traits of freshwater bacteria.

- Dr. Peterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences & Geology at Queensborough Community College, Queens, New York.


Linde E.T. Ostro, Ph.D. The spatial ecology of translocated Black Howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in Belize.

- Dr. Ostro was a Research Associate in the Science Resource Center at the Wildlife Conservation Society, then later served as Director of Foundation Relations and Director of Individual Giving for WCS.  She then served as Associate Vice President for Science Development at the New York Botanical Garden.  Currently, Dr. Ostro is Senior Directory of Philanthropy at the Trust for Public Land, New York State.

Alissa Perrone (Huss), M.S. Roles of aquatic macrophytes in bacterial metabolism within a mesotrophic lake.
- Mrs. Perrone is the Assistant Director at Fordham's Louis Calder Center.


Bernadette K. Gorham, Ph.D. Snail-macrophyte interactions in a shallow mesoeutrophic lake in southern New York State.
- Dr. Gorham teaches Introductory Biology at Westchester Community Colege (SUNY) in Valhalla, New York.

Scott C. Silver, Ph.D. The feeding ecology of translocated Black Howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in Belize.
- Dr. Silver is Director and Curator of Animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo.


Jianhua Le, Ph.D. Interactions between phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria in freshwater.

- Dr. Le is a Research Scientist in Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College. He is currently working on influenza virus re-assortments and antiviral peptides, and is the Scientific Manager of In Viro Dynamics, a new biotech firm.

Patrick R. Thomas, Ph.D. Behavioral and physiological responses of captive Gaur (Bos gaurus) to stress.
- Dr. Thomas is Curator of Mammals at the Bronx Zoo, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is involved in many projects regarding the management and conservation of endangered mammals through captive breeding programs and is also involved in a variety of field projects conducted by the WCS.


Faith Kostel-Hughes, Ph.D. The role of soil seed banks and leaf litter in the regeneration of native and exotic trees in urban forests.

- Dr. Kostel-Hughes was hired as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. She is now an Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of New Rochelle.  She specializes on the effects of vegetation patch sizes on plant recruitment, seed dispersal, nutrient dynamics and herbivory in environmental restoration projects


Amy Haddow, M.S.

- Ms. Haddow is the Development Manager at the Alaska Sea Life Center, in Seward, AK, a non-profit marine science facility dedicated to understanding and maintaining the integrity of the marine ecosystem of Alaska


Norman Reyes, Ph.D. The modern diatom spectra of Madagascar and diatom-inferred late Quaternary climatic changes.

- Dr. Reyes is Assistant Professor of Biology at Dominican College, Orangeburg, New York. He teaches courses in General Biology, Botany, and Ecology.


Tara Toolan, M.S. (Ph.D., Harvard). Experimental evidence for orthophosphate limitation of bacterioplankton production in a meso-eutrophic lake.

- Dr. Toolan is a Research Scientist working with Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Southboro, MA. She is involved in developing water quality models for the drinking water supply in the Metropolitan Boston area. She is quantifying the role of nitrifying bacteria in water supplies and their influence on water quality.

Kenneth Mattes, Ph.D. The ecology of the American Eel, Anguilla rostrata (Lesueur) in the Hudson River.
- Dr. Mattes is the Director of the Belize Marine Tropical Research and Education Center, in San Pedro, Belize. He is a marine biologist who manages a non-profit research and educational field station dedicated to conservation of tropical ecosystems, particularly tropical rainforests and coral reefs communities.

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