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Working Group

Member Biographies

Michael Allen, University of California, Riverside
Michael F. Allen is Director of the Center for Conservation Biology and Professor of Plant Pathology and Biology at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on the structure-functional relationships of a ubiquitous symbiosis between plants and fungi known as a mycorrhiza. His studies have ranged from biochemical and molecular biology to global change. He has published 3 books and over 120 refereed papers on mycorrhizae and ecosystem dynamics. During his career, he has also served as a program officer at NSF (LTER, CRB, Ecosystems) and has served on advisory panels for NSF, DOE, EPA, and USDA. Since arriving at UCR, he works with local and regional agencies to help evaluate multiple species plans for protection of biodiversity. He evaluated conservation and restoration issues while working with agencies as part of the CENR process and in the working group on ecosystem management. Since initiating the Center, he has studied the theoretical as well as practical difficulties of the biodiversity protection process. In cooperation with local governments and regional agencies, the center has developed projects specifically focused at the interface of research science and policy. A major need is to develop means for monitoring and adaptive management of many endangered species while simultaneously incorporating impacts of environmental change. This requires fundamental research.

Deborah Estrin, University of California, Los Angeles
Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at UCLA and is Director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS). She received her Ph.D. (1985) in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her M.S. (1982) from M.I.T. and her B.S. (1980) from U.C. Berkeley. From 1986 through the middle of 2000, she was a member of the University of Southern California Computer Science Department. She is also a member of the Computer Networks Division at the USC Information Sciences Institute. In 1987, Professor Estrin received the National Science Foundation, Presidential Young Investigator Award for her research in network interconnection and security. More recently, Professor Estrin has been collaborating with her colleagues and students at UCLA and USC/ISI to develop protocols and systems architectures needed to realize rapidly-deployable and robustly-operating networks of many thousands of physically-embedded devices, e.g., sensor networks. She is particularly interested in the application of spatially and temporally dense embedded sensors to environmental monitoring. Professor Estrin is a co-PI on several DARPA and NSF funded projects. She is a fellow in the ACM and AAAS and a senior member of the IEEE. She has served on several panels for the NSF, National Academy of Sciences/NRC, DARPA, and Office of Technology Assessment, and she is currently chairing an NRC study on Networked Embedded Computing.

Madilyn Fletcher, University of South Carolina
Dr. Fletcher is currently Director of the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research at the University of South Carolina and a Professor of Biological and Marine Sciences. The Baruch Institute develops and conducts programs in multidisciplinary research on coastal, estuarine, and marine systems. The Institute also operates a coastal/estuarine field laboratory, which is also headquarters for the North Inlet/Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) and the Centralized Data Management Office for the national NERR system. She is PI for the Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing System (Caro-COOPS), a new initiative with partners North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and for Cast-Net, a multi-institutional program focused on development of tools to facilitate documentation, integration, and sharing of data from laboratories in the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories (SAML). She has served as President of SAML (1997 - 1998), and is currently President of the National Association of Marine Laboratories. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board on Oceans and Atmosphere and on the Board of Natural Resources of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC). She represents the South Carolina Consortium on the Board of Governors of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE).

Scott L. Gardner, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Scott L. Gardner is Professor, Curator, and Director of the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His studies of zoogeography, coevolution, and taxonomy of parasites and mammals have taken him to the field throughout the western United States, northern and western Mexico, South Africa, Mongolia, and Bolivia. Primarily interested the biodiversity of cestodes and their mammalian hosts, he also studies the ubiquitous though largely unstudied nematodes (Phylum, Nemata). Scott is leading the online parasite database project, Worm-Web, where the Harold W. Manter Laboratory collection data will soon have geo-reference information available for all specimens in the database. Scott is a consultant to the Journal of Parasitology, on the editorial board of Comparative Parasitology, and has courtesy appointments in the Department of Mammalogy, The American Museum of Natural History, and the Division of Mammals, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico. He works closely with colleagues at local, national, and international levels.

