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Kathleen Carroll is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Forest and Wildlife Ecology Department at UW-Madison. Kathleen has two bachelor degrees, one in wildlife ecology and one in marine biology cum laude from the University of Maine, an MS from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Environmental Sciences, and a Ph.D. from Montana State University. She has studied wildlife in Africa, South America, and North America. She has backgrounds in wildlife conservation, marine biology, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, statistics, education, and science communication. Her understanding across a broad range of disciplines has provided her with a unique perspective on connectivity science and management strategies across a range of taxa. Her current work focuses on mapping bird biodiversity in the US for conservation using remotely sensed data. Kathleen is also now moving her work to balance equity and justice with species conservation. Her personal interests include spending time with her two dogs, taking care of her > 80 house plants, reading, and participating in most outdoor recreational activities (including running, climbing, swimming, backpacking, and paddling). She has been a certified PADI scuba instructor since 2011 and teaches at a local dive shop in Wisconsin.



Chrissy Hernández is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. Her windy academic career has included a bachelor’s degree in Environmental engineering from Columbia University, a research assistantship studying fish and climate change at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a PhD in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, and her current postdoc doing mathematical ecology. In both her field-based and mathematical research, Chrissy is most interested in population dynamics of managed or protected species, and particularly in how conditions surrounding reproduction and early life survival impact population dynamics. She has a strong background of society leadership in smaller societies and is passionate about making scientific spaces safe and inclusive for people who hold marginalized identities. She served as the Student Representative to The Oceanography Society for 3 years. Chrissy was also the President of the Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS) for five years, and registered SWMS as a non-profit during that time. In her free time, Chrissy likes to hike/backpack or plunk down on the couch with a knitting project. She also has a part-time job where she runs a compost drop-spot for Tompkins County, NY and gets to talk to people about how awesome composting is!



Adam T. Naito is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences at Northern Michigan University. As a geographer and landscape ecologist, he integrates field work, Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, and simulation modeling to improve our understanding of landscape-scale changes in vegetation and its implications for cross-scale interactions and ecosystem services in terrestrial systems. Adam’s work has spanned multiple environments, including the montane forests of northern California, Arctic Alaska, the Appalachian Mountains, Southwestern rangelands, and the North Woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He regularly leads and manages students in field-based research projects, and he teaches between 170 and 240 undergraduate students every semester. Outside of the classroom, he has employed and mentored over 80 undergraduate students, many of whom are now pursuing successful careers in Earth and Environmental Science-related fields at Federal and state agencies or are furthering their education in graduate school. Given ongoing challenges facing academics and aspiring researchers (job placement, funding, mentorship), Adam believes it is critical that early career scientists have access to information, resources, and peers to ensure their continued success.



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.



Cait Rottler is a chronic generalist, having done range, reclamation, and plant community ecology, and a little bit of soil science. She currently works for the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center as a postdoc research associate, where she’s building a data directory for datasets in the Ogallala Aquifer Region. Her recent interests are soundly in climate change adaptation, whether that’s in farming systems or natural resources management. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and hopes to return someday to live and work there. When she’s not sciencing, she enjoys spending time with her 4 cats, dog, snake, and horse. Initially she joined the ECE Section as a member, and then joined the board as a member-at-large before becoming the blog editor and webmaster. Her favorite thing about ECE is getting to meet all of the incredible members of the section and working with the other officers to engage with folks.

She really enjoys reading about feral/wild horse ecology in the Americas, which she’s been obsessed with since undergrad but never formally researched (this has not stopped her from reading almost everything about it that she can get her hands on).



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 employs her passion for science communication in the name of early career ecologists.



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.



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.



Currently vacant.


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.


Naupaka 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.






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


Secretary-Treasurer – Molly Reichenborn
Diverse Career Pathways Officer – Tim Fullman

Chair – Cari Ficken

Chair – Sarah Supp

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