Author: jhenquinet

ESC 2022 Student Travel Grant Awards

The Ecosystem Science Center is proud to announce its funding awards for Spring 2022 for a total of $12,000 to 16 students for travel to either give a talk or present a poster at a professional conference. 

ESC congratulates the following recipients:

  • Michael Arkwright, CFRES, Advisor: Tara Bal, to present “Oak Wilt Even Further North? Examining Vectors and Spread Risk across Upper Michigan and Canada” at the 2022 Society of American Foresters National Convention in Baltimore, MD.
  • Mattison Brady, CFRES,  Advisor: Tara Bal, to present “Collaborative Assessment of Sugar Maple Dieback in the Upper Great Lakes”at the 2022 Society of American Foresters National Convention in Baltimore, MD.
  • Swapan Chakrabarty, CFRES, Advisor: Carsten Küelheim, to present “Using the Eucalyptus polybractea genome improved genetic variant identification compared to using a pseudo-reference” at the Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics Conference in  Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Chinmoyee Das, CFRES, Advisor: Xinfeng Xie, to present “Electrically Conductive Biochar filled PA 12 composites and the effect of filler morphology on composite properties” at the Forest Products Society Int’l Conf, Madison, WI.
  • Lulu Ferrer, CFRES, Advisors: Jared Wolfe and Kristin Brzeski, to present “Avian Malaria Prevalence, Diversity, and Distribution in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula” at the American Ornithological Society in San Juan, PR.
  • Michelle Kelly, BIO, Advisor Amy Marcarelli, to present “Habitat Heterogeneity Promotes Linked C and N Cycling in Streams” at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Emily Lindback, CFRES, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri, to present “Northern red oak growth, phenology, and physiology across a latitudinal gradient” at the Ecological Society of America and CSEE Joint Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec. 
  • John C. McCall, BIO, Advisors: Gord Patterson and Kristin Breski, to present “Evaluating genotoxicity of mine tailings (“Stamp Sands”) on two game fish in a spawning reef in Lake Superior (MI)” at the Ecological Society of America and CSEE Joint Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Samuel Mensah Opoku, CFRES, Advisor: Andrew Burton, to present “Estimating carbon derived from deadwood in soil pools over eight years of wood decomposition” at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Melanie Ottino, CFRES, Advisors: Kristin Brzeski and Carsten Küelheim, to present “Optimizing Fecal Metabarcoding Methodology for Diet and Population Structure Analysis of Overwintering White-Tailed Deer” at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Spokane WA.
  • Peng Quan, CFRES, Advisor: Xinfeng Xie, to present “Natural Wood-Based Metamaterials for Highly Efficient Microwave Absorption” at the  Forest Products Society Int’l Conference in Madison, WI.
  • Eileen Reeves, CFRES, Advisor: Andrew Burton, to present “Limited Microorganism Recovery Three Years Post-N Deposition Cessation” at the Ecological Society of America and CSEE Joint Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Katherine Schneider, CFRES, Advisors: Tara Bal and Kristin Brzeski, to present “Bridging knowledge systems in insect research: Exploring human-insect relationships through Traditional Ecological Knowledge and beetle research” at the ESA/ESC/ESBC Joint Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC.
  • Abraham Stone, BIO, Advisors: Tara Bal and Sigrid Resh, to present “Natural Solutions: Development and deployment of a local polypore as a myco-biocontrol on invasive buckthorn sprouts” at the 2022 Natural Areas Conference in Duluth, MN.
  • Madalyn Tudor-Duncan, CFRES, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri, to present “Fine root respiration of Quercus rubra across a latitudinal gradient in the Midwest” at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Rob Tunison, CFRES, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri, to present “Tropical wet-forest understory plants have limited ability to acclimate photosynthesis to higher temperatures and have lower photosynthetic capacity under experimentally warmed conditions in Luquillo, Puerto Rico” at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.