Rebecca Gast, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Rebecca J. Gast received her B.S. in 1987 in Microbiology, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics in 1994, both from the Ohio State University. For her thesis, she worked with Dr. Thomas Byers studying the molecular phylogeny and in situ detection of acanthamoebae. After graduation, she accepted a Postdoctoral Scholar position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with Dr. David Caron, where her research interests evolved to include studies of protistan diversity in the marine environment (including extreme environments) and studies on the genetic basis/controls of photosymbiotic associations in planktonic sarcodines. She became a member of the scientific staff at WHOI in 1997. She has been an active member of the Society of Protozoologists since she was a graduate student. In addition to being a member of the Editorial board for the Society's journal, she was the chair of the program committee for the Society's 2002 meeting, served as the chair of the Nominating committee in 1999, and is a member of the Education committee. She has also participated in writing features on protists for the online education web resource Fathom ( and in a hands-on enhancement workshop for secondary school teachers called "Living in the Microbial World" (sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology program).

Jeffrey Goldman, American Institute of Biological Sciences
Jeffrey Goldman has been the IBRCS Project Manager for AIBS since its inception in August 2002. Jeff came to AIBS from Duke University after obtaining a PhD in Biology. At Duke, he explored his interests in the mechanical interactions that occur between organisms and the fluids that surround them by considering, among other things, the how the reciprocal flicking of olfactory antennules facilitates capture of odor molecules by lobsters and how the various fluid forces faced by some aquatic animals evolve when they leap out of water. Jeff was Assistant Director of the Research Fellows Program, an effort to provide Duke undergraduates with a structured summer research experience, and helped to lead the effort at Duke to create a graduate certificate in Teaching College Biology, another program for which he served as Assistant Director. From 1999-2001, Jeff was a member of the Arts and Sciences Committee on Computing and the Executive Committee of the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

Mark Hay, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Hay received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from U.C. Irvine, was a professor in Biology, Marine Sciences, and Ecology at UNC-Chapel Hill, and recently moved to Georgia Tech as the Teasley Professor of Environmental Sciences. He is an experimental community ecologist focusing on processes and interactions affecting the structure and evolution of marine systems and on chemically-mediated interactions in marine versus terrestrial versus freshwater ecosystems. He was co-chair of NSF's "Ocean Ecology: Understanding and Vision for Research" effort to identify challenges and opportunities for coming decades, and was appointed to NSF's Decadal Planning Committee for the Ocean Sciences (to determine cross-cutting issues among biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography). He served on the boards of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and the International Society of Chemical Ecology, the editorial boards for Ecology and Ecological Monographs, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Chemoecology, and other journals, and on various panels or boards for NSF, NOAA, NRC, the Max Planck Society, National Coral Reef Institute, and Sigma Xi. He is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and leads an NSF funded IGERT program on chemical signaling in aquatic systems - this program melds aspects of ecology, chemistry, sensory biology, and hydrodynamics.

Kent Holsinger (Chair), University of Connecticut
Kent Holsinger is Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut. His research is in the fields of plant evolutionary biology, population genetics, and conservation biology. For almost twenty years his models of plant mating systems have played an important role in guiding empirical investigations. For example, his work re-emphasized that interactions between plants and pollinators play a critical role in determining when self-fertilization is evolutionarily advantageous. Similarly, his recent work in population genetics applies sophisticated and computationally intensive hierarchical Bayesian models to provide estimates and new insight into evolutionary processes in plants and animals. His work in conservation biology ranges from critical assessments of the role of genetics in conservation planning and assessment to demographic analysis of small populations. Since 2001 he has chaired the Board of Directors of BioOne, a non-profit corporation that aggregates high-impact biology research journals, and served for ten years on the Board of Directors for The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Chapter (1992-1996, member; 1996-2002, Vice-Chair). He is a member of the AIBS Board of Directors (1997-1998; 2002-present) and past chair of its Public Policy Review Committee (2001-2002).

