previous people

Faith Jones


I am an ecologist fascinated by questions around community structure assesmbly and change across systems and scales. I find questions with practical application particularly interesting. During my PhD at the University of St Andrews, I mainly studied global patters of biodiversity change using the BioTIME database of assemblage timeseries. In addition, I assessed the potential usefulness of museum acquisitions for setting baseline data to monitor change in Trinidad and Tobago freshwater data. See my website for more detail

Kristian Blackburn


Kristian is a certified sommelier hailing from Toronto, Ontario. His passion for food and wine led him to visit Vancouver in 2016 where he discovered the wines of the Okanagan Valley. To further his craft, Kristian enrolled in the Viticulture program at Okanagan College to study wine “from the roots up.” Since then, he has been working in vineyards and wineries throughout the region

Catherine Chamberlain


Catherine joined the lab as a graduate student and completed her PhD in 2021. She is a plant ecologist interested in understanding how anthropogenic climate change impacts plant communities. In November 2015, she graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation and for her dissertation, investigated the vegetation composition of grazing lawns along an anthropogenic impact and grazing pressure gradient at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. For her PhD dissertation, she continued to focus her research efforts on plant community composition and how temperature, precipitation, and photoperiod affect plant phenology.

Darwin Sodhi


Darwin joined the lab as a a graduate student in 2018. He was interested in understanding how plant communities are assembled, and how this assembly is affected by anthropogenic factors. In 2018, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His thesis topic investigated the impact of the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum on the functional diversity of meadow and understory habitats. His current interests are in exploring how climate change alters plant communities, and how this could impact how communities are assembled in the future.

Molly Clemens


Molly is in her third year of her SDSU/UC-Davis PhD program and helped coordinate phenological observations at RMI for the 2018 season. In addition to her interest in phenology she is also studying Vitis physiology and genetics (and spent spring 2019 in Bordeaux!).

April Mahovlic


April joined the lab in Summer 2020 as the Okanagan phenology sampling consultant. She is a recent microbiology graduate with an interest in the impact of microbial pathogens on grapevines in British Columbia. April graduated from UBC Okanagan with my BSc Honours in Microbiology in June of 2019. After graduating, she worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, studying Grapevine Trunk Diseases. Her Masters research (in Dr. José Ramón Úrbez-Torres’ lab) will focus on learning more about the effects of Grapevine Leafroll and Red Blotch disease in the Okanagan, with the goal of providing practical mitigation strategies to local growers.

Grace Gooding


I am an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Sciences at the University of British Columbia. I am interested in the impacts of human disturbances in the environment, especially with respect to their impacts on biodiversity. Through my involvement in the lab, I hope to gain a better understanding of the research process, as well as improving my data processing skills in ecological research

Sandy Zhang


Sandy joined the lab in Fall 2020 as an undergraduate computer science student from the faculty of science at the University of British Columbia. She was interested in the application of data analysis and visualization in climate and agricultural science. The opportunity of being an undergraduate assistant for the lab provided an opportunity for her to better understand how data can be used in a research setting and strategies for fruit growth around climate change.

Phoebe Autio


Phoebe joined the lab in Fall 2019 as an undergraduate assistant working on a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Master of Management as part of a dual degree program at the University of British Columbia. She was personally interested in sustainable community development and working to mitigate the effects that climate change will have on communities around that world. She joined the Temporal Ecology Lab with the goal to develop a better understanding of the research process and to build a foundation in a science field.

Adam Fong


Adam joined the lab in Fall 2019 (through summer 2020) while an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia. As a student research assistant, he was interested in phenological data collection and data visualization through graphics. From this opportunity, he aimed to understand the logistics involved with research and how findings are effectively communicated to peers and the public.

Sadie Larter


Sadie joined the lab as an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia studying Biology with a focus on Ecology. She joined the Temporal Ecology Lab as an undergraduate assistant to help with phenological data collection and with photographing plant specimens. Through this experience she hoped to gain insight into the process of scientific research and learn more about the phenology of local plant species.

