Previous lab members from times gone by
Research Associate (2014-2016)
My work employs trait-based approaches to understand the processes by which species assemble into communities and the consequences for community disassembly, focusing on the applied challenges of biodiversity loss and global change. I have previously focused on the consequences of externally-driven changes to communities for ecosystem-level processes. In particular, I have extended the question beyond what species loss entails for ecosystem functioning to what aspects of diversity matter most for this process, and also to integrate an evolutionary perspective on these processes. Find more information on my website here.
Research Technician (2014-2016)
My work in lab fed into my own interests in community ecology, environmental history, botany, and horticulture. My previous research experiences include urban ecology fieldwork in the Greater Boston area, research on plant community shifts due to climate change in the alpine tundra of Colorado and the Hunnewell internship program at the Arnold Arboretum. By dipping my toe into the world of horticulture at the Arboretum, I experienced the combination of a beautiful public space---where people, art, plants, and science can coexist. I care about communicating science to broader audiences and was instrumental in the creation of the Tree Spotters program.
Research Technician (2014-2016)
My work in the lab focused on managing technical applications for ecology experimentation, from pheno-cams in Martha's Vineyard and bespoke respiration chambers in Harvard Forest to our intelligent growth chamber system at Weld Hill. Previous adventures in exploring urban ecology across New York City (NYU ’09) make the Arb and Boston-proper ideal incubators for my research interests. Beyond lab life, I enjoy foraging for truth in all forms, whether through music production, comedy performance, or ad hoc engineering projects.
Honors thesis student
Harold Eyster graduated in May 2016 with a concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy. He has long had an interest in field ecology and and a more recent interest in climate. These two interests drew him to the Wolkovich Lab, which he joined in September 2014. In 2015-2016 Harold completed his senior thesis in the lab to test whether invasive species in Massachusetts have more flexible phenologies in their native (European) ranges versus introduced ranges. Read an update from his project here.
Honors thesis student
Sally Gee graduated in May 2016 with a concentration in Organismic and Evolutionary (OEB) at Harvard. She joined the lab as a HUCE research assistant in the summer of 2014. Her interests in understanding the effects of climate change on tree populations and communities lead her to the Wolkovich Lab. Since joining the lab she spent a term in Costa Rica on the OTS program and completed her senior thesis studying the relationship between phenology and functional traits using the Arboretum's collections. Read an update from her summer work here.
Postdoctoral Researcher (2015-2016)
As a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist, I am interested in understanding the functional basis of how plants respond to environmental variation, which is critical in the face of changing climates. Utilizing phylogenetic and comparative approaches, I address questions of how divergence in biogeographic and evolutionary history (i.e., variation in species diversity, clade representation and disturbance history) can influence plant, community and ecosystem function, and how knowledge of these differences can help us better predict responses to environmental change.
RMI Technician (2016 season)
Michael joined the lab from afar in early 2016 as this year's RMI technician out in Davis, California and has been recording the phenology of over 250 grapevines all summer and into the fall. Michael just finished his undergraduate degree in Plant Biology at UC-Davis and brought fantastic previous experience in phenology data collection to the lab.
RMI Technician (2015 season)
Sadie Sutphin was the lab's RMI technician for the 2015 growing season. She survived incredible powdery mildew and another long, hot summer in Davis. She's now wrapped up her degree from UC-Davis and last we heard was 'working and traveling a bit, and gearing up for possible grad school.'
RMI Technician (2014 season)
Sadie Benjaram was the lab's first RMI technician and she set the bar high. She kept data collection going throughout the hot summer in Davis, completed impressive swimming races and dealt with Lizzie, Kim and Dylan as they finalized the sampling scheme. She graduated from Davis with a degree in Geology and is now working on MS in Earth Sciences at Montana State University.
Summer Research Technician
Julia Paltseva graduated from Harvard in 2012 with a degree in OEB. She served for a year managing a reforestation project in Indonesia, where she fell in love with trees before joining the lab in Summer 2014 as a laboratory technician, setting up field sites in Massachusetts and Quebec. In 2016 she received her masters in Conservation Planning from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB.
As a freshman at Harvard College, I have yet to choose my concentration, but I am strongly considering a degree in environmental engineering. I have had an interest in the impact of climate change on the environment for many years now, and my desire to improve my understanding of the changing environment has led me to join the Wolkovich Lab.
I am a junior studying Environmental Science and Public Policy. Since a young age, I have been very interested in and fond of plants, and I am excited to be able to learn more about phenology and ecology through hands-on work as part of the Wolkovich Lab. I’m also interested in riparian habitats and wetlands, animal law and ethics/philosophy, and environmental justice issues.