K. Bruce Jones, US Environmental Protection Agency
Bruce Jones is the Chief of the Landscape Ecology Branch in the EPA Laboratory in Las Vegas, NV. Bruce is involved in landscape ecology research projects in the US, northern Mexico, Russia, and Australia. Bruce has been at EPA for 14 years. Prior to working with the EPA, Bruce worked in the Endangered Species Office in Washington, D.C., working on endangered species status reviews and listings within the U.S. and abroad. Bruce received his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada in Environmental Biology. He has conducted extensive research in the fields of landscape ecology, biogeography, molecular evolution, and herpetology, and has over 75 publications.

Janet Keough, US Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Janet Keough serves as the Acting Director for the Midcontinent Ecology Division of the U. S. EPA's National Health Effects and Environmental Research Laboratory. The Division's research program serves the needs of the Agency and its state and tribal partners by advancing the science of assessing the risks of pollutants to aquatic life and wildlife, diagnosing causes of impairment, and forecasting the ecological responses of large receiving water bodies to chemical and non-chemical stressors. Of interest to the AIBS Working Group, the Division conducts research for the EPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), that develops monitoring approaches at the regional and national level. Dr. Keough is an ecologist who has conducted research and published on coastal wetlands and food webs. Prior to EPA, she worked for the U. S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, where she led ecosystem research on the Chesapeake Bay. In the past for USGS, she conducted research on aquatic systems of prairie potholes in the Dakotas, intermountain wetlands in Idaho, and bottomland wetlands of the Mississippi delta region. Dr. Keough recently ended a term as President of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Dr. Keough received her MA from Western Michigan University and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

Micah Krichevsky, Bionomics International
Micah I. Krichevsky received a BA from University of Connecticut in 1952, an M.S. in 1955 and Ph.D. in 1958 from University of Illinois. At NIH (1958-1992) his research included computer and instrument methodology; physiology and metabolism of bacteria. He developed a standardized microbiological data coding system and Microbial Information System (Micro-IS) (ongoing). Using these methods, he collaborated with FDA on toxic shock syndrome data, Salmonella food contamination, and diversity of antibiotic resistance in meat animal bacteria. Other collaborations included analyzing EPA data for regulatory process of Toxic Substances Control Act, taxonomic diversity of mycobacteria for the IWGMT, vibrios from Indonesian waters, and ecology and taxonomy of oil-degrading microbes. He developed databases on hybridomas, microbial collections, environmental GMO release, and leishmaniasis. In 1992, he established Bionomics International, a biological information NGO. He taught in workshops, world wide, on risk assessment of gmos release, computers in microbiology and biosafety. Current projects include a website on Biosafety and Risk Assessment, "Cooperative Double Blind Study of Pseudomonads and Related Organisms", and "Data Visualization for Microbial Risk Assessment". Member, US National Committee for Diversitas. President, US Federation for Culture Collections.

Yiqi Luo, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Yiqi Luo is a Professor of Ecology at the University of Oklahoma with expertise in systems analysis and data-model integration. His current research focuses on development and testing of predictive models at scales from plant to globe, aiming at understanding biogeochemical interactions in forests and grasslands. Dr. Luo is a leading scientist on data-model integration in ecology using inverse analysis, mathematical and simulation modeling, and statistical approaches. He is also involved in experimental studies using large-scale infrastructures, including the Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) facility in Duke Forest and Ecologically Controlled Enclosed Lysimeter Laboratory (EcoCELL) at Desert Research Institute, Nevada. He has written/edited four books, contributed nine book chapters/encyclopedia essays, and published nearly 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Luo has led an international working group to examine progressive nitrogen limitation in a high CO2 world (2000-03). He has also served on the West Regional Scientific Board of National Institute of Global Environmental Change (2002), the Steering Committee for the International Global Warming and Elevated CO2 Research Consortium (2000-05), the Science Core Team for the Lake Tahoe Basin Watershed Assessment (1998-99). He was elected to be Chair of the Asian Ecology Section, Ecological Society of America (2000-01).

