Graduate Study in EFB
- A Message to Prospective Applicants
Your decision to enter graduate study is a major step, and you owe it to yourself to do it right. Explained here are the key steps and some tips for applying to the graduate program in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology. Read More...
The graduate program in environmental and forest biology is organized in areas of study designed to provide a strong background within specific interest areas. Faculty with nationally and internationally recognized expertise define the scope of subject matter within each study area, recommend acceptance of students, and guide them through a course of study appropriate to student goals and aspirations. Most students develop a degree of depth and specialization in at least one large taxonomic group, such as plants, fungi, vertebrates, or insects.
For M.S. & Ph.D., nine areas of study are available:
EFB Graduate Program Staff
Danilo D. Fernando
Associate Professor & EFB Graduate Program Director
(315) 470-6746 - office
(315) 470-6934 - fax
Karin E. Limburg, Ph.D.
Professor & EFB Graduate Program Advisory Committee Chair
(315) 470-6741 - office
(315) 470-6934 - fax
EFB Graduate Program Secretary
(315) 470-6760 - office
(315) 470-6934 - fax
EFB Undergraduate and Graduate Program Support
Recent Thesis Defenses and Capstone Seminars by EFB Graduate Students
- Ian Gereg (M.S., Major Professor Guy Baldassarre). Growth rates, plumage development and behavioral observations of monotypic Anseriformes. 3/1/12
- Kimberly M. Dean (M.S., Major Professor Melissa Fierke). Parasitoids and Pathogens of Emerald Ash Borer: Implications for bio-control at all life stages. 3/30/12
- Elizabeth Hunter (M.S., Major Professor James P. Gibbs). Ecosystem restoration through the introduction of ecological analog giant tortoises to Pinta Island, Galapagos. 4/13/12
- Yazmin Rivera Rivera (Ph.D., Major Professor Thomas R. Horton). Anthropogenic Effects on Ectomycorrhizal Fungi at the Population and Community Levels. 4/16/12
- Katherine D'Amico (M.S., Major Professor William Powell). A Greenhouse Bioassay Method for Assessing Ectomycorrhizal Associations of Transgenic American Chestnut. 4/16/12
- Kevin Jablonski (M.S., Major Professor Stacy McNulty). Habitat Associations of Adirondack Lowland. Boreal Birds at Spring Pond Bog, NY. 4/17/12
- Stefanie A. Kroll (Ph.D., Major Professor Neil Ringler). The influence of climate and flow regulation on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. 4/20/12
- Christopher Standley (M.S., Major Professors Melissa Fierke, Dylan Parry). Emergence Phenology and Ecological Interactions Between the Exotic Sirex Noctilio F., Native Siricids, and a Shared Guild of Native Parasitoids. 4/20/12
- Bo (Amelia) Zhang (Ph.D., Major Professor William Powell). Transgenic American Chestnut (Castanea Dentata) Expressing Oxalate Oxidase Reduced Cryphonectria Parasitica Necrosis. 4/23/12
- Jessica Gibson (M.S., Major Professor Alex Weir). Ultrastructural Observations of the Laboulbeniales. 4/24/12
- Maria Elena Gutierrez L. (M.S., Major Professor Martin Dovciak). Vegetation-environment relationships under current and future climate in the paramos, tropical high mountain ecosystems of Colombia. 4/25/12
- Courtney LaMere (M.S., Major Professor Stacy McNulty). Influence of Variable Mast Production on Black Bear Reproduction and Human-Black Bear Conflicts in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. 4/26/12
- Dominick Skabeikis (M.S., Major Professors Stephen Teale and Melissa Fierke.) Male pheromone of the pine sawyer beetles, Monochamus scutellatus and Monochamus notatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): production, response and circadian rhythms. 5/2/12
- Brian Henning (M.S., Major Professor John Farrell). Conservation of Fish Assemblages in Protected and Open Nearshore Habitats is required for Maintenance of Biodiversity in the upper St. Lawrence River. 5/4/12
- Scott Warsen (M.S., Major Professor Jacqueline Frair). Evolving Niche of Coyotes in the Adirondack Mountains of New York: Long-term Dietary Trends and Interspecific Competition. 5/17/12
- Phil-Goo Kang (Ph.D., Major Professor Myron J. Mitchell). The Fate and Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Carbon, Nitrogen, and Sulfur in the Arbutus Lake Watershed, NY. 6/21/12
- Megan S. Kirchgessner (Ph.D., Major Professor). Spatial Epidemiology of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus and Coxiella Burnetii Seroprevalence in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) In New York. 6/28/12
For M.P.S., two additional areas of study are available:
Additional information on each of these areas of study is available by telephone, email or written request to any of the professors listed. Programs that bridge two or more areas may be developed by the student and steering committee.
