Current lab members (ordered by length of time in the lab)
Mary L. Cadenasso, PI
Mary is a native of Oakland, California, and after completing a biology degree at the University of Santa Clara, she worked as a botanist with an environmental consulting firm in the Bay Area before returning to graduate school at Rutgers University and earning Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution in 1998. She was a post-doc at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook NY and a founding member and co-PI of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, LTER. She spent 2 years as a visiting scholar at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2006. The primary thread that weaves through all of Mary's research is a concern with linking landscape pattern to ecosystem function and understanding how human activities alter that link. Her research spans systems and scales and she works in the savannas of California and South Africa and the metropolitan regions of Sacramento and Baltimore. Click here for Mary's CV.
Elise Tulloss, Ph.D., Writer
Elise arrived at UC Davis one week after Mary! She is originally from Washington State, earned her B.S. from Western Washington University and completed a masters degree at Eastern Illinois University. Elise is broadly interested in community ecology and plant responses to the physical structure of the environment. Her specific interests include ecological boundary theory, urban-wildland interfaces, and plant-soil interactions. Elise's dissertation research focuses on examining the influence of nitrogen deposition on plant community dynamics in oak savannas across a gradient of urbanization. More recently, Elise has begun to investigate plant community response to environmental change using stable isotopes as tracers. She is active with mentoring undergraduate research assistants and works with a local non-profit to strengthen the connection between scientific research and grassland management issues.
Alex Webster, Ph.D. candidate
Alex joined the CLUE lab in 2009 as a lab manager. She spent time in South Africa working on plant-soil interactions and nutrient cycling in riparian forests of Kruger National Park. In the Fall of 2011 she started her Ph.D in the Graduate Group in Ecology. She is studying the structure and biogeochemical function of Central Valley riparian floodplains that are impacted by dam management and levee systems. Prior to joining the Cadenasso Lab, Alex assisted research in forest nitrogen and carbon dynamics in response to winter climate change at Boston University and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
Joanna Solins, Ph.D. student
Joanna grew up exploring the woods and waterways of New England, which fostered her passion for environmental causes and her fascination with ecosystems. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Vassar College, and developed a keen interest in watershed issues while researching the impacts of a wastewater treatment plant in northeastern Australia. Joanna led educational programs at the New England Aquarium and volunteered on organic farms before relocating to San Francisco, where she worked for a non-profit organization dedicated to coral reef conservation. She became increasingly interested in the connections between terrestrial landscapes and aquatic systems, and particularly in the role that riparian ecosystems play in regulating water quality and aquatic habitat. Joanna joined the Cadenasso lab in 2012 to pursue research on the relationships among ecosystem services, adjacent land use, and plant communities in urban riparian restoration sites.
Past lab members (ordered by most recently launched)
Dr. Dustin Herrmann
Dr. Dustin Herrmann completed his Ph.D. in the CLUE lab in 2014. His dissertation is entitled: "Nitrogen retention and loss in urban lawns." Dustin is currently an ORISE participant at the Environmental Protection Agency based in Cincinnati, OH.
Lilly Hayden, M.S.
Lilly Hayden completed her M.S. degree in the CLUE lab in 2014. Her thesis is entitled: " Best management practices for reducing residential landscape runoff and non-point source pollution: An investigation of the effects of outreach education and aesthetic preferences on homeowner behavior."
Cindy Engel, GIS technician
Cindy is a native of Riverside, California. She developed a love for the natural environment during summer camping trips throughout the western United States. After receiving both a B.S. in Environmental Science and an MBA from UC Riverside, she worked as a county land use planner and became interested in policies for managing the encroachment of urbanization onto agricultural and natural lands. Cindy has also been involved in gardening, composting and recycling programs at elementary school sites in Davis. Recently, she completed a certificate program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at American River College. Before joining the Cadenasso Lab, Cindy worked at the US Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Lab in Sacramento, quantifying forest change over time using historical aerial photography. She is interested in utilizing GIS tools in the field of natural resource management.
Dr. James McConaghie
Dr. James McConaghie completed his Ph.D. in the CLUE lab in 2014. His dissertation is entitled: "The influence of spatial heterogeneity, hydrologic variability, and scale on nitrogen and water export in urban residential ecosystems." Now James is the Natural Resource Specialist in the Division of Water Quality Standards and Assessments at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. James provides scientific review for new water quality standards and develops new analytical and assessment methodologies for protecting water and endangered aquatic species for the entire State of Oregon.
Jill Baty, Research technician
Jill works on a project measuring soil lead levels in yards and vegetable gardens in Sacramento. She is generally interested in land management, especially where it involves people using “natural” spaces. She recently completed her MS with the UCD Graduate Group in Ecology where she researched nutrient cycling and soil ecology in grasslands. In addition, Jill participated in the Conservation Management Degree Certificate Program and was able to work with Point Reyes National Seashore to write a climate change vulnerability assessment for the park. She has worked for various local governments and conservation non-profits and has a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Kirsten Schwarz
Dr. Kirsten Schwarz is an assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University in the Department of Biology. While a Post-Doc in the CLUE lab Kirsten's research focused on urban ecosystem services and environmental justice. She remains a collaborator on a research project based in Sacramento looking at soil lead concentrations and urban gardening.
Dr. Weiqi Zhou
Dr. Weiqi Zhou is a Research Professor at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. He joined the CLUE lab as a Post-Doc and his research focused on remote sensing and urban land cover working to improve and automate the HERCULES land cover model. Weiqi also investigated the spatial distribution of urban heat.
Dr. Ganlin Huang
Dr. Ganlin Huang wore several different hats during her Post-Doc at UC Davis -- one of which was with the Cadenasso lab where her research efforts focused on the distribution of land surface temperatures and human populations in cities. Ganlin also conducted research at the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis. Ganlin is currently a professor at Beijing Normal University.
Abri de Buys
After collaborating with Mary and colleagues on a project in Kruger National Park, South Africa, Abri join the Cadenasso lab. He contributed his ideas and talents to the continuation of the research in Kruger Park and was also instrumental in establishing the lab and helping graduate students get their field research started. Abri returned to South Africa and joined the Fynbos node of SAEON (South African Environmental Observation Network) as a Technical Officer