Mary McKenna, Howard University
Mary McKenna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Howard University. She received a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from SUNY Stony Brook in 1987 under the direction of James Thomson, Doug Futyuma and Barbara Bentley. Her primary research has been in the areas of plant reproductive ecology and pollen competition (with David Mulcahy), global change effects on alpine plants, and the ecology of nickel-hyperaccumulator plants (with Rufus Chaney). At Howard University she directed an NSF-funded program ("Growing Our Own") to support and develop plant science research through installation of a controlled environment growth facility and student mentoring programs. She served as a research liaison between the US Forest Service and Howard University, and received Forest Service funding to run a series of extensive field ecology courses for Howard University students in the Snowy Range of Wyoming. She is currently serving a second term on the Board of Directors of AIBS. and she is Chair of the AIBS Human Resources committee. In 2001, she initiated the AIBS Diversity Scholars Program, a program designed to attract and facilitate minority student participation in the annual AIBS meeting. She represents the Ecological Society of America on the AIBS Council and has served as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Ecological Society of America, and as Activities Chair of the Southeastern Chapter of the Botanical Society of America.

William Michener, University of New Mexico
William Michener is Associate Director of the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico. His research interests include: application of scientific data and information technologies to ecology and natural resource management; ecology of natural and anthropogenic disturbances; and environmental change detection. He is Project Director for the Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge and the Resource Discovery Initiative for Field Stations, two NSF research projects developed by the Partnership for Biodiversity Informatics--an organization devoted to enhancing the national and global capacity for observing, studying and understanding environmental complexity through information technology. He has authored more than 70 journal articles and book chapters, as well as four books related to ecological informatics. He is currently Editor of Ecological Archives and has served on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Biological Data Working Group and the Inter-Agency Biodiversity and Ecosystem Informatics Working Group. He served as Program Director at NSF (Ecology, Biocomplexity) from 1999-2000 where he was involved in early NEON planning efforts. He has served on advisory panels for DOE, EPA, NSF, and USGS and has organized and conducted numerous training programs in ecological informatics for the international scientific community.

Eric Nagy, University of Virginia
Eric Nagy is President of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) and Associate Director of Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS, University of Virginia). He has a Ph.D. in Population Biology from the University of California, Davis. Eric has been very active in OBFS for over 6 years and has held two elected offices. He is also the AIBS Council Representative. He has a long-standing interest in efforts like NEON and is active in promoting networking and cooperation among OBFS member stations. In recent years, OBFS supported efforts have made great advances in field station networking, integration, data sharing, and standardization of data formats and platforms. Many OBFS member stations are primed and ready to join NEON, or "NEON-like," projects and initiatives. OBFS is keenly aware that a global network of stations is in the very near future, and it is eager to bring its collective "on the ground" experience and expertise to the continental and global communities. At MLBS, Eric coordinates all research activities, manages the instrument and database infrastructure, and oversees facilities projects and long-range planning. Eric is a field biologist in plant ecological genetics. His research focuses on the evolution of natural hybrid populations.

Raymond O'Connor, University of Maine
Raymond O'Connor is a professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Maine. He holds degrees in physics and in zoology, and held academic positions in Britain prior to becoming Director of the British Trust for Ornithology (a major British NGO) from 1978 to 1987. His research expertise spans laboratory and site-specific studies in marine ecology and avian physiology through continental-scale modeling and large database analysis of biodiversity and of pesticide effects. His 150-plus publications include the book Farming and Birds in 1986 and a forth-coming book The Practice of Ecology. He has worked extensively on pesticide regulation, including a year as NRC Senior Research Fellow in the USEPA Corvallis Laboratory and work for Environment Canada. He has participated in numerous technical working groups on ecological topics, including the Blandy Farm NEON [BON] Planning Workshop: examples include GMOs (Pew Initiative), forest sustainability (Meridien Institute Round Table), critical habitat (USFWS), and ESA Recovery Plans Analysis (NCEAS). He chaired the Peer Review of the Breeding Bird Survey in 2000. He is currently on the Editorial Board of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. He is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Biology, an Elective Member of the AOU, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001-02.

