Newsletter 2016-1 August 25, 2016

Honors, Awards, Passages

Anusha Shankar won a Lewis and Clark award to support her research. Marisa Lim received the American Society of Naturalist Student Research Award. Marisa  was also awarded an NSF Dissertation award entitled "Molecular basis of hummingbird distributions in the high Andes." Katie Martin has been awarded a Tinker grant to work on sea turtle conservation in Brazil. 

Alyssa LiguoriNicole Bender , and Alex Borowicz have been awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Alyssa has also been awarded a research grant from the Crustacean Society. 

Casey Youngflesh was awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, which will support his research for up to three years.

Gena Sbeglia has been awarded a Sigma Xi travel grant by the SBU Sigma Xi Chapter. Catherine Foley was awarded an Exploration Fund Mamont Scholars Award from the Explorers Club to study mesopredator abundances at South Georgia Island. Nicole Bender won the 2016 Graduate Student Postdoc Photo Contest and Daniel Bender was a runner-up. Ben Weinstein was recognized for a best student talk at the International Statistical Ecology Meeting last week in Seattle for his paper "Bringing Hierarchical Models to Species Interaction Networks."
Emily McDermott, a researcher in the Rest Lab was named an Intel Semifinalist.
Dan Stobel, E&E Ph.D. working under Dan Dykhuizen has been promoted at Harvey Mudd College to the rank of tenure and associated professor. J. Matt Hoch, E&E Ph.D. working under Jeff Levinton, has been similarly promoted at Nova Southeastern University. J. Matt's recent work on adjustment of penis and cirri lengths in barnacles has been  getting some press attention. 

Fabrizio Spagnolo, student of Dan Dykhuizen, has accepted an offer from Columbia University as a Teaching Postdoc. Abby Cahill, student of Jeff Levinton has accepted an assistant professorship at Albion College in Michigan. Patrick Lyons, student of Jeff Levinton, has accepted an assistant professor position at Los Angeles Valley College. 

Joe LaChance, student of John True, has taken an assistant professor position at Georgia Tech last fall.   Jon Borelli, who has just defended and was a student of Lev Ginzburg,  will begin a postdoc at The University of Virginia working with Martin Wu on stability of microbial ecosystems. Ben Weinstein, a student of Catherine Graham, is now a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon State working with Ari Friedlaender, analyzing behavior and foraging of antarctic whales.
Liliana Davalos was recognized for her teaching excellence by the College of Arts and Sciences in a ceremony held this past semester. 
Liliana Davalos, honored for teaching excellence

Catherine Graham was listed by Reuters Thompson as one of the most highly cited and influential researchers of 2015. 
Lev Ginzburg retired last August and a celebratory  party and symposium was held in his honor last December. Chris Jensen has a fantastic writeup of the even at this link: 

Doug Futuyma is now retired, sort of. He is still active as ever and will be teaching his renowned courses in the next few years.

Darwin Day, Past and Future

Stony Brook has been celebrating Darwin Day for many years now, since 2005, in conjunction with a loose international consortium. We have had a wide range of speakers. Most memorable was our presentation of Randy Olson's film 
on intelligent design, Flock of Dodos , which attracted an audience of 500 and 100 were turned away! We have also had great speakers such as Stephen Stearns, Mark Pagel, Mark Norell, and John J. Shea. Last February, Davi d Jablonski of the University of Chicago spoke to a large audience about his pioneering work on the occurrence and effects of mass extinctions. You can learn about this wonderful visit by seeing his  Science on Tap Interview , coordinated by Stony Brook's Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.

David Jablonski with student.

Hopi Hoekstra of Harvard University will be our Darwin Day speaker for February 10, 2017. Hoekstra, a member of the National Academy of Science, is renowned for her work on natural selection in the wild and connecting the power of selection to molecular and genetic mechanisms. 

Hopi Hoekstra, Darwin Day Speaker at Stony Brook 2017

We Have Lost Dave MacCauley
I am sad to report that Dave McCauley, after being diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma in 2014, died this last October. He was 65. Dave was one of the first waves of graduate students to enter the E&E Program in 1972 and received his Ph.D. degree in 1976. 

Dave worked with Bob Sokal on Tribolium population dynamics, and was the last student to run the flour beetle lab. This was followed as with a postdoc with Mike Wade at the University of Chicago from 1976 to 1979, and in 1999 he moved on to the University of Virginia as a teaching postdoc. In 1980, he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University, where he was a Professor for 35 years. 

Dave's primary research interest was the demographic and genetic consequences of metapopulation structure, and this moved him along with coworkers through an eclectic set of animal and plant species. In the early 1980s, he moved from Tribolium (he developed the inevitable allergy to the flower beetle - a bottle of nose spay always at his side) to the milkweed beetle, Tetraopes, which he studied until the early 1990s. In the 1990s, he jumped largely to plants and studied the effects of population colonization and extinction on sex-ratio evolution in the genus Silene.  

Much of his research was carried out during his summers at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia, where he was fixture for three decades.  

Dave was born in 1950 in Baltimore, or "Ballmore" as Dave would say, playing his best Baltimore accent. He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 1972. Dave was one of several graduate students, including me, Bruce Riska, Dave Schneider, Pat Gaffney and Chris Simon, that shared a house and graduate student angst during this early experimental period in the department and university. Over the years, Dave would regularly stop my house during his visits to Long Island and to visit his mother in New Jersey. He found the university unrecognizable from that early period. Dave still had his dry sense of humor about everything. As many knew, he was an avid fisherman and always took advantage of any opportunities in each Long Island trip, and report on his latest fishing successes. I last saw him about 15 years ago when he and Pat, met Aimee and I for dinner in Roslyn. Dave married former Stony Brook class of 1975 undergraduate, Pat LoBalbo, and is survived in Nashville by Pat and his children, Michelle and Joe.

Walt Eanes
Alumni and friends we hope you remember how important an early financial boost was in your graduate research. 
Please  donatedonate to the Lawrence Slobodkin Fund for Ecological Research.
Give to the George Williams Fund for Student Research. Donate Now
Give to Ecology and Evolution Award for Student Excellence. Donate Now

How much? Suggested donations. Full professors: >= $200, Associate Professors: >= $100, Assistant Professors and Postdocs: >= $50 Please get used to giving annually. We need your help. Thanks so much!!

Contacts: Chair Bob Thacker, Graduate Program Director Stephen Baines, or
the Newsletter Editor, Jeff Levinton