You may access our graduate handbook at: Welcome to the EFB Graduate Student Handbook - EFB Grad Handbook
In addition to graduate assistantships, various awards are available to graduate students in environmental and forest biology. These include the Alexander Wetlands Award, the Betty Moore Chamberlaine Award, Henrietta and John Simeone Fellowship in Forest Entomology, the Robert L. Burgess Graduate Scholarship in Ecology, the Josiah L. Lowe – Hugh Wilcox Graduate Fellowship, the Leroy C. Stegeman Award, and the Robert Zabel Award. These awards are decided upon by a department committee selection process.
Graduate Awards & News
Jill Mandel (MS student) was awarded a $600 grant from the Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research program for her research "A historical survey of the chemical ecology of great blue herons (Ardea herodias) in the northeastern United States." 4/2013.
Stephanie Smith (MPS student) received a Rosen Fellowship that will grant her the opportunity to conduct a medical ethnobotany study in Panama. Specifically Stephanie will be conducting research with women from the Ngobe and the Guna tribes of Panama, exploring indigenous health systems from a female perspective in an attempt to conserve and preserve local customs, while transcending gender bias in research. 4/2013.
Michelle Avis (MS student) was awarded the Frances M. Peacock Scholarship from the Garden Club of America for her proposal, “Automated Telemetry for Tracking Breeding Piping Plovers.” 4/2013.
- Derek Crane (PhD student) received notification from the Niagara Greenway Ecological Standing Committee that his proposal, “Quantifying relationships between fish assemblages and nearshore habitat characteristics of the Niagara River,” co-written with EFB Adjunct Faculty Dr. Kevin Kapuscinski, will be funded for $801,436. 3/2013.
- Patrick Raney (PhD student) received a $1200 award from the A.V. Stout Fund administered by The Norcross Wildlife Foundation. This award is to be used to help support the portion of Patrick’s dissertation research that is examining stands of balsam fir and eastern white pine in fens relative to climate change. 3/2013.
- Elaina Burns (MS student) was recently awarded $5000 for her research on translocating otters in the Finger Lakes region, through SUNY Potsdam’s Walker Fellowship Program. 3/2013.
- Silvia Saldivar Bellassai (MS student) received a conservation grant ($1000) from the Sequoia Park Zoo in support of her upcoming field research on the Chacoan peccary in Paraguay. 3/2013.
- Michelle Avis (MS student) was awarded a $1,500 equipment grant for her proposal “Automated Telemetry for Tracking Piping Plover Movements” from The Goldenrod Foundation, a conservation nonprofit in Massachusetts. 2/2013.
- Eric Bauer (MS student) was awarded an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($300) to participate in the ASP Conference, being held June 2013, in Quebec, Canada. 2/2013.
- Andrew Brainard (PhD student) was awarded an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($400) to participate in the ESA Conference, being held August 2013, in Minneapolis, MN. 2/2013.
- Elaina Burns (MS student) received an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($250) to participate in the NFW Conference, being held April 2013, in Saratoga Springs, NY. 2/2013.
- Anna Calderon (MS student) received an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($400) to participate in the EOAW Workshop, being held April 2013, in Front Royal, VA. 2/2013.
- Derek Crane (PhD student) received an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($400) to participate in the AFS Conference, being held September 2013, in Little Rock, AR. 2/2013.
- Maureen Durkin (MS student) was awarded an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($500) to participate in the WS Conference, being held September 2013, in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. 2/2013.
- Will Helenbrook (PhD student) was awarded an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($300) to participate in the ASP Conference, being held in June in Quebec, Canada. 2/2013.
- Emily Ogburn (MS student) received an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($300) to participate in the ASP Conference, being held in June in Quebec, Canada. 2/2013.
- Silvia Saldivar (MS student) was awarded an ESF Graduate Student Travel Grant ($500) to participate in the DPM-BCP Conference, being held in August in Asuncion, Paraguay. 2/2013.
- Chris Foelker (PhD student) received a Fall 2013 GSA Travel Grant award. 2/2013.
- Shannon Buckley (MS student) received a Fall 2013 GSA Travel Grant award. 2/2013.
- Juan Carlos Alvarez (Ph.D. student) received an all expense paid invititation to a three day workshop entitled "Next Generation of Sonoran Desert Research" to be held at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson this April 18-20. The purpose of the workshop is to develop collaborativ relatioships among scientists, especially young investigators, working in the Sonora region. 2/2012.