ESC Student Research Grant Awards for Spring 2022

The Ecosystem Science Center awarded a total of $13,945 to 15 students to conduct research.  ESC congratulates the following recipients:

  • Swapan Chakrabarty, CFRES, Advisor: Carsten Külheim,  for the project: “Genomic adaptation of two oak species in drought condition.”
  • Ellie Connett, BIO, Advisor Amy Marcarelli, for the project: “Heavy Metal Transfers by Aquatic Prey to Riparian Spiders in the Keweenaw Waterway.”
  • Natalie Howard, CFRES, Advisor: Carsten Külheim, for the project: “Variance Components and Phenotypic Plasticity of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in a Replicated Common Garden Experiment.”
  • Michelle Kelly, BIO, Advisor: Amy Marcarelli, for the project: “Quantifying whole-stream denitrification and nitrogen fixation with integrated modeling of N2 and O2 fluxes.”
  • Sam Kurkowski, CFRES, Advisor Rod Chimner, for the project: “Mapping, Identification, and Conservation of Vernal Pool Characteristics at Voyagers National Parks in the Great Lakes Region.”
  • Shelby Lane-Clark, CFRES, Advisor: Tara Bal, for the project: “Bioturbation by Non-native Earthworms as a Potential Catalyst for Changes in Maple Sap Composition in Northern Hardwood Forests in the Great Lakes Region.”
  • John McCall, BIO, Advisors: Gord Paterson & Kristin Brzeski, for the project: “Quantifying the genetic contributions of Buffalo Reef spawned fishes to Lake Superior fisheries.”
  • Hailee Petosky, BIO, Advisor: Erika Hersch-Green, for the project: “Determining whether nutrient enrichments and plant genome size influences biodiversity patterns of insect communities.”
  • Peng Quan, CFRES, Advisor: Xinfeng Xie, for the project: “Desulfurization of Kraft Lignin Using Hydrogen Peroxide.”
  • Ryne Rutherford, CFRES, Advisor: David Flaspohler, for the project: “Ecological and anthropogenic factors associated with the occurrence of southern disjunct fauna isolated in warm refugia.”
  • Kath Schneider, CFRES, Advisors: Tara Bal & Kristin Brzeski, for the project: “Examining Silviculture Impacts on Coleopteran Diets (Families Silphidae and Carabidae).”
  • Abraham Stone, BIO, Advisor Sigrid Resh & Tara Bal,  for the project: “Developing and Measuring Deployment of a Natural Myco-Biological Control In a More Liquid Medium.”
  • Tessa Tormonen, BIO, Advisor: Kristin Brzeski, for the project: “Using DNA Metabarcoding to Evaluate Resource Partitioning Among Two Sympatric Tilefish.”
  • Jasmine Terry-Shindelman, CFRES, Advisor: Sarah Hoy, for the project: “Can near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy be used as a rapid and cost-effective method of monitoring plant secondary metabolite profiles of Balsam fir.”
  • Joanna Walitalo, CFRES, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri, for the project: “Comparing Wood Species and Wood Preparation for Use in Pyrography.”

ESC Faculty Funding Awards for Spring 2022

The Ecosystem Science Center (ESC) is proud to announce its member seed funding awards for Spring 2022. ESC aims to advance our knowledge of the inherent complexity of social-ecological systems. Thus, ESC provides small grants to members to help develop externally supported research programs to that end.

ESC congratulates the following recipients:

  • Rod Chimner, CFRES, along with Erik Lilleskov, Northern Research Station and CFRES (ESC member) and Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, Michigan Tech Research Institute, for the project “Developing a mountain peatland mapping program in the Rocky Mountains.”
  • Molly Cavaleri, CFRES, along with Andrew Burton, CFRES (ESC member), and Carsten Külheim, CFRES (ESC member), for the project “Acclimation of Quercus rubra root respiration across a Midwest temperature gradient.”

Student Award Winners from the 2022 ESC Student Research Forum

The Ecosystem Science Center is proud to announce the winners for best poster presentations from the ESC’s 17th Annual Student Research Forum. The Forum was held on April 22 and had over 30 participants, including both graduate and undergraduate students, who conducted research related to socio-ecological processes, patterns, interactions, and connections in the environment. 

