University of Wisconsin–Madison

Catching Up With Alumni

  • 2016 - Cailin Huyck Orr, Norman Mercado-Silva, Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

    Cailin Huyck Orr
    (MS 2002, PhD 2005, Stanley)
    Cailin Huyck Orr, following postdoc positions at the University of North Carolina and the University of Minnesota, spent 5 years as an assistant professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University. Returning to her alma matter in 2014, she is now the Assistant Director of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. SERC works with partners from 2- and 4-year institutions across the US to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning at the undergraduate level. Cailin’s current work is focused on supporting faculty in making program-scale changes to meet institutional goals such as increasing diversity of STEM majors, producing workforce-ready graduates and incorporating evidence-based practices into teaching. More information about this work, professional development opportunities, and teaching resources can be found on the SERC website.

    Norman Mercado – Silva
    (PhD 2005, Vander Zanden)
    Norman joined the Center for Research in Biodiversity and Conservation at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, in Cuernavaca (City of Eternal Spring), Morelos, Mexico, as a Research Professor in 2015. He was part of a multidisciplinary legal team awarded the Conservationist of the Year Award from the Arizona-New Mexico Chapter of the American Fisheries Society for helping in the protection of streamflows in Cherry Creek and Aravaipa Creek, Arizona in 2016.

    Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs
    (PhD 2008, Carpenter)
    Oonsie took up a postdoc after completing her PhD, and later a full-time research position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. Here she led the development of a systematic synthesis of regime shifts (regimeshifts.org) and their impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being. Growing from her involvement in the Resilience Alliance Young Scientists network, Oonsie also led an edited volume that synthesized and critically assessed seven key principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems (published by Cambridge University Press in 2015). In 2012 she picked up her research connections back home in South Africa by initiating the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (www.sapecs.org), linked to the international Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) (pecs-science.org/) program which is a core project of Future Earth. In 2015 Oonsie was nominated for and awarded a prestigious South African Research Chair in Social-Ecological Systems and Resilience, and is now based in Stellenbosch University close to Cape Town, in a new flagship centre of the university, the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition. She retains a joint appointment at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and continues to be actively involved in collaborative grants and the PECS program. If you are ever in South Africa, please visit!

    Additional alumni news…

    Elena Bennett (MS 1999, PhD 2002, Carpenter) was awarded the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship.

  • 2015 - Tim Essington, Doug Beard

    Tim Essington
    (PhD 1999, Kitchell)
    Tim Essington is a Professor at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. He is presently the Associate Director of the School, and the Director of the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management Interdisciplinary Research program. His office is situated immediately between CFL alumuni Daniel Schindler (PhD) and Julian Olden (Postdoc), so their portion of the hallway comprises the “CFL West Campus.”  His current work is focused on the improved application of ecological principles into the management of marine fisheries, and developing a better understanding of how novel stressors (hypoxia, ocean acidification, climate change) will alter coastal marine food webs.  He presently serves on several advisory bodies, including the Technical Advisory Board of the Marine Stewardship Council (the world’s largest seafood eco-labelling organization), the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel, and is on more editorial boards than he cares to admit.

    Doug Beard
    (PhD 2002, Carpenter)
    Doug completed his PhD in 2003, while working for the WDNR as the treaty fisheries program manager.  In 2003, he moved to the USGS Headquarters in Reston, VA, starting as manager of the National Aquatic Gap and Fisheries Informatics program manager.  He moved on to manage the entire Fisheries program for USGS and over the last five years, was asked by the USGS to lead the development of the National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC).  His main task during this time was to lead the Department of Interior’s Climate Science Centers, a priority initiative for DOI.  He just completed a seven month stint as the Associate Director for Climate and Land Use, where most of this time was spent on the Land Sat satellite program in USGS.  Now back to his job as chief of NCCWSC, he looks forward to spending more time on a global inland fisheries initiative that he’s co-leading with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Administration and Michigan State University.

    Additional alumni news…

    Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs (PhD 2008, Carpenter) has published a new textbook Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems.

    Julian Olden (Postdoc 2004-2006, Vander Zanden), Associate Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences is co-director of the new Center for Creative Conservation at the University of Washington.

    Brian Roth (PhD 2005, Kitchell), Associate Professor, Fisheries & Wildlife, appears in the June 2015 Delta Sky magazine ad for Michigan State University.

    Daniel Schindler (MS 1986, PhD 1990, Frost and Magnuson, Postdoc 1991, Kitchell) was named the 2015 Frank Rigler Award recipient.

    Pat Soranno (MS 1991, PhD 1995, Carpenter, Postdoc 1995-96, Kratz) has been appointed as the founding Editor-in-Chief of ASLO’s Limnology & Oceanography Letters.

