Current lab group (2017-2018)


Graduate students

      • Heidi Cunnick, PhD student. Heidi is pursuing a PhD after completing her MS at Colombia University. She anticipates developing a dissertation project focused at the intersection of peatland ecosystem ecology and paleoecology.

      • Matt Huff, MS student. Matt anticipates developing a research project focused on paleoecology, idealling looking interactions among fire history, vegetation, and water-level changes in the mid and late Holocene. Matt completed his BS in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016.

      • Zhiqiang Wei, Visting Graduate Scholar. Zhiqiang is working with the lab group from October 2017 until April 2018. He is studying testate amoeba paleoecology, and is involved in a number of projects including our work in high-elevation peatlands of Colombia. Zhiqiang is pursuing a PhD degree from the School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University.

Undergraduate students pursuing research projects

  • Yuning Zhang, undergraduate research project. Yuning is developing a pollen record from northern Maine, as part of a multiproxy study examining drought, fire, and vegetation history for the past thousand years in this region.

Lab Alumni

Visiting research scientist

  • Dr. Jun Ouyang. 2015-2016. Jun was a visiting associate professor during the 2015-2016 academic year. Jun is from the School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University, Guangzhou.

Graduate and postdoctoral

  • Bob Mason, MS 2017. Thesis title: A High-Resolution Paleoecological Perspective on Temperate Oak Forest Dynamics: Implications for Understanding Contemporary Oak Decline. Bob is currently working for Wildlands Conservancy.
  • Bing Liu, Visting Graduate Scholar 2017. Bing spent six months working with lab in2017. He is pursuing a graduate degree from the School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University.

    Michael Clifford, PhD 2016. Dissertation title: Late Holocene drought, fire, and vegetation in northeastern North America inferred from peatland archives. Michael is currently a research scientist at the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, NV.

  • Travis Andrews, PhD 2015 (co-advised with Ben Felzer). Dissertation title: Why precipitation and forest structure are changing in the eastern US: insight from analysis of large empirical and climate model datasets. Travis is currently a research associate with Molly Jahn's research group at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Chandler Navara, MS 2015. (co-advised with Amber Rice). Thesis title: The Effects of interspecific interactions on reproductives success of Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis).

  • Michelle Spicer, MS 2014. Thesis title: The legacy of planting: A century-long experiment in forest development at Lehigh University. Michelle is pursuing a PhD in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Biological Science, working under the supervision of Dr. Walter Carson.

  • Katie Leboeuf, MS 2014. Thesis title: Holocene Vegetation, Hydrology, and Fire in the North-Central Adirondacks of New York.

  • Eric Klein, PhD 2013 (co-advised with Zicheng Yu). Dissertation title: Differential Response of Alaska Peatlands to Climate Changes of the Last Millennium. Eric is currently a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Jeff Welker at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

  • Maura Sullivan, MS 2006. Maura was involved with numerous projects in the lab from 2006-2016, and did some fantastic work examining the response of testate amoeba communities to short-term environmental variability. She is now an assistant professor at Finger Lakes Community College in New York.
  • Travis Andrews, MS 2012. Thesis title: Testate amoebae as hydrological proxies in the Florida Everglades. Travis went on to pursue a PhD in the EES department.
  • Alex Ireland, PhD 2012, Postdoctoral researcher 2012. Dissertation title: Assessing the senstivity of kettle ecosystems to climatic and anthropogenic disturbances. Alex completed his PhD in 2012 and then stayed on for eight months as a postdoctoral researcher. He then spent a years as a postdoctoral scholar in Penn State's Ecosystem Science and Management Program, before accepting his current postion as an environmental scientist for Exxon-Mobile.
  • Erin Markel, MS 2009. Thesis title: A comparative study of testate amoebae and δ13C of Sphagnum as surface-moisture proxies in Alaskan peatlands. Erin is currently an environmental scientist at JMT Environment & Natural Resources Group in Maryland.
  • Yangmin Qin, visiting predoctoral scholar, 2008-2009. Qin was a visiting scholar in the lab, supported by a scholarship from the Chinese government. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Geography, School of Earth Science, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan.
  • Valerie Sousa, MS 2008. Thesis title: Drought, lake-effect snow, and the Late Holocene beech decline: a paleoecological study at Pinhook Peatland in northwestern Indiana.

Undergraduate (senior honors thesis)

  • Ryan Herbert, BS 2016. Thesis title: Light variability and mixotrophy: responses of testate amoeba communities and shell δ13C values to a two-year peatland shading experiment. Ryan is currently a 5th year presidental scholar at Lehigh, pursuing a research project with Dr. Amber Rice in Biological Sciences. In the fall of 2017 he will begin PhD studies at Princeton University.
  • Erin Sowell, BS 2016. Thesis Title: Establishment and expansion of Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B. S. P.) near its northern range limit: a paleoecological study at Saco Heath, ME. Erin is currently part time in the lab while pursuing a project that grew out of Lehigh's mountaintop program.
  • Bob Mason, BS 2015. Thesis title: The Influence of White-tailed Deer Herbivory on Tree Recruitment in Forest Canopy Gaps Created by Hurricane Sandy. Bob is currently pursuing a MS degree in EES at Lehigh.
  • Kevin Barrett, BS 2012. Thesis title: A late Holocene record of moisture variability from a bog in southeastern Alaska. Kevin is currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin working under the supervision of Dr. Sara Hotchkiss.
  • John Powell, BA 2010. Thesis title: Controls on Radial Growth of Pinus strobus (white pine) on a Floating Peatland.