- Geof Eckerlin (Ph.D. student) and Christina Killouhy (MS student) recieved recognition at the annual NYS American Fisheries Society Meeting in Lake Placid last week. Geof was invited to speak and sat on a panal American bass experts and sat on a panal with three top North American bass experts. Christina won the Best Student Paper Award for her presentation "Does nest site selection and habitat affinity mediate egg predation risk for sympatric sunfishes?". 2/2012.
- Kevin Kapuscinski (post-doc) and Derek Crane (Ph.D student) were awarded a grant for $519,246 to study fish habitat restoration in the Buffalo Harbor and Niagara River. Funding is from the Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Fund associated with the Niagra Power Project relicensing. 2/2012.
- Patrick Raney (Ph.D. student) received one of the professional inhancement awards ($700) supported by NASA and Michagan State University to assist him in attending the Annual Symposium of the US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology in Newport, Rhode Island from April 8-12, 2012. Patrick will present "Deployment Considerations for Micrologger Networks in Regions of High Topographic Complexity: Insights from Northeastern and Southern Appalachian Mountains" (J. Fridley and D. Leoplod, co-authors). 2/2012.
- Anna Stewart (PhD student) was awarded an Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship ($1000 award) based on her outstanding achievements, commitment to extracurricular activities, and outstanding character.
- Marvin Montefrio (PhD student) was awarded an Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship ($1000 award) based on his outstanding achievements, commitment to extracurricular activities, and outstanding character.
Jacob Gillette (PhD student) was awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Improvement Grant for $15,000 to help him finish his dissertation research. Congratulations to Jake for earning this significant recognition. 3/2011.
Sara Hansen (MS student) was awarded the "Outstanding Graduate Student" award by the New York chapter of The Wildlife Society at their annual meeting. Sara's research focuses on producing a statewide population estimate for coyotes in New York State using a combination of vocalization surveys and distance sampling. 3/2011.
Joie Matillano (MS student) received a grant from the Rufford Small Grants Foundation to support his studies on freshwater fishes of Palawan in the Phillipines. He will receive $9,486 to help wrap up his thesis research, Biodiversity of Cyprinid Fishes of Northern Palawan. 1/2011.
Chengjun Zhu (PhD student) tied for second place in the recent Eastman Chemical Company award competition. Chengjun received an award of $750. 11/2010.
Anna Stewart (PhD student) was selected as one of the International Center of Syracuse’s CNY International Citizen Award Honorees of 2010. Anna is being recognized with the International Student Leadership Award for her outstanding leadership as an exemplary citizen diplomat.
- Joie Matillano (MS student) received an award at the Student Conference on Conservation Science held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for being among the best talks. His talk was entitled "Conservation Status of Cyprinids from Palawan Philippines”. Given that acceptance into the meeting was quite competitive and that the meeting involved a large and talented pool of graduate students, recent post-doctoral fellows, as well as early-career professionals, that our M.S. students received these honors is quite significant. 11/2010.
- Meredith Atwood (MS student) received an award at the Student Conference on Conservation Science held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for being among the best posters for her poster: “Bottom-Up Influences on Vernal Pools and Anuran Development.” Given that acceptance into the meeting was quite competitive and that the meeting involved a large and talented pool of graduate students, recent post-doctoral fellows, as well as early-career professionals, that our M.S. students received these honors is quite significant. 11/2010.
- Jonathan Cale (MS student) was awarded 3rd place at the recent annual Society of American Foresters Student Poster Contest in Albuquerque, NM. Congratulations to Jonathan and his co-authors. The poster title was: “Beech thickets impact northern hardwood forest biodiversity.” Jon's poster will be printed in the Journal of Forestry. 11/2010.
- Caitlin Snyder (MS student) was awarded a 2010 Walker Fellowship from SUNY Potsdam's Center for Lifelong Education and Recreation for her proposal "Nonnative earthworm impacts on woodland salamanders and their native prey: Implications for Adirondack forest health". The award enables Cait to acquire a specialized digital microscope and equipment to compare the invertebrates eaten by salamanders using a non-harmful diet sampling technique called lavage. 10/2010
- Caitlin Snyder (MS student) received a Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant from the American Museum of Natural History (a fitting connection to ESF). Cait will use the grant to study the influence of a calcium gradient on the diet, habitat, and abundance of woodland salamanders. 10/2010
- Kevin Jablonski (MS student) published a paper in the December 2010 issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology titled "A Digital Spot-mapping Method for Avian Field Studies." Kevin completed the manuscript during his graduate program studying Adirondack boreal bird and habitat associations with coauthors Stacy McNulty of EFB and Matthew Schlesinger of the New York Natural Heritage Program. 09/2010
- Daniel Gurdak (Ph.D. student) has been awarded a National Geographic Society Young Explorers grant for $5,000 to support a portion of his dissertation research "Nesting habit of Arapaima in the Amazonian floodplains of the Santarem region of Brazil." 09/2010.