Graduate Student Award Winners:

  • Grand Prize: ROB TUNISON – Poster Title: Tropical Wet Forest Root Respiration Responses to Experimental Warming and Hurricane Disturbance. Advisor(s): Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: EMMA SHEDD – Poster Title: Acclimation of Quercus rubra Root Respiration Across a Midwest Latitudinal Gradient. Advisor(s): Carsten Kuelheim, Andy Burton and Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: SAMUEL L. OLIVEIERA – Poster Title: Do Oil Palm Plantations Provide Quality Habitat for Migratory Birds? A Case Study from Mexico. Advisor(s): David Flaspohler and Jared Wolfe
  • Merit Award: MELANIE A. OTTINO – Poster Title: Fecal Metabarcoding for Winter Diet Analysis of White-Tailed Deer: Developing an Optimized Noninvasive Molecular Approach for Wildlife Research. Advisor(s): Kristin Brzeski, Carsten Kuelheim, and Chris Webster

Undergraduate Student Award Winners

  • Grand Prize: NATALIE M. HOWARD – Poster Title: Variance Components and Phenotypic Plasticity of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in a Replicated Common Garden Experiment. Advisor(s): Carsten Kuelheim and Molly Cavaleri
  • Merit Award: ABRAHAM STONE – Poster Title: Developing a Commercially-Viable Native Biocontrol Application for Invasive Buckthorn Management. Advisor(s): Chris Webster, Sigrid Resh and Tara Bal

ESC Fall 2021 Student Research Grant Awards

The Ecosystem Science Center would like to announce the following Fall 2021 Student Research Grants recipients:

  • Reed Arneson (Advisor Yinan Yuan (CFRES)) Project: Introducing An Artificial Sense-Antisense Reporter System to Arabidopsis thalinana
  • Jenna Brewer (Advisors Jared Wolfe (CFRES) & Kristin Brzeski (CFRES)) Project: Northern cardinal’s range exapansion as aresult of supplementary feeding
  • Nathan Coleman (Advisor John Vucetich (CFRES))  Project: Lethal vs Non-Lethal? Comparing the cost of wolf-livestock conflict mitigation methods in an area of non-lethal mitigation and an area of lethal mitigation in Idaho
  • Tiff Degroot (Advisor Kristin Brzeski (CFRES)) Project: Using environmentally-derived DNA to compare mammal community composition in tropical lowland forests
  • Maria Ferrer (Advisors  Jared Wolfe (CFRES) & Kristin Brzeski (CFRES)) Project: Forest structure and arthropod prey influence on mercury contamination in the terrestrial insectivorous bird, Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
  • Chris Hohnholt (Advisor Chris Webster (CFRES)) Project: Efficacy comparison of two herbicides with different sites of action to control glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus)
  • Melanie Ottino (Advisors Kristin Brzeski (CFRES), Carsten Kulheim (CFRES) & Chris Webster (CFRES)) Project: Development of noninvasive fecal metabarcoding methodology for generalist herbivore in Upper Peninsula
  • Emma Shedd (Advisors Molly Cavaleri(CFRES) & Andrew Burton (CFRES)) Project: Root respiration acclimation in quercus rubra along a Midwest temperature gradient
  • Zachary Solomon (Advisors Nancy Langston (SS)) Project: Can carbon offsets protect forests resources in the Keweenaw County?

Congratulations to everyone and good luck with your projects!

New article on Katherine Schneider’s beetle research

“Usually, the insects don’t survive the research. They’re typically euthanized. But when TWS member Katherine Schneider, a PhD student at Michigan Technological University, looked for iDNA among beetles, she trapped them and released them…” Read the entire article.

Kath is in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science with co-advisors Dr. Tara Bal and Dr. Kristin Brzeski.

An American carrion beetle comes close to one of researcher Katherine Schneider’s traps.
Credit: Katherine Schneider

New funding awards!

Kristen Schmitt (CFRES/ESC) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $47,077 other sponsored activities co-op agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service.

The project is titled “Outreach Support for Regional and National Hub Products.”

This is a potential 13-month project.


Patricia Leopold (CFRES/ESC) is the PI on a project that has received a $50,000 other sponsored activities co-op agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service.

The project is titled “Mainstreaming climate adaptation in watershed management.”

This is a potential two-year project.


Molly Cavaleri (CFRES/ESC) is the PI on a project that has received a $283,024 research and development grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

The project is titled “Interactive Effects of Press and Pulse Disturbances on Biogeochemical Cycling of a Wet Tropical Forest in Puerto Rico.”

This is a potential three-year project.

Welcome to our new Center Manager

The Ecosystem Science Center (ESC) advertised for and hired a staff person to aid faculty and staff with major proposal preparation and post-award administration. The interview process was completed in May 2021, with the new center manager, Dr. Jeff Henquinet, starting on July 12, 2021. The position is co-funded by the Tech Forward Natural Resources, Water & Energy initiative and the ESC.