Graduate Student Retreat

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
Princeton University - Guyot Hall - Room 10


The PPRC retreat is an annual event that rotates each spring between the schools in the New Jersey - New York - Philadelphia region. This year we welcome Columbia as the newest participants. The purpose of the retreat is to provide a space for graduate students to share their research with graduate students, post docs and faculty from neighboring ecology and evolutionary biology departments and to learn about the diversity of cultures at the different schools. It is a great place to test out new ideas, get feedback on results, and perhaps strike up a new collaboration.

This year we have modified the format to give more people a chance to present. Two students from each school advanced along in their thesis will give 15 minute talks, and three students from each school at earlier stages of thesis development will give 5 minute speed talks. There will be just one session at any one time so that people can see all talks. At the end of the day, we will uphold the new tradition of academic karaoke and then host a dinner at the grad student’s Campus Club. We look forward to seeing everyone!


09:30 – 10:00 Coffee - Breakfast / Guyot Atrium, first floor
10:00 - 11:00 2 Long Talks
Monica Palta, Rutgers
Soil pore dynamics and mediation of denitrification in brownfield wetlands
Sarah Batterman, Princeton
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and the biogeochemical niche of di-nitrogen fixing trees in tropical forests
  3 Speed Talks
Aurora MacRae-Crerar, UPenn
Climate change from the ground up: soil, microbes and Mongolia
Amanda Wenczel, Rutgers
Comparative Analysis of Filtration Capacity for Crassostrea virginica and Geukensia demissa within Delaware Bay
Meha Jain, Columbia
Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Variability: Farmers' Responses to a Variable Monsoon
11:00 - 11:15 Short Break / Guyot Atrium, first floor
11:15 - 12:15 2 Long Talks
Catherine Markham, Princeton
Landscape partitioning among baboon social groups
Maria Rakhovskaya, UPenn
Indicators of male reproductive success in adult rhesus macaques
  3 Speed Talks
James Kealey, Columbia
Exploring the genetic architecture of eusociality in Synalpheus snapping shrimp
Orin Robinson, Rutgers
Managing predators in coastal New Jersey
Colin Twomey, Princeton
Coordinated decision processes in schooling fish
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch / Guyot Atrium, first floor
13:15 - 14:15 2 Long Talks
Marina Cortes, Columbia
Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of an Amazonian herb across a fragmented landscape
Erin Wiley, UPenn
Storage, growth, and carbon limitation in black oak
3 Speed Talks
Bob Muscarella, Columbia
How do plants think globally and act locally? An integrated view of community assembly across a regional scale
Qing Cao, Princeton
Reintroduction: A kick ass job?
Anarmaa Sharkhuu, UPenn
Effects of experimental warming on ecosystem variables
14:15 - 14:45 Break / Guyot Atrium, first floor
14:45 - 16:00 2 Long Talks
Liz Nichols, Columbia
Species trait similarity and shared ancestry: a global assessment of the causes and consequences of dung beetle response to human modification of tropical forest landscapes
Denise Hewitt, Rutgers
Examination of the Effects of Mowing Disturbance on Native Bee Communities on Farms
  3 Speed Talks
Ann M. Thomas, Princeton
Insights from invertebrate immune priming
Curtis Burkhalter, Rutgers
Conspecific attraction in a threatened grassland bird, the Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
Katie Vazquez, UPenn
Hidden diversity within a marine snail species: can an old dogwhelk teach us new tricks?
16:00 Academic Karaoke
17:00 Dinner at Campus Club

Directions and Parking

Map of the Princeton Campus with directions and parking:[PDF]

To Princeton from the South (Philadelphia):

Take I-95 N towards Trenton to exit 67. Then get off onto US-1 north towards Princeton. Take the Washington Road exit towards Princeton. Drive down Washington Rd. about 1.5 miles until you reach Ivy Lane (at the stoplight). Turn right on Ivy Lane. You can either park in Lot 25 or Lot 26 on the left.

To Princeton from the North (New Brunswick):

Take US-1 S. Drive down Washington Rd. about 1.5 miles until you reach Ivy Lane (at the stoplight). Turn right on Ivy Lane. You can either park in Lot 25 or Lot 26 on the left.

To Guyot Hall from Lot 25 or 26:

Walk down Ivy Lane until you hit Washington Road. Cross Washington Rd and continue walking straight. Guyot Hall is the big building directly on your left. Lunch will be provided in the atrium by the dinosaur on the first floor. The talks will be in the basement in Guyot 10.


Sarah Batterman
Phone: (609)578-7445

Jennifer Schieltz
Phone: (937)902-6594