Richard O'Grady, American Institute of Biological Sciences
Richard T. O'Grady holds degrees in zoology from McGill University, Montreal, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Ph.D., 1987). The author of numerous scientific papers and text-book chapters in systematics, evolutionary biology, and parasitology, he has received research awards from U.S. and Canadian government agencies. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, he worked in scientific publishing, first as Science Editor for Johns Hopkins University Press, then as Vice-President for Science Publications with Taylor and Francis. In 1997 he became the Executive Director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, a non-profit scientific organization in Washington DC with a membership of approximately 6,000 biologists and 80 professional societies and other scholarly organizations whose combined membership exceeds 240,000 biologists. He heads the Institute's mission of engaging in coalition activities with its members in research, education, public policy, and public outreach programs; publishing the peer-reviewed journal, BioScience; providing scientific peer review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients; convening scientific conferences; and providing administrative and operational services for member societies and organizations.

Louis Pitelka, University of Maryland
Louis Pitelka is the Director of the Appalachian Laboratory, a research laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Research at the Appalachian Laboratory covers terrestrial and freshwater ecology with an emphasis on landscape and watershed ecology. Dr. Pitelka received a B.S. in zoology from the University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University. Before moving to the University of Maryland in 1996, he held positions at Bates College, the National Science Foundation, and the Electric Power Research Institute. Dr. Pitelka recently completed a six-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Applications, and serves on the editorial board of Oecologia. He has served on numerous planning, coordinating, and review committees for both national and international organizations, including NSF, DOE, EPA, USFS, International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He currently is the Chair of the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems project of the IGBP, is a member of the Design Committee for The State of the Nation's Ecosystems, a project of the H. John Heinz Center, and serves on the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee. He is President-elect of the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers.

Rob Striegl, US Geological Survey
Rob Striegl is a project leader with the National Research Program, Water Resources Discipline, United States Geological Survey. His research group investigates processes that control the production, consumption and transport of carbon dioxide and methane in soils, lakes and wetlands; measures the transfer of carbon gases between land and water surfaces and the atmosphere, and estimates carbon dioxide and methane fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere at a variety of scales. Dr. Striegl generally conducts his research at established national and international long-term environmental research sites, including sites that are participants in the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, the USGS Water Energy and Biogeochemical Budgets, and the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology programs. He is a past associate editor for Water Resources Research, the current research advisor for the Ecology research discipline of USGS WRD, and is a lead investigator of the 5-year USGS study of carbon cycling in the Yukon basin. Dr. Striegl received his M.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and his Ph.D. in Oceanography and Limnology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Hillary Swain, Archbold Biological Station
Dr. Hilary Swain is the Executive Director of Archbold Biological Station, a nonprofit research facility which conducts ecological research on its 8,841-acre scrub preserve on the Lake Wales Ridge, and at its 10,300 acre working cattle ranch, the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center in Florida. Her research interests are in the application of conservation biology to reserve design and management. She is a member of the Acquisition and Restoration Council, which oversees Florida's $3 billion land acquisition program and management of state lands. As Past President of the Organization of Biological Field Station OBFS (1999-2001) Hilary has a good understanding field stations and their role in a network of biological observatory systems, and she has been instrumental in OBFS data management initiatives. She has a broad knowledge of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network and recently served on NSF's 20-year LTER review panel. She has been heavily involved in planning for NEON; she organized the first NEON planning workshop at Archbold in Jan 2000, attended the third workshop at the Santa Fe Institute, and was among 7 scientists who visited the OMB in 2001 to argue for inclusion of NEON in the President's budget. Hilary is also well known to AIBS; she served as a Council Representative and on the Board of Directors from 1997-2000.

The AIBS/IBRCS Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. All Content (c) AIBS, 2000-2004