Lab members


Laura Cancino


I study the levels of genetic diversity and differentiation of the fishing stocks of the Peruvian anchovy (Engraulis ringens) along the coasts of Peru and Chile. I am using microsatellite markers to examine samples from 18 sampling locations from two different stocks. Anchovy fishing industry represents approximately 1% of the GDP in Peru, and for that reason it is important to develop adequate strategies for the management of these fishing stocks. My goal is to determine the validity of these two stocks in order to define if is it is appropriate to establish separate quotas for each of them or of they should be managed as a single stock.


Current Position:  Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, World Wildlife Fund, Lima, Peru.


Connie Hausman



I study the invasion of the emerald ash borer (EAB) into the United States. This is an interesting ecological process with implications that are relevant not only for theoretical ecology but also for conservation biology. I have addressed this project from different directions. First, I am interested in the consequences of this invasion on the species composition and community structure of the deciduous temperate forest.  In particular, my work will contribute to improve our understanding of how severe disturbances, such as those caused by the eradication of EAB, can facilitate the colonization of invasive plant species.  Second, I am also involved in developing a sampling design to establish a seed collection for the adequate conservation of genetic diversity of ash trees using molecular markers.


Current Position: Plant and Restoration Ecologist, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland Ohio 44144



Rajlakshmi Ghosh



I studied the levels of genetic diversity and population differentiation between eight populations of the invasive plant multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunburg Ex. Murray) located in Portage and Summit Counties, in northeastern Ohio. I  used six microsatellite marker loci to determine allelic diversity, percent polymorphic loci, and expected and observed heterozygosity. My results showed moderate levels of genetic variation.


Current Position: Doctoral Student, College of Education, Kent State University.




Lisa Regula-Meyer



I study the effects of the invasive plant species Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia on native amphibians.  Lisa has looked at wetland characteristics associated with the two plants, tadpole growth and mortality in invaded wetlands, and is currently working on continued tadpole morpho-metrics, as well as tadpole and adult behavior in these altered environments, and other community interactions in invaded communities.


Current Position: Doctoral Student, Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University



Michael Monfredi

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My research involves the study of community structure and evolution patterns of fish throughout tropical streams ranging from northwestern Costa Rica into southeastern Panama. Although I intend to explore all families and species of fish within my study area, I have become most interested in the family Characidae. As other species and families have established their existence throughout Central America, It has been shown that the movement of characids even takes place today. I would like to analyze what effect this movement is having on the stream community structures, also, to understand better the movement patterns exhibited by these native Amazonian fish species.



Current Position: Forensic Scientist, Attorney General Department, Columbus, Ohio.


Erin Mc Nutt




I study the genetic structure of Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) populations in southwestern Ohio.  This shrub, native to eastern Asia, was brought to the United States in 1896 as an ornamental, but has since escaped captivity.  It has now spread into 24 eastern states and can be found in at least 35 Ohio counties.  We analyze the genetic variation between the different Ohio invasion fronts by using six distinct polymorphic microsatellite loci.  Our goal is to learn more about the process of L. maackii invasion.  Specifically, we want to know whether it occurs along a steadily advancing front or through long-distance dispersal.  This project is a collaborative effort between Kent State University and Miami University.  The genetic information gathered at Kent State will be paired with physical evidence gathered from two decades of aerial photographs collected at Miami to develop a comprehensive picture of the spread of this species.



Current Position: Environmental Scientist, PlanItē, Inc., 4198 State Route 305, Southington, Ohio 44470.



Kelly Barriball




I investigate the mating structure of invasive populations of Amur Honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii (Caprifoliaceae), one of the most problematic invasive shrubs in forests of eastern USA. Lonicera maackii is a large, upright, partially self-compatible shrub native to the Russian Far East, China, Korea, and Japan, that was first introduced into the United States in 1898.

I am examining the mating structure and patterns of gene movement in an L. maackii population near Columbus, Ohio.  In particular, I am comparing how these two parameters vary between plants growing in the forest interior and along the edge of a woodlot. To do that, I am using six polymorphic microsatellite markers especially developed for this species.


Current Position: The Draime Estate Gardens, Kent State University, 8473 Hunters Trail SE Warren, OH 44484


Brendan Morgan

Description: La Salva 2006-12-28 2-41-16 PM



I am interested in determining the effects of detrital resource reduction on the structure and composition of invertebrate communities in tropical streams.  I will compare streams flowing through different land-use regimes, in particular, undisturbed forested and deforested areas.

My hypotheses are 1) resource reduction, as defined by lower levels of detritus, will result in lower invertebrate biomass and abundance and 2) the resource reduction will affect invertebrate communities in forested streams more severely than in the open agricultural streams.



Current Position: MS Student, Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University






Doug Marcum

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I have a general naturalist background and I am particularly interested in the ecology of biological communities in Northeast Ohio.  My research interests include study of the diversity of biological communities and the function of their ecosystems in relation with land management practices and ecosystem health.  For my thesis research, I intend to study Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) populations in Northeast Ohio to determine its current status. I will examine the interactions between three sympatric canid species with different histories in the region.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that native fox in this region has declined, while Coyote (Canis latrans) has expanded greatly.  I want to understand how the expansion of Coyotes in the region has affected fox populations, and to determine if these species can co-exist.  I will also be looking at Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) for comparison purposes.



Current Position: MS Student, Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University