Mika Yasutake


Mika joined us while working on her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Management as part of the B+MM Program at the University of British Columbia. While completing my degree. She joined the Temporal Ecology Lab as an undergraduate research assistant helping to collect, process and understand phenological data. Through this experience, she aimed to better understand the process of science as well as how it may be translated into policy, as hoped to apply it to my interest of science communication in the future.

Madisynn Flesner


Madisynn is finishing her undergraduate degree at UC-Davis in 2019 and is the current phenology technician at RMI.

Kelley Slimon


Kelley joined the lab while an undergrad assistant studying Environmental Science with a concentration in ecology and conservation at the University of British Columbia. She is personally interested in botany and plant ecology in the context of climate change. She joined the Temporal Ecology Lab working on collecting trait data and identifying plants to be used to study phenology and plant performance with climate change.

Asa Peters


As joined us after his sophomore year at Connecticut College studying botany and music technology. He is interested in plant ecology and invasive species, a topic I studied last summer with Professor Chad Jones. In the summer of 2017 he worked in the lab through the DaRin Butz internship program. He is also interested in ethnobotany, including technological, food related, and spiritual uses of plants in southern New England.

Angela Carreras


Angie joined the lab while finishing her degree at UC-Davies in 2019 as the phenology technician at RMI. She did a great job of working with Molly though another long hot summer and our weirdest, most spread-out phenology season yet. She balanced her time across phenology, coursework, track and restoration ecology training.

Nicole Merrill

UG RESEARCHER (2016-2017)

Nicole finished her undergrad at Northeastern University studying Environmental Science with an interest in ecology.  In 2016 she did a six-month co-op at the lab from June through November. She studied how plants and their phenology are affected by climate change while also getting exposure to R and helping with all of the fascinating research going on in the lab.  Other interests of hers include wetlands habitats and their varied relationships with humans as well as conservation and restoration.

Liz Stebbins

UG RESEARCHER (2016-2017)

Liz worked in the lab while a senior Harvard University studying Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She is primarily interested in climate change and its ecological effects — everything from plant communities to marine ecosystems. She loved getting to do hands-on work at the Arboretum, but also did some of the tedious work of lat/long for wine regions. She said, “I am really enjoying my first experience in a lab and hope to one day apply it out in the conservation world.”

Alice Linder


Alice joined us as HUCE fellow in January 2016 and in her senior year as a thesis student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB). Her interest in plant ecology and climate change drew her to the Wolkovich lab. In summer 2016 she stayed at Harvard Forest for the REU summer program, where she worked with Dan Flynn on community composition of deciduous trees at their range limits. Through her work with the lab, she realized a fondness for plant species identification across New England—from the forests of Massachusetts to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Katherine Perkins


Kat worked at RMI while a senior at UC-Davis studying Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, supporting the Wolkovich Lab by collecting phenological data in the Robert Mondavi Institute vineyard. She is interested in ecology, education, art and politics. She found she enjoyed the meditative nature of monitoring seasonal change and the connection between herself and her ancestors that she felt while watching grape vines grow.

Dan Flynn


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

Johan Arango

LAB RESEARCHER (2016-2017)

Johan earned his bachelor’s degree in Agroindustrial Engineering. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainability and joined the Wolkovich lab in the Fall of 2016. He was drawn to the lab because he is very interested in the effect that climate variation has on plants. He is very interested in societies’ reliance on plants and how a growing global population along with expanding markets will pose challenges and opportunities to achieve sustainability, especially in food systems.

Jehane Samaha


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.

Tim Savas


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. 

Harold Eyster


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.

Sally Gee


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.

Wayne Daly


Wayne graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2016 with an MSc in biodiversity and conservation. He completed a study on geoxylic suffrutices, and a dissertation on salt marsh ecology and plant community compositions. From there began an earnest fascination with plant ecology. He joined the lab to learn more about the time effects and pressures on plants and plant phenology from various environmental factors and anthropogenic activities. 

Michael Maccini


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. 

Sadie Sutphin


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.’

Sarah Benjaram


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. 

Magaly Gutierrez


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.

Terilyn Chen


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.

Julia Paltseva


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.