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Lab Alumni

Back_Jeff_fallsonbrazos Jeffrey A. Back, M.S.
Ph.D., Biology, 2013.

Jeff is a world-class taxonomist and maintains one of the largest personal collections of aquatic Hemiptera and Coleoptera any of us has ever seen. For his dissertation, Jeff compiled an amazing data set on nutrient stoichiometry of macroinvertebrates differing in their life history traits across developmental stages. Jeff is a research associate and lab manager for the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research at Baylor.

Baker_Leanne250 Leanne Baker, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CRASR, 2013.

Leanne started at Baylor in June 2012 and brought with her an interdisciplinary skill set that straddles the interface of ecology, chemistry, and toxicology. She directed a series of experiments at the Baylor Experimental Aquatic Research (BEAR) stream facility designed to further our understanding of the fate, transport, and trophic transfer of nanomaterials in the environment. Leanne was co-advised by Dr. Cole Matson in ENV, the lead investigator of the nanomaterial studies.

Dekar_Matt_sm.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Matthew P. Dekar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biology, Baylor (2012)

Matt completed a 2-year postdoc in May 2012. Matt led an analysis of stable isotope data from salmon-rearing headwater streams in Alaska and revealed that grass litter was the dominant energy pathway in these food webs, aka, "grass-fed salmon," published in Freshwater Science. He also performed a cyprinid competition and thermal tolerance experiment at the BEAR facility. Matt is now a Program Manager of the Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program with the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Lodi, CA.

Taylor, Jason M. Jason M. Taylor, Ph.D. Biology, Baylor (2011)

Jason joined the lab in 2006, bringing with him 5 years of experience as a conservation ecologist with The Nature Conservancy. While at Baylor, Jason was awarded an EPA STAR Fellowship, led field crews in sampling 38 central Texas streams over 3 consecutive, grueling-hot summers, helped in the construction of the BEAR stream facility, assisted in 1 and directed a 2nd experimental stream study, and coauthored several papers in addition to leading 3 papers from his dissertation. Jason is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Cornell University.

Shaftel_Becky.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Rebecca Shaftel, M.S. Biology, Baylor (2010)


Becky completed an ambitious Master's thesis on the role of alder cover on nitrogen availability, grass litter decomposition and nutrient quality, and macroinvertebrate colonization of litter in headwater streams in the Kenai Peninsula. Two papers were published from her thesis, appearing in Biogeochemistry and J N American Benthological Society in 2011. She is currently a Research Associate with the Alaska Natural Heritage Program at University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Stanley_CE_1.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Charles E. Stanley, M.S., Biology (2009)

Thesis: Coupling Changes in Stream Physical Habitat and Fish Community Structure with Interannual Variability in Stream Discharge

Charles sampled over 100,000 fish in the hot Texas sun for 3 consecutive summers for his thesis research. A paper from his thesis has been accepted with revisions by Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. Charles is currently sampling salmonids in the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California.
Lang_DA.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) David A. Lang, M.S., Biology (2007)

Thesis: Effects of nutrient enrichment on alkaline phosphatase activity and nitrogen fixation potential in stream periphyton.

David refined a nutrient-diffusing substrate method and made some fascinating discoveries about the sensitivity of different indicators of nutrient limitation and microbial activity in streams, publishing his thesis results in J-NABS in 2009. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of Houston.
Ray, Jesse Jesse Ray, M.S.
Ph.D. student, EEES

Jesse worked on water snake population genetics prior to coming to Baylor. He applied those skill sets to fish populations in Texas streams. He coauthored two papers in collaboration with the Danley lab prior to withdrawing from the PhD program to accept a position with the US ACOE in Walla Walla, Washington in December 2012. We wish Jesse well.

Kostka_Pam_hws_2011 Pam Kostka, M.S., Biology (2012)

Pam's studied litter decomposition in headwater streams in Alaska, with a focus on the effects of stream nitrate derived from catchment alder. She employed novel nutrient diffusers and demonstrated that litter breakdown (and presumably macroinvertebrate production) was limited by nitrate, and that streams with alder in their catchments were likely to be more productive.

Hooser_Emily.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Emily Hooser, 2008 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Biology (BS) major, Baylor

Emily studied the influence of impoundments on population genetics of stream fishes. Populations located upstream of dams and reservoirs are isolated from other populations and, as a result, are likely experiencing genetic divergence. To test this hypothesis, Emily worked with our field crews during summer 2008 to collect fish specimens for DNA sequencing in Dr. Pat Danley's lab, a process which is still ongoing. Emily earned her BS degree in just 3 years (!), graduting in May 2010.
Flores_Adolfo.jpg (w x h, 0 KB)  Adolfo Flores (BS Biology, 2008)
2007 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Biology, Baylor

Adolfo studied carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry of macroinvertebrates in a central Texas stream. Adolfo was also a major contributor to field and lab efforts in support of ongoing extramurally funded research. Adolfo was named the most outstanding Biology student at Baylor in May 2008. He is currently a joint MD/PhD student at UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he received a full scholarship. 
Jackson_Lindsey.jpg (w x h, 0 KB)  Lindsey Jackson (BS Biology, 2009)

Lindsey initiated the 1st and 2nd annual Tri-Beta Texas native plant sales. Lindsey propogated close to 100 species of Texas native plants from both seed and cuttings, leading to two hugely successful sales. For her 3V90 research project, she coauthored plant information sheets for distribution at the sales. The sheets were so popular they may be used in a regional book on native plants for Texas landscapes! Lindsey was president of Tri-Beta in 2008-09 and was one of the top students in her senior class. She is currently a medical student at UT-San Antonio.
Sumpaongoen_Success.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Success Sumpaongoen (BS Biology, 2008)
2007 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Biology, Baylor

Success helped refine methods for estimating nutrient excretion and recycling in stream fishes, specifically Campostoma and Etheostoma. Success was a core member of our lab and field research teams.  Success took a year off after graduation and is now pursuing a degree in medicine.

Grimm_Justin.jpg (w x h, 0 KB) Justin Grimm, (BS Biology, 2007)
Research Technician

Justin completed his bachelor's in Biology in spring 2007 and played a key role in lab and field research for the group in 2007 and 2008. Justin is an extremely hard working individual and well trained in aquatic ecology.  Not surprisingly, he was quickly offered a more lucrative position with the Brazos River Authority as a field biologist, where he is now employed.