NPER Fellows

Fellows > 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

Nat Cleavitt

Nat Cleavitt began developing her skill in bryophyte taxonomy through an REU funded project in 1992. She earned her B.Sc. from the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University in 1993. After her undergraduate time, she spent three years as a research assistant with Tim Fahey, John Battles and Joe Yavitt focusing largely on bryophyte taxonomy and plant ecology in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, upstate New York and New Hampshire . Her Ph.D. thesis work at the University of Alberta with Dale Vitt and JC Cahill compared the ecology of rare and common mosses in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which offered considerable evidence of the importance of the establishment stage in determining bryophyte distributions. After completing her Ph.D. in 2002, Nat was a lecturer at the University of Alberta . She began a post-doctoral position at Cornell University with Tim Fahey in fall of 2002. Her task was to determine the dominant mechanism by which soil freezing affects tree roots, and she has found direct cell damage was more critical than indirect physical damage of ice lens formation and frost heave action. During this time, she was also privileged to mentor two undergraduate honors theses at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest , NH . As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Nat compared the physiology and community ecology of bryophytes and lichens between areas with high and low atmospheric deposition. This study based in Acadia National Park , Maine provided an understanding of the ecological effects of atmospheric deposition, the potential for recovery of sensitive organisms after deposition reduction, and the reliability of these organisms as indicators of air quality.

Jeremy Long

Jeremy Long investigates the relationships between marine consumers and their prey, and how these interactions shape communities and ecosystems. Specifically, he studies the importance of chemical signals to these dynamic interactions. For his dissertation, Jeremy studied the effects of aquatic chemical signals between consumers and prey across a broad range of taxa (phytoplankton to fishes), organism sizes (microscopic to macroscopic), and habitats (pelagic to benthic). Chemical cues produced by these organisms or their activities provided information that allowed for surprisingly complex, induced responses in the receiving organisms. As a postdoctoral fellow, Jeremy continued to study aquatic chemical ecology under the guidance of Dr. Geoff Trussell at Northeastern University 's Marine Science Center . His project examined inducible responses of seaweeds to their consumers within Acadia NP in Maine . In addition to field and laboratory experiments, Jeremy worked with park managers to develop outreach and educational activities for the park. He received his B.A. in Marine Science from the University of San Diego (1998) and his Ph.D. in Biology from Georgia Tech (2004) while advised by Dr. Mark Hay.

Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy received her B.A. in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997. She then earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2005 in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her doctoral work with Paul Feeny investigated the dual roles of plant chemistry and differential predation in a host shift by two swallowtail butterflies. As a NPER Postdoctoral Fellow, Shannon is worked with Dr. Bob Denno at the University of Maryland. Her research studied the effects of a short-term increase in nutrients (pulse) versus a long-term increase in nutrients (press) on the productivity of the cordgrass Spartinaa lterniflora, an important component of the vegetation of Atlantic coastal marshes. Concurrent with her research on the direct effects of nutrient subsidies on Spartinamarshes, Shannon examined how these effects interact with herbivore load to either promote or hinder invasion by an aggressive reed. Shannon conducted her research in both Assateague Island and Cape Hatteras National Seashores.

Peter Kenndy

Peter Kennedy Peter Kennedy received his B.S. from The Evergreen State College in 1999 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. His doctoral work with Wayne Sousa examined the ecological factors affecting tree encroachment into coastal California grasslands, with particular interest in the role of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi. For his NPER fellowship, Peter collaborated with Tom Bruns at UC Berkeley and studied the role of interspecific competition in structuring EM fungal assemblages. This work focused on elucidating the nature of EM competitive hierarchies, how EM competitive ability changes in different habitats, and how EM competitive ability affects plant performance. Peter worked in the Pinus muricata forests of Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. More information about Peter's interests and research is available online at

Fellows > 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000