Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology




Research Projects



Prospective Students






maría Uriarte, Professor       


Tel: 212-854-1494

1017 Schermerhorn Extension









Bob Muscarella, Ph. D. Student



Bob is a community ecologist studying processes that govern the evolution and distribution of biodiversity.  For his dissertation research, he is exploring variation of tree community composition along Puerto Rico's dramatic precipitation gradient.  By comparing taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic aspects of composition, he is addressing questions related to the distribution of diversity along environmental gradients.  As part of this project, he is constructing a molecular phylogeny for the trees of Puerto Rico and collecting extensive data on functional traits. He is committed to making these types of data available and useful for conservation and management. Facilitating the interaction between basic and applied research is his primary interest.


Read more about Bob here



Benedicte Bachelot, Ph. D. Student



PictureBene is interested in the mechanisms that help maintain coexistence in high diversity tropical forests. How can so many species coexist in the same forest? To address this question, she is using both field observations and modelling. For her doctoral work, she is investigating how the actions of mycorhizal fungi and plants enemies (such as pathogens, herbivores..) help maintain seedling coexistence. She has developed a conceptual model of plant population dynamics and is using empirical data from El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico to test some assumptions of the model. 


Read more about Bene here




Naomi Schwartz, Ph. D. Student



Naomi got her M.S. at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is interested in the role of disturbance in shaping landscapes and communities and in understanding the ways that humans affect disturbance regimes through land use, climate change, and other activities. She is currently working on understanding the drivers of recent increases in fire in the Peruvian Amazon where burning has been used for centuries to manage agricultural fields, and more recently, to clear and clean pastures. 










Jess Stitt, M. A. Student



Jess received her B.S. from Cornell University in Natural Resources, where she studied the effects of woody material removal on forest biodiversity. She is interested in biodiversity and community structuring at multiple scales within forests and across landscapes. Her current work looks at trophic relationships among dung beetle, mammal, and fruiting tree communities in the Western Amazon to discern patterns of distribution and interaction.






Dev Harrington, B. A. Student



Dev is broadly interested in the variation in forest biodiversity and dynamics, and particularly in plant functional ecology and the ecological consequences of intraspecific and interspecific trait variation.









Jesse Lasky, Earth Institute Fellow

Email: is broadly interested in spatial patterns of biodiversity, particularly in highly complex systems. He studies the drivers of biodiversity and shifts in biodiversity in response to environmental change. Currently, he is studying biotic and abiotic drivers of tropical tree community dynamics, with a functional trait perspective. Additionally, he is exploring the climatic drivers and molecular mechanisms underlying local adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Read more about Jesse here.





Leandro Reverberi Tambosi



Leandro is interested in restoration ecology at the scale of landscapes with a focus on the Atlantic Forest region in Brazil. Currently, he is studying the impacts of precipitation variability and land use dynamics on water quality across the state of São Paulo. The goal of this research is to develop scenarios of the potential impacts of climate change for water provision to key agricultural production areas and to the São Paulo Metropolitan Region.












Marina Cortes, Ph.D. student.

Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, University of São Paulo, Rio Claro & Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Sevilla, Spain. Marina will be starting a faculty position at the Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil in July 2014. Congratulations, Marina!


Eli Dueker, Ph.D. student

Current position: Postdoctoral Associate,  Lamont-Doherty Observatory, Columbia University

Eli will be starting faculty position at Bard College, Fall 2014. Congratulations, Eli!


Elizabeth Nichols, Ph.D. student

Current position: NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, University of São Paulo & Lancaster University

Liz will be starting a faculty position at Swarthmore College, Fall 2015. Congratulations, Liz!


Megan McGinty, Ph.D. student

Current position: U.S. Navy, Artic Roadmap Project


Tanja Crk, MA student

Current position:  GIS specialist, U.S. EPA


Timothy J. Agin, MA student

Current position: T.J. will start his PhD program in the Fall of 2014 Congratulations, TJ!


Charles Yackulic, Postdoctoral Associate.

Current position: USGS Research Scientist, Arizona.


Liza Comita, Postdoctoral Associate & Earth Institute Fellow

Current position: Assistant Professor, Ohio State University. Liza will be moving to the Yale Forestry School in the Fall of 2014. Congratulations, Liza!


Marina Anciães, Postdoctoral Associate

Current position: Researcher, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil