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Officers


CHAIR

Cari Ficken is a plant ecologist and a Research Assistant Professor at SUNY University at Buffalo.. Her research looks at the effects of environmental stress and disturbances on plant communities and ecosystem functioning. Having worked in wetlands, forests, and savannas, Cari is an ecological generalist. Outside of science, she is the partner of another academic environmental scientist and mother to two kiddos. She became involved with ECE by attending professional development sessions at the annual meeting and by benefiting from the network of diverse early career ecologists within ECE.

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VICE CHAIR

Pacifica Sommers is a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research asks how predictable the biological diversity and functions are of microscopic ecosystems, particularly focusing on the “natural laboratory” of Antarctic glaciers. Pacifica is also passionate about teaching and mentoring others in engaging with the scientific process, no matter what their current stage and trajectory in life. She enjoys exploring planet Earth, especially its mountains, whether by foot, bicycle, ski, or climbing on vertical rock and ice.

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SECRETARY-TREASURER

Molly Reichenborn is a PhD student studying plant community responses following Honey Mesquite management at New Mexico State University. Previously, she received a master’s degree from Wichita State University and worked as a research project manager examining multi-trophic responses to grazing on grasslands replanted through the USDA Conservation Reserve Program. She is broadly interested in the mechanisms underpinning the maintenance, invasion, and successful restoration of ecological communities, and developing data-supported management practices to guide effective land stewardship. She initially became involved with the early career ecologists as a member benefitting from sessions at the annual meeting organized by the section, and through resources compiled on the section website. She is excited to return the favor to members by building diverse resources and a supportive environment as they navigate the early stages of their careers.

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PAST CHAIR

Angee Doerr is the past Chair of the Early Career section. She is an interdisciplinary ecologist, and a Professor of Practice at Oregon State University, focused on commercial fisheries and marine coastal resources. Angee works closely with commercial fishermen, managers, and researchers, to advance our understanding of fisheries and other marine resources in Oregon and along the west coast. Angee is also a Commander in the US Navy Reserves, having spent eight years on active duty as a naval flight officer prior to returning to graduate school, and another nine years in the Reserves as the Officer-in-Charge of a variety of units. The Early Career section was invaluable to Angee as she transitioned from one career (the US Navy) to a very different one (professional ecologist), and she hopes she can support others making important professional changes in their own lives.

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COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Katie Woods


BLOG EDITOR

Cait Rottler is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub in El Reno, Oklahoma. She is broadly interested in range/grassland responses to disturbance and climate change and the drivers of human interactions with managed ecosystems. She currently works with stakeholders in Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma to increase the capacity of agricultural systems to withstand climate change, with a specific focus on soil health. Her prior research was on the responses of plant communities and soils to reclamation on oil and gas wellpads in Wyoming. Her favorite part of any scientific research is using it for outreach and education activities, and her favorite part of grad school was teaching.

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TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Avery Scherer is a marine and aquatic ecologist whose research focuses on species interactions and their influence on ecosystem function. Her academic experiences focused on non-consumptive predator effects and invasive species ecology in south Texas oyster reefs, in lionfish in the Caribbean, and in Hawaiian stream communities. In 2019, she made the leap into non-academic work, accepting a position with the consulting company Cramer Fish Sciences where she studies the role of species interactions in the success of river restoration projects benefiting California salmonids. Avery is a former graduate of the section’s mentorship program and enjoys employing her passion for science communication in the name of early career ecologists.

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WEBMASTER

zimmermanNaupaka Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at the University of San Francisco. He is a microbial ecologist interested in the plant microbiome, particularly foliar fungal endophytes. He is also involved with the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists (INNGE) and Software Carpentry.

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MENTORSHIP PROGRAM OFFICER

Shelby Rinehart is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Wetland Ecology Lab at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Their research focuses on how consumer-resource interactions influence community structure and ecosystem function across diverse habitats: including coastal wetlands, arctic lakes, rocky shores, and arid- and semi-arid deserts. Shelby’s research program has been informed by their collaborations with research groups in Europe and the Middle East, and their experience advising environmental litigation, fisheries management, and water operations in the California Bay-Delta. Shelby got involved in the Early Career Section in 2016, when they were a mentee in the Early Career Mentorship Program. They began coordinating the Early Career Mentorship Program in 2018, hoping to further the program’s goals of providing a unique and valuable mentorship experience to todays’ early career ecologists.

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STUDENT SECTION LIASON

Molly Reichenborn is a PhD student studying plant community responses following Honey Mesquite management at New Mexico State University. Previously, she received a master’s degree from Wichita State University and worked as a research project manager examining multi-trophic responses to grazing on grasslands replanted through the USDA Conservation Reserve Program. She is broadly interested in the mechanisms underpinning the maintenance, invasion, and successful restoration of ecological communities, and developing data-supported management practices to guide effective land stewardship. She initially became involved with the early career ecologists as a member benefitting from sessions at the annual meeting organized by the section, and through resources compiled on the section website. She is excited to return the favor to members by building diverse resources and a supportive environment as they navigate the early stages of their careers.

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DIVERSE CAREER PATHWAYS OFFICER

Tim Fullman is a wildlife ecologist with The Wilderness Society, a national non-profit conservation organization. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, he is broadly interested in spatial ecology and especially intrigued by movements and distributions of large mammals in response to environmental factors and human impacts. His current research investigates caribou responses to energy development and other human activity in Arctic Alaska while previous work sought to understand the factors that influence elephant movement patterns and impacts on vegetation and large herbivores in southern Africa.

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MEMBERS AT LARGE

Nate Emery is an Early Career section Past-Chair. He is a plant ecologist and a Research Associate at Michigan State University. Before grad school, he took two gap years between undergrad and grad school as a field technician in Yellowstone National Park, secretary for Mylan pharmaceuticals, athletic tutor, line cook in a burrito restaurant, and field ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. For grad school, he studied coastal fog and wildfires at UC Santa Barbara. He currently studies professional development in biology faculty and switchgrass ecophysiology.

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SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Centennial Mentoring Program Planning Team (2014-2015)

Sarah Supp, Daniel Scholes, Daniel Stanton, Scott Collins (ESA Leadership), Winslow Hansen (ESA Student Section)

Cheers! A Networking Event Planning Team (2014-2015)

Sarah Supp, Daniel Scholes, Daniel Stanton, Scott Collins, Lauren Sullivan, Benjamin Blonder, Aaron Hogan, Jennie Miller


PAST OFFICERS

2015-2016
Chair -Sarah Supp

2014-2015 (founding officers)
Chair – Daniel Scholes
Vice Chair – Sarah Supp
Secretary – Daniel Stanton