Current Lab Members (listed in order of duration in the lab group)
Emily Bernhardt, PI
Emily received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University in 2001 and has been a member of the Duke faculty since 2004. The core of Emily's interests are in watershed biogeochemistry, with most of her current effort invested in understanding how the ways in which people live on and use the landscape alters the structure, function and chemistry of receiving streams and wetlands.
Kayleigh Somers, PhD Student
Kayleigh began her PhD in Ecology in 2008 and is coadvised by Dr. Dean Urban (NSOE) and Emily. Kayleigh's research is focused on detailed land cover characterization with the chemical, thermal and biological conditions of streams in urbanizing landscapes. Her work merges landscape ecology with stream biogeochemistry and is supported in part by the NSF Urban Long Term Research Area program (NSF ULTRA).
Click here for Kayleigh's website or here for her CV.
Anna Fedders, Field & Lab Technician
Anna joined the lab in 2010 after receiving her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University. Initially hired to assist with our mountaintop mining work, Anna spent two years working on our investigations of saltwater intrusion into coastal wetlands and is now heading up logistics for our nanomaterials research in the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology mesocosm facility.
Ashley Helton, Postdoctoral Associate
Ashley earned her PhD in 2011 from UGA working with Dr. Geoff Poole of Montana State. Ashley's dissertation work merged hydrologic modeling and field biogeochemistry to understand the hydrobiogeochemistry of large floodplain aquifers. Ashley is currently working on our coastal plain wetland research efforts to understand how saltwater intrusion affects wetland C and N cycling - her work within the project is focused on linking microbial biogeochemical models with wetland hydrology models and on field measurements of anaerobic metabolic pathways in wetland sediments.
[Click here for Ashley's website.]
Matt Ross, PhD student
Matt is from Colorado, where he completed his undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at CU-Boulder. His previous research was in the aridlands of Utah, but he is now working in Central Appalachian watersheds and the Venice lagoon. Matt is currently a fellow in Duke's WISeNet IGERT program and is interested in using environmental sensing to understand ecosystem degradation and to inform ecosystem design and restoration.
Brooke Hassett, Freshwater Lab Manager
After completing her master's degree at the University of Maryland where she examined stream restoration activities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Brooke was the Bernhardt lab manager from 2005-2012 and led our efforts to understand the effects of urbanization and urban stream restoration on stream ecosystem structure and function. Brooke now manages the Freshwater Lab within Duke's new River Center.
Benjamin P. Colman, Postdoctoral Associate
Ben Colman joined the lab in 2009 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the lab of Joshua Schimel. Ben's general interests include biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, and microbial ecology. Currently, his research is focused on examining the impacts of both engineered and natural nanomaterials on biologically mediated biogeochemical functions in soils, sediments, and freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems. Ben's research is funded through the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT).
Ben Colman's CV
Ben Colman's website
Ben Colman's publications (per Google Scholar)
Raven Bier, PhD Student
Raven rejoined the lab as a PhD student in August 2010. She worked in the lab as a technician in 2007-2008 and then spent a year at UGA in a plant genetics lab and a year at UCSB in a community ecology lab before returning to work in biogeochemistry. Raven examines the influences of environmental contaminants on microbially mediated ecosystem functions, in particular, anaerobic nitrogen cycling. Her work focuses on the contaminant gradient established by mountaintop mines in Central Appalachia.
[Click here for Raven's CV]
Kris Voss, PhD Student
Kris joined the lab as a PhD student in June 2011. After earning a BS in chemistry from Texas A&M, he taught high school chemistry and environmental science in San Diego from 2001 to 2009, during which time he also earned an MS in environmental engineering. Through his master’s thesis and subsequent collaboration with Ken Reckhow at Duke, Kris became interested in applying Bayesian statistical models to examine how stream biota, particularly benthic macroinvertebrates, respond to land-use change at the landscape scale. His research complements our mountaintop mining research effort by describing biological responses to novel environmental gradients across progressively larger ecological scales. Kris also investigates the shifts in an aquatic community’s biological and functional trait composition that result from such widespread land-use change.
[Click here for Kris's CV]
Tim Covino, Postdoctoral Associate
Tim recently completed his Ph.D. at Montana State University and is now a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working jointly with Emily and Jim Heffernan.
Click here for Tim's website
Former PhD Students
Dr. Alison Appling, Alison earned her Ph.D. in May 2012 and is now a postdoctoral associate with Jim Heffernan in the Nicholas School (fortunately for us, she's right next door)
Dr. Brian Lutz, Brian earned his Ph.D. in May 2011 and, as of November 2012, is an assistant professor at Kent State University in Ohio.
Dr. Elizabeth Sudduth - former PhD student (2011), currently an assistant professor at Georgia Gwinnett College
Dr. Jennifer Morse - former PhD student (2010), currently a postdoctoral associate at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Former Postdoctoral Associates
Dr. Marcelo Ardon - former postdoctoral associate (2007-2011), currently an assistant professor at East Carolina University.
Dr. Jennifer Follstad-Shah, NSF Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Associate (2007-2010), currently adjunct assistant professor at Utah State University
Dr. Liyan Yin - Visiting Postdoctoral Associate, currently associate professor at Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dr. Rich Phillips - former postdoctoral associate, currently an Assistant Professor at Indiana University
Former Professional Masters Students
Katie Glodzik (May ’13), Saltwater intrusion in the NC coastal plain – assessing the scale of the phenomenon and its impacts
Joseph Riegel (May ’12), Biomass accumulation in restored coastal wetlands estimated from LIDAR and hyperspectral image analysis
Catherine Carter (May ’10) Linking upstream mining to downstream water quality: Mountaintop mining in West Virginia
Hayes Neely (May ’08) Restoring Farmland to Wetlands: The Potential for Carbon Credits in Eastern North Carolina
Peter Cada (May ’07) Changes in stream ecosystem structure as a function of urbanization: Potential recovery through stream restoration
Steven Gougherty - Summer 2012 technician on coastal wetland research, currently Masters Student at Ohio State University
Medora Burke-Scoll - Former project manager for our coastal wetland work from 2008-2011. Medora is now teaching environmental sciences at
Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane, NC
Jill Greiner - former FACE project research technician, currently graduate student at University of Virginia
Andrea Martin - former FACE project research technician,recent MEM (May '12) graduate of the Nicholas School
Former Undergraduate Researchers (Wundergrads)
Honors Thesis Research
Temistocles Molinar, B.S. Biology with Distinction ‘12
Jacquelyn Burmeister, B.S. Biology with Highest Distinction ‘09
Michelle Lotker, B.S. Biology with Distinction and B.A. Documentary Studies ‘08
Shankar Mundluru, B.S. Biology with Distinction ‘08
Hayes Neely, B.S. Biology with Distinction, ‘06
NSF REU Summer Research Fellows
Dave Richards (NSF REU 2012–Tulane)
Tara Soni (NSF-REU 2011, MIT)
Sarah Anciaux (NSF REU 2010- Coe College)
Shaena Montenari (NSF REU 2008 – UNC Chapel Hill)
Charles Colbert - NSF REU 2008 - Duke)