Lab Members

Current Members


Lindsay McCulloch Ph.D. Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I am interested in tropical ecosystem ecology with a specific interest in how nutrients move throughout a system. Broadly, I study the interface between plants and soils and the varying potential influences they have on each other. I often think about the relationship between fungal hyphae and plants and how that facilitates the movement of nutrients in typically nutrient poor soils. I plan to better understand how this relationship contributes to larger processes, such as the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle to gain a better understanding of the intricate workings of these cycles and potential global impacts.



Audrey Massmann Ph.D. Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

After graduating from Barnard College with a major in environmental science and a minor in chemistry, I taught science in New York City public schools. I now work with the Porder Lab to study the biogeochemistry of tropical soils in the context of land-use changes. I am interested in the role of symbiotic relationships and microbe-mineral interactions in mobilizing nutrients needed for plant growth. My previous research includes comparing the soil microbial communities of Malaysian rainforests and oil palm plantations, as well as exploring the potential of New York City green roofs to serve as corridors for soil microbial diversity




Nikayla Ficano Undergraduate in the Dept. of Earth Environment and Planetary Sciences

I am interested in studying the interactions that exist between the biotic and abiotic worlds, specifically those that concern the allocation and cycling of nutrients through ecosystems. I am also interested in symbiotic, mutualist, and parasitic relationships, the factors that contribute to them, and their role in ecosystems. My undergraduate research thesis combines these two elements and examines the complex relationship between Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) and tropical plants under different abiotic conditions (specifically light availability, nitrogen availability, and soil disturbance). I believe understanding how organisms interact both with each other and with their non-living environment is crucial to predicting how ecosystems and agriculture will change with climate.   





Ruby Ho (Lab Manager)

I am responsible for the day to day operations in the lab, including helping students with their work and running samples that come in from our various projects.  All inquiries that are lab-specific should be sent to me.





Some Recent Lab Alums:

Loren Albert (former post doc)  Now a tenure track assistant professor of biology at West Virginia University.

Brooke Osborne (former Ph.D. student).  Now a post doc with Dr. Sasha Reed at the USGS in Moab. 

Joy Winborne (former Post Doc):  Current whereabouts: Post doc at Boston University in the Hutyra Lab

Justin Becknell (former Post Doc):  Current whereabouts: Assistant Professor of Ecology, Colby College

Aida Feng (former undergrad):  Current whereabouts: Ph.D. student of German Studies at Yale University

Maya Almaraz (former PhD Student):  Current whereabouts: NSF Funded post doc in Ben Houlton’s Lab at UC Davis

Eric Roy (former post doc):  Current whereabouts: Assistant Professor at The University of Vermont

Rachel Chelsea Nagy (former Ph.D. student):  Current whereabouts:  Postdoctoral Fellow in Balch Lab at CU Boulder.

Cooper Tamayo (former undergrad):  Current whereabouts:  MS in Environmental Management at the Bren School, UCSB.

Rebekah Stein (former undergrad):  Current whereabouts: Graduate program in Ecology at the University of Michigan 

Laura Schreeg (former post doc):  Current whereabouts:  Program Manager at U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Radika Bhaskar (former post doc):  Current whereabouts – Visiting assistant professor at Haverford

Steven Goldsmith (former post doc).  Current whereabouts:  Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Villanova.

Joaquin Chaves (former post doc).  Current whereabouts: Research Scientist, NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry

Shelby Hayhoe Riskin (former Ph.D. student).  Current whereabouts: Tenure track at University of Toronto.  

Carmen Tubbesing (former Bio undergrad).  Current whereabouts: Ph.D. Student, UC Berkeley.

Jesse Bateman (former GeoBio undergrad).  Current whereabouts: Tenure track assistant professor at SUNY Cortland.

Mana Tang (former GeoBio undergrad).  Current whereabouts: Graduate student in anthropology at the Washington University in St. Louis

Timothy Huth (former Env. Studies MS student).  Current whereabouts: Risk analyst at Risk Management Solutions.