- Jason Townsend (Ph.D. student) won best student oral presentation at the Association of Field Ornithologists Annual Meeting. The title of his presentation was "Catharus thrushes as bioindicators of mercury hotpots: from the Catskills to the Caribbean." 08/2010.
- Lauren Goldmann (PhD student) was the presentor of one of the 18 winning posters (out of 1142) at the International Mycological Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. The poster was entitled "Position specificity of Laboulbeniales: a molecular approach to resolution of a century old debate." 08/2010.
- Yazmin Rivera (Ph.D. student) was recently awarded a tuition scholarship and stipend to attend a workshop on population genetics at the University of Washington. The workshop will give her additional tools to conduct her research on the population genetics of fungi.
- Meredith Atwood (MS student) recently received two awards: a research grant ($1,000) from the Society of Wetland Scientists for her work, "Evaluating the influence of leaf litter and soil type on vernal pool trophic systems and larval wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) development" and a scholarship ($750) from the Central New York Air and Waste Management Association, based on demonstrated commitment to the environment, involvement, and academics.
- Jason Townsend (Ph.D. student) was selected to receive the Lynds Jones Award for best poster presentation at the Wilson Ornithological Society’s recent annual meeting. Jason’s presentation was titled: "Mercury bioaccumulation in Catharus thrushes along an elevational gradient."
- Chengjun Zhu (MS graduate student) was recently awarded a travel grant by the American Society of Microbiology to attend the Society’s national meeting in San Diego, CA. The award was based on the quality and caliber of a submitted abstract.
- Katie Haase (Brian Underwood, MP) has been awarded a "newcomers" travel grant to the North American Moose conference in Int'l Falls, Minnesota in June. Katie will be presenting her thesis work and will have a paper (with Brian) published in Alces, the journal for the society. The manuscript was part of the application process, so with some tweaking, she'll have her first paper published before she receives a copy of her bound thesis, a rare accomplishment for a MS student in our program.
- Brooke Reeve (Ph.D. student) was recently notified that her proposal to Sigmi Xi's Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been funded to support her graduate research. Only about 20% of proposals submitted were funded.
- Anna Stewart (Ph.D. student) was recently notified that her proposal to Sigmi Xi's Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been funded to support her graduate research. Only about 20% of proposals submitted were funded.
- Anna Stewart (Ph.D. student) has just received a Fulbright llE Fellowship for this coming academic year. This fellowship will provide Anna with full funding for 10 months of work in Ecuador. Congratulations to Anna for receiving this national recognition.
- Juan Carlos Alvarez Yepiz (Ph.D. student) awarded PLACA (Program on Latin America and the Caribbean) Summer Research Grants. Juan Carlos will use this grant to include stable isotope techniques in his dissertation research on ecology and conservation of a rare cycad species, Dioon sonorense, in Mexico.
- Anna Stewart (Ph.D. student) was awarded PLACA (Program on Latin America and the Caribbean) Summer Reseasrch Grants. Funding to Anna will assist her dissertation research in Ecuador.
- Patrick Raney (Ph.D. student) has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the National Geographic Society's Young Explorers program in support of his dissertation research "Climatic buffering in temperate zone fens, implications for climate change."
- Patrick Eager (M.S. student) has been awarded second place in the Phylogenetics I Division (Student Competition for the President's Prize) at the annual Entomological Society of America meeting held in November 2009 in Indianapolis for his oral presentation "Investigating the Sirex noctilio parasitoid complex in New York State."
- Kathleen Pitcher (M.S. student) won the best poster award at this year’s Mycological Society of America annual meeting (2009) in Snowbird, Utah, for her work on the population structure of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus spraguei.
- Jake Wickham (Ph.D. student) has been awarded a NSF International Research Fellowship in the amount of $200,000 to support his continued research in China. The award is for two years, effective January 1, 2010.
- Anna Stewart (Ph.D. student) has received one of the two American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Emerging Public Policy Leader Awards. Anna was chosen for her past accomplishments, dissertation and professional goals, and promise for continued leadership at the interface of science and public policy.
- More Graduate Awards & News