faculty

Stuart Borrett
 

Borrett

As a systems ecologist, I study the processes that create, constrain, and sustain complex systems. Consequently, my research has been interdisciplinary in nature, but focused on aspects of ecosystem organization and transformation. My research interests include ecological modeling and analysis, network analysis, and ecological informatics.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNCW, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. I was affiliated with Dr. Pat Langley's Computational Learning Laboratory, and Dr. Kevin Arrigo's Ocean Biogeochemistry Laboratory. I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Georgia's Institute of Ecology where I studied ecosystem ecology with Dr. Bernard Patten. Before graduate school, I earned a B.A. in Biology with a minor in environmental studies at Austin College, and worked for ENTRIX, Inc. as an environmental consultant preparing environmental impact assessments and management plans, primarily for oil and gas development in Latin America.

LINKS: flickr :: facebook :: linkedin :: CV :: Google Scholar :: ResearchGate

CONTACT: borretts (at) uncw (dot) edu :: PH: 910.962.2411 :: FX: 910.962.4066

   

g students

David Hines
PhD Marine Biology
Hines

Dave is a Ph.D. student whose research interests lie in exploring how organisms and their environments impact each other. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University in the spring of 2007 and a Master’s in Marine Biology from UNCW in December of 2010. His Master’s research explored resource trade-offs between competing anti-predatory mechanisms in Caribbean sea anemones and found a strong relationship between habitat and defensive strategy. For his Ph.D., Dave has shifted his focus from macrofuana to microorganisms. He is developing several models in conjunction with another Ph.D. student, Jessica Lisa, in order to explore how increasing estuarine salinity may alter microbial communities and the processes they conduct. Specifically, Dave’s research focuses on bacterial processes in the nitrogen cycle and synthesizes a variety of data that has been collected by several different groups. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Dave hopes to remain in academia and continue his career in marine ecological research.

Publications

Hines, D.E., S.R. Borrett.  2014. Comparison of Network, Neighborhood, and Node levels of analysis in two models of nitrogen cycling in the Cape Fear River Estuary. Ecological Modelling. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.11.013.

Hines, D.E., J.A. Lisa, B. Song, C.R. Tobias, S.R. Borrett.  2012 A network model shows the importance of coupled processes in the microbial N cycle in the Cape Fear River Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 20:45-57. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2012.04.018

CONTACT: deh9951 (at) uncw (dot) edu

Jess Lisa
PhD Marine Biology
LISA

Jess Lisa attended Monmouth University, NJ where she graduated with honors with a BS in Biology and a concentration in Environmental and Marine Biology. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute where she participated in microbial source tracking studies in coastal lakes, as well as policy and public outreach programs concerning the health and future of coastal environments. She took an interest in microbial ecology and continued to focus on marine and coastal environments when she entered the Marine Biology Masters program at UNCW. She is currently a PhD candidate at UNCW working with Dr. Bongkeun (BK) Song as her advisor. Her research focuses on biogeochemical nitrogen cycling in rivers and estuaries using molecular, stable isotope and ecosystem modeling approaches. She also studies the effects of sea level rise on sedimentary N cycle in North Carolina estuaries.

CONTACT: jal6897 (at) uncw (dot) edu

   

u grads

Liliana Carrara BS Biology, expected 2016
 

Ms. Carrara is working to help build an initial food web model for the benthic zone of the Cape Fear River Estuary

   
affiliated
Dr. Michael Freeze
Mathematics and Statistics @ UNCW
Freeze
Fields of Interest
Algebraic Number Theory, Additive Number Theory

Other Interests
Artificial Language, Memetics, Evolutionary Algorithms, Baroque Music
Dr. Zach Long Biology and Marine Biology @ UNCW
 

Dr. Long combines theoretical and experimental approaches to investigate how interactions among species allow for or prevent their coexistence, and how the number and identity of coexisting species (i.e., diversity) influences the collective performance or functioning of ecosystems.

Links: http://uncw.edu/bio/faculty_long.htm

Dr. Will White Biology and Marine Biology @ UNCW
White

Dr. White studies the influence of dispersal and other spatial processes on the dynamics of marine populations and communities, especially reef fishes. This work involves empirical data collection and the use both both dynamic and statistical models.

Links: http://uncw.edu/bio/faculty_long.htm

Matt Lau Postdoc @ Harvard Forest
Matt Lau

I am broadly interested in issues related to complex systems, i.e., systems whose macro-scale behaviors cannot be predicted from microscopic (reductionistic) analysis of the system components, and how we can use complex systems approaches to address community ecology problems. Currently, I am investigating how variation within species affects the relationships among many species in species rich communities. In particular, I am interested in how genetics can predict the structure of interactions among associated communities. Toward this end, I am using quantitative modeling techniques to construct networks of species relationships.

Matt's PhD advisor was Dr. Whitham at NAU.

Links: http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~mkl48/bio/home.html

   
alumni
Tony Kauffman
BS Marine Biology 2009
KAUFMAN

Tony completed his honors thesis in the laboratory investigating the impact of data uncertainty on the results of Ascendent Perspective of Ecological Network Analysis. The results of his thesis is published in Ecological Modelling. He is now a M.S. candidate at the University of Maryland.