  • 2014
    Daniel Schneider
    (MS 1986, PhD 1990, Frost and Magnuson, Postdoc 1991, Kitchell)
    Daniel is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and a scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois. He just finished up two years as interim department head, first of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and then of the Department of Landscape Architecture. He learned a lot, but is looking forward to getting back to his regular research
    and teaching. He has been concentrating his research these days on environmental history. He recently completed a book, Hybrid Nature: Sewage Treatment and the Contradictions of the Industrial Ecosystem (MIT Press, 2011), on the history of biological sewage treatment. It received the George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental history from the American Society of Environmental History.
    Peter Inskip
    (MS 1980, Magnuson)
    Following temporary appointments as a foreign fishery observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska (1980) and as a fish ecologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Colorado (1981-82), Peter returned to graduate school to do a doctoral program in
    epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He began working in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in the National Cancer Institute in 1987, where he has remained, with the exception of a three-year interlude (1995-98) as an Associate Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. Peter currently is a Senior Investigator at NCI, where his research has most recently focused on the study of radiation-related second primary cancers in childhood cancer survivors and the etiology of brain tumors in adults. He began the latter line of research in response to public and Congressional concerns about the possible risk of brain cancer in relation to exposure to radio frequency radiation from cellular telephones. Peter lives in Rockville, Maryland. His hobbies include fishing and canoeing.
    Chris Luecke
    (Postdoc 1986-87)
    Chris is currently Dean of the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. Part of his duties are to oversee undergraduate degrees in Fisheries and Watershed Sciences, and graduate degrees in Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Biology. Chris thinks fondly of his days at the CFL and is glad to see the continued vigor of the aquatic sciences programs at UW. The Quinney College is very pleased to be adding CFL recent graduate Jereme Gaeta to their faculty ranks this fall.
    Additional alumni news
    Pat Soranno gave a plenary lecture at the 2014 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting.
    Kathy Cottingham was a plenary speaker at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
    Shelley Arnott, Daniel Schindler, and Peter Leavitt were invited speakers at the Society of Canadian Limnologists/Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution/Canadian Society of Zoologists meeting in Montréal.
  • 2013
    Pat Soranno
    (M.S. 1991 and Ph.D. 1995, Carpenter; Post-doc 1995-1996 Kratz)
    Pat Soranno is a Professor in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, although she studies neither fish nor wildlife. Never-the-
    less, she finds the department to be an excellent fit for her approach to science that she learned from her time at the CFL – one in which both basic and applied research is necessary to solve problems, communication and engagement with stakeholders is valued, and where science is fun (or, at least should be).  She is leading a recent NSF-funded Macrosystems Biology grant (with a few folks from the CFL cur-
    rently) to further develop the ideas of landscape limnology and to use lakes as model systems for helping to develop the emerging field of Macrosystems Ecology.
    Beth Sanderson
    (Ph.D. 1998, Magnuson and Frost)
    Beth Sanderson is a Fisheries Research Biologist with NOAA Fisheries in Seattle, WA. Her research team investigates factors that in
    fluence growth, distribution, and survival of commercially and culturally important species such as Pacific salmon. She is using long-term
    field data collected in the Salmon River Basin, Idaho, to examine linkages between growth & survival of juvenile salmon and habitat condition. Ironically, one of the factors that Beth investigates is the role of popular non-native recreational fish species that were introduced from the eastern US in the early part of last century (smallmouth bass, brook trout, and walleye for example). The lessons she learned volunteering with the ‘Baylis Bass Crew’ at Trout Lake have proved invaluable in her NW research. Beth visited her parents in Cable, Wisconsin, this summer (along with her husband and two kids) and proudly reports that the first fish caught by her son was a 12 inch smallmouth bass!
    Jim Lorman
    (M.S. 1975, Ph.D. 1980, Magnuson)
    Jim Lorman is Professor of Biology at Edgewood College, where he has taught for 32 years. Jim developed an interdisciplinary graduate program Sustainability Leadership at Edgewood in 2010 and currently serves as the lead faculty and Academic Director for that program.
    This work supports his passion for collaborative community projects aimed at planning and implementing sustainable practices, especially in the area of watershed management. This work is also related to and supported by his leadership in the Friends of Lake Wingra, his previous role as a member of the Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission, and his participation in a number of community organi-
    zations and government-sponsored committees, including the Capital Region Sustainable Communities, Clean Lakes Alliance, Gardens for Empowerment, and Wisconsin Green Tier. Jim and his wife, Anne Forbes (whom he met at the Center for Limnology in 1973 and married in 1981), are enjoying their first grandchild, born this past July.
    Additional alumni news…

    Elena Bennett (M.S. 1999, Ph.D. 2002, Carpenter) was McGill’s 2013 recipient of the Carrie M. Derick Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching & Supervisio n. She also received an award for undergraduate teaching on campus in the past year, and was selected as one of the top 40 scientists under 40 by the IAP Global network of Science Academies.

    Graeme Cumming (Post Doc 1999-2001, Carpenter) received the South African Association for the Advancement of Science British Association Medal for 2013.

    Pieter Johnson (Ph.D. 2006, Carpenter) has been named an Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). He also received ESA’s George Mercer Award for his 2012 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.