Welcome New Graduate Students 2011
Ruthie Birger received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard (2006) and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2007). She has worked in London for most of the past 5 years doing quantitative research in several fields of public health including quality of care evaluation and HIV and STI prevention. She is interested in using mathematical models to explore infectious disease dynamics both on population and within-host levels.
Emma Fuller received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental studies from the University of Chicago (2009) where she studied disease dynamics in gypsy moths. Since graduation she worked first in the a near-shore community ecology lab at the University of Washington and then as a researcher on the Central Science team at The Nature Conservancy. She is interested in human-environment coupled systems, food webs, disease, math, and conservation.
Catherine Offord holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Oxford University, where she became particularly interested in the organization of task allocation and collective decision-making in insect systems. After graduating in 2010 she worked for a year on the completely unrelated topic of spider silk biomechanics with the Oxford Silk Group, before returning to pursue study on collective behavior in animal groups. Her interests include mechanisms of decision-making, swarm behavior and collective intelligence in self-organized systems.
Adam Pellegrini received his B. A. from Colgate University with High Honors in Biology (2010). He has worked on fish behavior in the Mississippi, paleoecology in Mongolia, landscape fire ecology in South Africa, and currently focuses on how biogeochemistry interacts with community properties to determine ecosystem patterns. He’s interested in looking at what determines different types of nutrient limitation and consequently, how does nutrient limitation result in emergent properties at the ecosystem scale. He’s currently applying this to the African savanna and hope to use a similar approach in the Amazon Basin.
Molly Schumer went to Reed College in Portland, Ore., where she majored in biology and completed a thesis on the genetic control of aggressive behavior in African cichlids. After college, she spent two years with Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta as a 6th grade science teacher. She’s interested in applying genomic techniques to studying introgression at hybrid zones and the genetic basis of behavior. She’s also interested in the evolution of mating systems and sexual selection.
S. Jacob Socolar received his B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College (2011), where his honors research examined patterns of bird occurrence at a site in Amazonian Peru. He is interested in the ecological mechanisms governing species' occurrence, persistence, and distribution, with a special focus on informing biodiversity conservation practice. (The S. stands for Samuel, but he goes by Jacob.)
Leslie Beh earned an A.B. in Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University (2011), where he worked on the biochemistry of chromatin-binding proteins. Having never taken a course in organismal biology or ecology, and never been out in the field, he is looking forward to a refreshing experience at EEB. He will be taking a semester off to finish some lab work and attend culinary school, before joining EEB in February 2012.