Kaufman, A., S.R. Borrett. 2010. Ecosystem network analysis indicators are generally robust to parameter uncertainty in a phosphorus model of Lake Sidney Lanier, USA. Ecological Modelling 221: 1230-1238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.12.018

Sarah Fann
BS Marine Biology and Statistics 2010
Sarah Fann

Sarah completed her honors thesis in the laboratory that developed a new metric of centrality to measure the relative roles of species in generating total ecosystem activity. She is completed a Fulbright fellowship in Australia, where she assessed the effects of coral decline of fish diversity and abundance of different reef systems. She now works as an analyst for TD Bank

Links: CV

Adrian Coles
BS Mathematics, 2010
adrian

 

Adrian completed his honors research with Dr. Freeze. His thesis was titled: Mathematical Explanation of Ecosystem Homogenization. He is now working on a PhD in statistics at NCSU with Dr. Marie Davidian

Advisor: Dr. Freeze

 

Drew Braden
BS Computer Science, 2010
 

Drew built a database for the laboratory to manage and serve the ecosystem models we are collecting form the literature for meta-analysis.

 

Pete Thomson BS Biology, 2010
 

Pete tested the generality of several systems ecology hypotheses including the dominance of indirect effects using the storage analysis of Network Environ Analysis. He is currently working on an M.S. in Environmental Science at Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA.

 

Andria Salas
MS Marine Science, May 2011

photo

I attended Grand Valley State University in Michigan for my undergraduate degree, graduating in the spring of 2007 from the Honors College with a B.S. in biology and emphasis in aquatic science. While I have always had a love of biology, my college experiences led me to become passionate for ecology, conservation, and discovery through research. The latter was fueled by my participation in two summer research programs, the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program at Grand Valley and the NSF REU program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. After graduating from GVSU, I worked as a research technician for a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University for a year. Following my ambitions to focus on marine systems, I am now pursuing my masters in marine science at UNCW, and plan on following this with a doctoral program. My current research will use network environ analysis to examine the hypothesis that indirect effects are more dominant than direct effects, focusing mainly on marine networks. One day I hope to put all my schooling to good use in a research position, focusing heavily on marine ecology and conservation issues.

Ms. Salas is currenlty a PhD student at UT Austin working with Dr. Tim Keitt

Masters work publications

Salas, A.K. and S.R. Borrett. 2011. Evidence for dominance of indirect effects in 50 trophic ecosystem network. Ecological Modelling 222: 1192--1204. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.12.002

Borrett, S.R., M.A. Freeze, A.K. Salas. 2011. Equivalence of the ecological network analysis realized input and output oriented indirect effects metric. Ecological Modelling 222: 2142-2148 doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.04.003.

Borrett, S.R., A.K. Salas. 2010. Evidence for resource homogenization in 50 trophic ecosystem networks. Ecological Modelling 221: 1710-1716 doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.04.004.

 

Youri Nelson
MS Applied Mathematics, 2011
Youri
Youri investigated the value of information quantity and type for reducing the uncertainty in model discovery in inductive process modeling. He is worked with data for the Ross Sea ecosystem in Antarctica.
Monty Carter BS Biology, 2011
Monty Carter

Monty tested the hypothesized differences in ecosystem organization reflected in network models built from a biogeochemcial perspective rather than the more commonly used trophic perspective.

Amanda Laraia BS Biology
  Amanda completed a DIS project studying the multivariate relationships among ecological network analysis whole-system indicators
Julinne Beblo BS Biology
 

Ms. Beblo was awarded a 2012-2013 Hosier Fellowship from the UNCW Center for Support of Undergradaute Research and Fellowships (CSURF). Her poster for her 2011 DIS titled "A network analysis comparison of energy flow through the Dublin Bay and Baie de Somme intertidal ecosystems" won the Department of Biology and Marine Biology best poster award at the UNCW Undergraduate Research Showcase.

John Mejaski
MS Marine Biology, 2013
Mejaski

Mr. Mejaski developed a network model to analyze the urban water metabolism of Wilmington, NC.

Kasey Palmquest BS Biology, expected 2014
 

Ms. Palmquest completed a directed indipendent study in the lab to learn about systems ecology research.

Amelia Sosnowski BS Biology, 2014
 

Ms. Sosnowski is working on a spatial network ecology project.

Courtney Hand BS Biology, 2014
 

Ms. Hand is working to help build an initial food web model for the benthic zone of the Cape Fear River Estuary

Emily Oxe MS Biology, 2014
EmilyOxe

Ms. Oxe's thesis was titled: "A comparison of process coupling in the nitrogen cycle between two North Carolina estuaries".

She parameterized N cycling models for two points in the New River Estuary and compared the system organiztion to that of the Cape Fear River Estuary.

Pawandeep Singh Visiting Masters Student, Summer 2014
Pawan Mr. Singh is a graduate student of integrated sciences with an emphasis in mathematics at Visva-Baharati University in India (north of Kolkata). He won a S.N. Bose fellowship to work with us during the summer of 2014 on our systems ecology and ecosystem network analysis research programs. He contributed substantially to the enaR software.