Current Lab Members

Eric Scott

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Eric is interested in the mechanisms of plant responses to stress and their consequences for natural and agricultural ecosystems. His current work is on how drought and habitat fragmentation interact to influence Heliconia acuminata demography and population dynamics.

Nina Attias

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Nina is an ecologists specializing in the movement ecology and conservation of large mammals. She is also coordinating a project funded by the Sloan Foundation exploring the potential for remotely taught field courses.

Priyanka Hari Haran

- Ph.D. Student, WEC

Priyanka is interested in how alternative restoration strategies for tropical forests influence the structure of mixed species flocks and the and the ecosystem services they provide.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

- PH.D. Student, WEC

Thomas is co-advised with Dr. Robert Fletcher. His research is on how the type and quality of matrix habitat influences the dispersal and population dynamics of species in fragmented habitats.

Ellie McDaniel

- NSF REU Scholar

Ellis is an Statistics major at UF. She is conducting research on the data requirements of distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM) used to study delayed demographic effects.

Andrew Mercadante

- NSF REU Scholar

Andrew is a Wildlife Ecology and Conservation major at UF studying how edge effects influence the demographic vital rates of tropical plants.

Bruna Lab Alumni

Maria Rosa Darrigo

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Maria Rosa Darrigo: Rosinha came to UF with a Science Without Borders Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research focused on how variation in avian dispersal ability influenced H. acuminata demography in fragmented landscapes.

Paul Gagnon

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Paul Gagnon: Paul did research on the demography of plants in fragmented landscapes. He is now a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Murray State University.

Heather Passmore

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Heather was a postdoc investigating the effect of forest fragmentation in central Amazonia on the structure of ant-plant mutualist networks. She is currently a consultant and lecturer.

Thiago Izzo

- Postdoctoral Scholar

Thiago worked with us on the ecology of ant-plant mutualisms in Manaus. He is now a Professor at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (Brazil).

Ana Cecilia Silva (2015)

- M.A. Student in Latin American Studies

Ana Cecilia completed her BA in Anthropology at the University of Florida with a minor in German. He MA thesis was on how Brazilian’s attitudes regarding extensive executive power influence support for affirmative action.

Paulo Rubim

- Ph.D., Universidade Federal de São Carlos (2013)

Paulo completed his BS and MSc at UNESP where he studied the phenology of Atlantic forest tree species. His Ph.D. was on factors influencing Heliconia acuminata distribution and reproduction at multiple spatial scales. I co-advised Paulo with Dr. Dalva Mattos.

Cris Follman Jurinitz

- Ph.D. in Ecology, Universidade de São Paulo (2012)

Cris studied tree demography in primary and regenerating Atlantic rain forests. I co-advised Cris with Alexandre Oliveira

Christine Lucas

- Ph.D. in WEC & TCD (2010)

Christine did her research on how flooding and disturbance from cattle ranching influence the regeneration of Varzea forests in the Brazilian Amazon. She is currently a faculty member at the Universidad de la República (Uruguay).

Stella Copeland

- M.S. in WEC (2009)

Stella’s thesis was on how nitrogen enrichment and simulated changes in precipitation influenced two Cerrado grasses. She went on to complete her Ph.D. at UC Davis with Dr. Susan Harrison.

Gwen Iacona

- M.S. in WEC (2008)

Gwen was co-advised with Dr. Kay Kirkman at the Jones Ecological Research Center. Her research was on seedling establishment along productivity gradients in Longleaf Pine savannas. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, and is now a Postdoc in Australia with Dr. High Possingham's group.

Pedro Braunger

- M.S. in Biology, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Pedro studied investigated how roads influenced the diversity of cerrado plant communities. He is currently a PhD. student at the University of Brasilia and a member of the Military Police of the Distrito Federal, Brazil.

Alana Vaz Ferreira

- M.S. in Biology, Universidade Federal de Uberlandia (2007)

Alana studied seed predation by ants, birds, and rodents in Brazil’s Cerrado. She is currently a member of the State Police in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Ian Fiske

- M.S. in WEC (2006)

Ian studied sampling in plant demographic studies and the implications of alternative approaches for matrix model projections. He completed a PhD in Statistics at NCSU and now works as a Data Scientists in Jacksonville, FL.

Matthew Trager

- M.S. in SNRE (2006)

Matt's thesis was on the effects of nutrient manipulation on ant-plant mutualisms. He completed a PhD with Dr. Jaret Daniels and is now wit the US Forest Service.

Maria Beatriz Nogueira Ribeiro

- M.S. in Ecology, Universidade de São Paulo (2005)

Bia's thesis research was on plant regeneration in Amazonian secondary forests. She worked at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project.

Fabiane Mundim

- Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation (2016)

Fabiane's research was on above- and below-ground plant-herbivore interactions and how they are influenced by climate change. She did her field work in Brazil's Cerrado.

Ernane Vieira-Neto

- Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation (2016)

Ernane's research was on how the expansion of road networks in Brazil's Cerrado influences the demography and spread of leaf-cutter ants.

Elan Simon Parsons

- MA in Latin American Studies (2018)

Simon's research was on the prevalence and functional form of edge-effects in fragmented landscapes.

VIsiting Graduate & Postgraduate Students

Alan Nilo da Costa

Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Carolina Ferreira Gomes

Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Diego Resende

Universidade Estadual de Londrina

Yves Rafael Bovolenta

Universidade Estadual de Londrina

Rodolfo de Abreu


Simone Athayde

Instituto Socioambiental

Rita Quitete Portela


Camilla Castanho

Universidade de São Paulo

Postdoctoral Scholars

Paul Gagnon

Population Dynamics of Heliconia Acuminata

Heather Passmore

Tropical Ant-Plant Mutualisms

Thiago Izzo

Colonization dynamics in Amazonian ant-plant mutualisms

Maria Rosa Darrigo

Selective logging of tropical trees

Sabbatical Visitors

Karine Carvalho

Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia

Ariadna V. F. Lopes

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Alexandre Oliveira

Universidade de São Paulo

Laury Cullen

Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas (IPÊ)

Technicians and Post-Graduate Researchers

Laura Vivian Barbosa

- Technician

Laura was responsible for coordinating field work in the Cerrado. She went on to earn a PhD from the Universidade Federal de Uberlandia.

Paulo Rubim

- Technician

Paulo was responsible for coordinating field work at the BDFFP. He went on to earn a PhD from the Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos.

Sylvia Heredia

- Technician

Sylvia was responsible for coordinating field work on ant-plant mutualisms at the BDFFP. She went on to earn a PhD from the Universidade of California, Riverside.

Maria Rosa Darrigo

- Technician

Rosinha was responsible for coordinating field work at the BDFFP. She went on to earn a PhD from the University of Campinas.

Simone Benedet Fontoura

- Technician

Simone was responsible for coordinating field work at the BDFFP. She went on to earn a PhD from the Universidade Federal de Lavras

Polyanna Custodio Duarte

- Technician

Polyanna was responsible for coordinating field work in the Cerrado. She was a graduate student at ESALq