2016-2017 Fellows

Xavier Haro-Carrión

Xavier Haro-Carrión is a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is a land-change simg_0945cientist interested in evaluating changes in vegetation at different temporal and spatial scales using remote sensing techniques. He is working under the direction of Dr. Jane Southworth at the Land Use & Environmental Change Institute (LUECI). At a regional spatial scale he is investigating changes in vegetation greenness in continental Ecuador between 1982-2010. At a local spatial scale he is evaluating land-cover in a landscape of ~14,900 ha in coastal Ecuador considered part of the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena biodiversity hot-spot. At UFBI, he will integrate the remotely sensed land-cover change analyses conducted in his study area in coastal Ecuador with previously collected tree-diversity inventories across major land-cover types.  He is interested in evaluating the impacts of land-cover change and fragmentation on components of tree diversity – e.g. functional groups, endemics, endangered species, etc.

E-mail: gxharocarrion@ufl.edu



Joan Meiners 


Joan Meiners is an Interdisciplinary Ecology PhD student in the Ernest lab at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on understanding the biodiversity and distribution patterns, community ecology, and foraging dynamics of 462 species of native bees in a protected California ecosystem, and how these factors contribute to the stability or decline of this incredible biodiversity. She completed her Master’s degree on similar topics in 2015 at Utah State University in collaboration with the USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, for which she hiked the rock ridgelines of Pinnacles National Park, CA to collect data on over 52,000 wild bees.

In Joan’s free time, she is an avid cyclist, enjoys backpacking, skiing, and exploring, and one time she helped build an awesome bee hotel in her backyard to increase native bee habitat and health by means quicker than research. She blogs about bees at www.sixlegsonecorolla.wordpress.com, and about community ecology at https://portalproject.wordpress.com/.


E-mail: joan.meiners@gmail.com



John Park


John is a a second year Ph D. Student in department of Biology. Under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Lichstein, he studies how seasonal changes in vegetation (phenology) can be linked to understanding and predicting global ecosystem changes.

Specifically, he is currently working on quantifying canopy tropical leaf and reproductive canopy tree phenology, using near-surface remote sensing techniques, in BCI, Panama.

John’s main interests involve various topics, such as uncovering the biotic and abiotic factors of inter-specific and intra-specific phenology variations, using heterogeneous datasets to predict future phenology events under global change, and understanding the plant phenology linkage to other species (insects, birds, etc) in ecosystem. He is taking the UFBI fellowship opportunity to build expertise in inter-disciplinary area of ecology, remote sensing, image processing, and data science.


E-mail: g2njoy@ufl.edu




Rebecca Stubbs

Rebecca is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at University of Florida and the Florida Museum of Natural History advised by Dr. Nico Cellinese and co-advised by Dr. Doug Soltis. Her research focuses on the alpine-Arctic plant group  called rock-breakers (Micranthes, Saxifragaceae). This clade is an exceptional model system for exploring the evolution and geographic spread of cold-adapted plants in the context of climate change. Her research documents changes in plant occurrences in the last century, increases what is known about an imperiled flora and associated fauna, and provides data necessary for conservation efforts. This is being accomplished by tying together extensive fieldwork, cutting-edge phylogenetic methods, biogeographic and morphological analyses, and ecological niche modeling. Learn more about her research here: www.rebeccalstubbs.com.

She has completed three major field seasons in the contiguous United States (2014, 2016), China (2015), and Alaska (2016). Read more about last summer’s fieldwork here: www.rebeccalstubbs.com/fieldwork-2016.

As an addition to her dissertation research Rebecca is using her UF Biodiveristy Institute fellowship to develop an outreach project that aims to facilitate involvement by citizen scientists in documenting biodiversity and also to encourage meaningful discussion between scientists and the public about climate change. The main objectives are: 1) to document plant occurrences at Denali National Park, 2) engage the public in scientific research related to climate change, and 3) use public-generated data for ecological niche models (ENMs). The first two objectives were accomplished last summer and she is currently analyzing the results. Learn more about this project here: www.rebeccalstubbs.com/denaliflowers.

E-mail: stubbsrl@ufl.edu