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Participating Faculty and Students

Rose L. Carlson
Evolutionary ecology, functional morphology, and ichthyology.

J. Alan Clark
Avian ecology, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology; bird vocalization and migration in urban and suburban habitats.

Thomas J. Daniels
Ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, specifically tick and mosquito-transmitted diseases in the Northeastern U.S.

Richard C. Falco
Medical entomology, ecology, and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases.

Craig Frank
Behavioral, physiological, and biochemical adaptations of mammals to extreme environments.

Steven Franks
Ecology and evolutionary dynamics of natural plant populations; plant responses to climate change.

Evon Hekkala
Genotypic response to biogeographic and anthropogenic factors; community-based sustainable resource use.

James D. Lewis
Plant, community, and ecosystem responses to invasive organisms, urbanization, climate change, and land use history.

Amy R. Tuininga
Effects of disturbance and urbanization on forest communities and ecosystem function; entomopathogenic fungi; molecular identification of fungal species.

John D. Wehr
Biodiversity of freshwater algae; nutrient stoichiometry of lotic food webs; phytoplankton dynamics in large rivers and along urban-to-rural land-use gradients.

Jason Aloisio, PhD student
Hometown: Shoreham, NY
Research Interests: Green roofs, sustainability, urban agriculture, and urban ecosystems.
Bio: Jason's love for ecology was nurtured in his youth as he progressed toward the rank of Eagle Scout. He majored in biology at York College, where he was Student Government President and earned the biology department’s highest distinction for research. At Fordham, Jason has established the Fordham Urban Sustainability and Ecosystems (FUSE) initiative and constructed a multi-year agricultural rooftop experiment on a parking garage at the Rose Hill (Bronx) campus. Jason is also actively involved in developing urban ecology outreach materials for the World Conservation Society and Fordham University. Mentor: Lewis.

Beth Ansaldi, PhD student
Hometown: Groosse Pointe Farms, MI
Research Interests: Anthropogenic effects on ecosystems, pollination ecology, entomology, and climate change.
Bio: Beth received her undergraduate degree in biology at Kalamazoo College of Michigan, where she completed her senior thesis on the effects of landscape context on local pollinator populations. A six-month environmental ecology program in Ecuador enabled her to undertake independent research in the Amazon rain forest, as well as the Galapagos Islands. These undergraduate research experiences, based in entomology and ecology, inspired her interest in a continued education at Fordham. Beth's next project will involve research of rapid adaptive evolution in response to climate fluctuation under the advisement of Dr. Steve Franks. She is also interested in work with pollination ecology on local urban greenroofs in the New York City area. Mentor: Franks.

Rosalind Becker, MS student
Hometown: Wrentham, MA
Research Interests: Impact of soil nutrients on ectomycorrhizal fungal community structure along the urban-to-rural gradient.
Bio: Rosalind earned her bachelor's degree in biology and environmental science at Colby College in Waterville, ME. After four years, she emerged from the backwoods of Maine to study ecology in a more urban setting. Before matriculating at Fordham, she worked at a Boston area environmental consulting firm and participated in a biodiversity study of the Boston Harbor Islands. She also spent two years working at San Francisco Baykeeper, implementing programs and fighting for policies to protect the water quality of San Francisco Bay. Now a master's student at Fordham, Rosalind studies New York area forests and the impact of urbanization on soil microbial communities. Mentor: Lewis.

Rachel Bricklin, PhD Candidate
Hometown: Newton, MA
Research Interests: Migration, urban ecology, and anthropogenic effects on wildlife populations.
Bio: For her dissertation research, Rachel is studying stop-over biology of migratory birds in the New York City area. Since the spring of 2010, she has analyzed stress levels and monitored night flight calls of migrants. In spring 2011, she began to quantify habitat use as well. Prior to attending Fordham, she received a master’s degree in ecology and organismal biology at Eastern Michigan University. For her master’s thesis, she studied the physiology and behavior of a population of evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) at the northern edge of their range. Mentor: Clark.

Alison Cucco, MS student
Hometown: Finesville, NJ
Research Interests: Effects of urbanization on nitrogen cycling and ecosystem functioning.
Bio: Alison grew up in a small town in rural New Jersey. After high school, she traveled throughout Europe and taught English in South and Central America. During that time, Alison became interested in understanding the consequences of anthropogenic impacts on native ecosystems. This interest has remained in the forefront of her research at Fordham, where she investigates the effects of urbanization on ecosystem functioning and plant productivity in New York City. Mentor: Lewis.

Dawn Konkoly, PhD student
Hometown: East Stroudsburg, Penn.
Research Interests: Ornithology, conservation biology, and urban ecology.
Bio: Dawn, previously of East Stroudsburg, Penn., did her undergraduate work at East Stroudsburg University, majoring in biology and environmental studies. After extensive field research and travel throughout the United States, she has come to Fordham University. She now works in the Clark lab and plans on doing research on light pollution's effects in avian ecosystems. Mentor: Clark.

Dustin Patridge, MS student
Hometown: Suffern, NY
Research Interests: Urban green roofs as bird and arthropod habitat.
Bio: Before Dustin came to Fordham, he took part in a behavioral study of wild bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), various migratory bird projects, and spent 2.5 years as a biologist at a suburban NYC environmental consulting firm. It was during this time that Dustin's interest in the conservation of urban wildlife grew and led him to his current research project at Fordham. Dustin is currently working to identify novel ways to restore functional wildlife habitat to our rapidly expanding cities. Mentor: Clark.

David Waring, MS student
Hometown: Manorville, NY
Research Interests: Invasive plants; citizen science.
Bio: David's research interests lie at the intersection of urban change and development and natural ecological processes. He is currently studying the population dynamics of the invasive herb garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) along an urban-to-rural gradient in the Hudson Valley. Mentor: Franks.

Rachel Welt, MS student
Hometown: Chappaqua, NY
Research Interests: Climate change, biodiversity, and tropical ecology.
Bio: Rachel's broad interests are in the use of molecular techniques to aid in conservation. In particular, she is interested in tropical systems and understanding phylogenies and genetic diversity across archipelagos to advise in the conservation of species in these biodiversity hotspots. Her current research looks at the effect of climate change on gene flow between two populations of field mustard (Brassica rapa) in southern California, highlighting the potential for an evolutionary response to environmental changes in this and other species. Mentor: Franks.