Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology




Research Projects



Prospective Students






mara Uriarte, Professor


Tel: 212-854-1494

1017 Schermerhorn Extension












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.











Andrew Quebbeman, Ph. D. Student



Andrew got his B.S. from the University of Michigan. He is interested in the relationship between soil fungal and plant communities, as well as the role of aboveground-belowground interactions in biogeochemical cycles. He is conducting his thesis research in the forests of Puerto Rico.












Jazlynn Shaydra Hall, Ph. D. Student



Jazlynn received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Wyoming, where she conducted research on the paleopathology of a human population in Peru, on reconstructing past climates of high elevation sites in Wyoming through pollen analysis, and on secondary forest water use in Panama. Her current interests are in exploring the relationship between land use and restoration on water in tropical forest ecosystems. She would like to explore how to best reforest previously disturbed landscapes to mitigate climate change and benefit ecosystems and humans. She will utilize multiple pathways for this analysis and her research will likely be conducted in Puerto Rico or Brazil. 








Pedro Ribeiro Piffer, Ph. D. Student



Pedro is a biologist from Brazil, whose main research interest is conservation and environmental restoration in tropical forests. Pedro received his BS from University of So Paulo and his MSc in Ecology from State University of Campinas, working mainly with ecology of marine invertebrates. Pedro has over four years of experience as an environmental consultant in the private sector in Brazil. For his PhD research, Pedro is interested in the conflict between land use choices and ecosystem services maintenance in the Atlantic Rainforest. He hopes to integrate his research with current restoration efforts in the Atlantic Rainforest in his home state.







Andrew Budsock, M. A. Student





Andrew received his BS in Ecology and German from Susquehanna University where he studied the effects of resource allocation on clonal recruitment of Fallopia japonica and the impacts of minimum nightly temperature on the success of sexual and clonal offspring of Fallopia japonica. Through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals Fellowship Program, Andrew studied conservation biology at Technische Univeritt Mnchen. He is interested in the ecological consequences of climate change in tropical forests, specifically how drought in Puerto Rico impacts forest dynamics and the ecosystem services they provide.






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. He is working in the Guanica Dry Forest of Puerto Rico.













Xiaohiu Feng

Email: is interested in improving our understanding of the global carbon cycle by investigating the interactions and feedbacks of tropical forests and climate. For her dissertation research, she investigated the productivity, physiology, community dynamics, and ecological impacts of a grassland agro-ecosystem combining field studies and ecosystem modeling. Her current research focuses on the investigation of community dynamics and ecological cycles in tropical forests. Tropical forest carbon cycle feedbacks have been identified as one of the largest sources of uncertainty in global carbon cycle modeling, but they are inadequately represented in modeling efforts. Sunny will quantify the responses of tropical forests to climate variability including drought, warming and hurricane disturbance, leading to significant improvement in the representation of tropical ecosystems in terrestrial carbon models.









Benedicte Bachelot, Ph.D. student

Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University.


Bob Muscarella, Ph.D. student

Current position: NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arrhus, Denmark & Wagenigen University.


Marina Crtes, Ph.D. student

Current position: Assistant Professor, University of So Paulo, Rio Claro, So Paulo, Brazil.


Eli Dueker, Ph.D. student

Current position: Assistant Professor of Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College.


Elizabeth Nichols, Ph.D. student

Current position: Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College.


Megan McGinty, Ph.D. student

Current position: Owner of Cultivate Nature.


Tanja Crk, MA student

Current position: GIS specialist, U.S. EPA


Timothy J. Agin, MA student

Current position: Ph.D student, University of South Dakota.


Charles Yackulic, Postdoctoral Associate.

Current position: USGS Research Scientist, Arizona.


Liza Comita, Postdoctoral Associate & Earth Institute Fellow

Current position: Assistant Professor, Yale Forestry School


Marina Ancies, Postdoctoral Associate

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


Jesse Lasky, Postdoctoral Associate

Current position: Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University


Leandro Reverberi-Tambosi, Postdoctoral Associate

Current position: Assistant Professor, Universidade Federal ABC, So Paulo, Brazil