Dr. Melinda D. Smith
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Colorado State University
I am a plant community ecologist interested in understanding patterns, determinants, and dynamics of diversity and species abundance and how these relate to ecosystem function. I conduct most of my research in the field; however, I also conduct lab work. I focus exclusively on grassland ecosystems, in particular the shortgrass steppe, mixedgrass and tallgrass prairies in the Central Great Plains of the U.S, but also work with collaborators in grasslands in South Africa and Inner Mongolia China.
Carina received his Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Art and his Master’s degree in Integrative Biology from the University of Iowa, where he studied the evolution and ecology of an invasive freshwater snail species. Carina also pursued his passion of science communication through his involvements with the Iowa City Science Booster Club. At Colorado State University, Carina brings his expertise into the exciting world of soil microbiology. Specifically, Carina is researching the interactions between the plant host and microbial communities and how they change under drought. Through his research, Carina hopes to further our understanding and appreciation of the vital role soil microbes play in ecosystems processes.
Nico received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Montana, where he studied restoration ecology and plant biology. After several years of traveling and working seasonally as a botanist, he started his current research in Montana’s Glacier National Park. He is collaborating with park managers and CSU researchers to study how bison reintroduction may affect the park’s ecology after more than 120 years of their exclusion. Through his research, he hopes to answer questions that will help guide management and answer pertinent ecological questions.
Mary is passionate about the American great plains. She hopes to enhance our ability to predict ecological response to climate change through resource-alteration research. Her work seeks to understand how long-term nutrient addition alters plant communities (and their traits) and how additional short-term resource alteration may interact with these patterns. Mary is also passionate about science communication and hopes to promote scientific interest by combining her love of art and ecological research.
Alex is interested in the temporal dynamics of shifting above– and belowground communities in response to climate extremes. He is currently working on a collaborative project in grassland ecosystems to understand the resilience & recovery of microbial communities following long-term experimental drought. His research also addresses the link between dominant plant species and soil microbial communities across the Great Plains. Alex received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Georgia College & State University in 2021 and worked extensively with multiple nonprofit organizations during his undergraduate experience.
Maddie received her Bachelor’s degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology from Colorado College where she studied the evolution and physiology of prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) across the front range. At Colorado State University, Maddie brings her knowledge and experience to study the effects of drought and recovery in grassland populations. Her work focuses on the usage of seedbanks and seed dispersal after drought as a mechanism of recovery. She hopes to help increase our knowledge and create effective response treatments to drought through her research.
Tim is a plant community ecologist and biodiversity scientist using field experiments around the world to understand the impacts of human-caused global change on grassland and desert ecosystems. In the Smith Lab, Tim manages and synthesizes data from the Drought Network’s International Drought Experiment, a globally distributed coordinated drought experiment. Tim’s research also investigates how modern methods for quantifying diversity through plant traits can inform our understanding of biodiversity in ecological communities. Tim received his PhD from the University of New Mexico under the advisement of Dr. Scott Collins and he is an active member of the Sevilleta (SEV) and Central Arizona-Phoenix (CAP) Long Term Ecological Research programs in New Mexico and Arizona.
Kate Wilkins, Ph.D is the Colorado Regional Conservation Director at the Denver Zoo, email: KWilkins@denverzoo.org
Deron Burkepile, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at The University of California, Santa Barbara
Catherine E. Burns, Ph.D. works with The Nature Conservancy, California Chapter and is Associate Director, Water and Habitat for Nature
Stephanie Eby, Ph.D. is a visiting lecturer at Assumption College, Framingham State University, and Northeastern University
Sally Koerner, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro
Nathan Lemoine, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Marquette University
Wei Mao, P.h.D. is an Associate Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Qiang Yu, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Alicia Lenners (M.S. 2023)
Maggie Ross (M.S. 2022) is a Plant community specialist with the Minnesota Biological Survey
Leena Vilonen (Ph.D. 2022) is the Executive Director of at the Global Soil Initiative at Colorado State University email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesse Gray (Ph.D 2022) is a Postdoctoral Research at University of Colorado – Boulder
Francis Chavez (Ph.D. 2020) e-mail: email@example.com
Andrew Felton (Ph.D. 2018) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Utah State University
Lauren Baur (M.S. 2016) is a Research Associate with the EDGE Project
Beth Forrestel (Ph.D. 2015) is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis
John Dietrich (M.S. 2015)
Ava Hoffman (P.h.D. 2019) is a Data Scientist with the Boston Consulting Group
Kimberly (Kim) La Pierre (Ph.D. 2013) is a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Meghan Avolio (Ph.D. 2012) is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University
Cynthia Chang (Ph.D. 2011) is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington, Bothell