Dr. Rachael Winfree

Rachael Winfree is a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. The goal of her work is to better understand the causes and consequences of biodiversity, particularly in real-world settings and at large spatial scales. Current projects in her research group include (1) the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, (2) biodiversity measurement, (3) plant-pollinator networks, and (4) pollinator conservation and restoration. Her work has been funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and has been published in leading scientific journals including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Ecology Letters, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. From 2015-2019 she was one of approximately 170 scientists worldwide (and one of approximately 20 women) on the list of highly cited researchers in the field of environment / ecology. Rachael is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and serves on the board of directors of the Xerces Society, which has the largest pollinator conservation effort of any nonprofit. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in 2001 and her B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1990.

CV / Google Scholar



Dr. Natalie Lemanski

Natalie is a theoretical ecologist and mathematical modeler who has worked extensively on social insects. Her work in the lab involves analysis of datasets on bee-plant interactions to explore questions about biodiversity, phenology, and ecosystem function. Natalie obtained her Ph.D from Rutgers, and completed two previous postdoctoral positions, at University of Tennessee and UCLA.  CV


Dr. Tina Harrison

Tina Harrison


Tina is working with Dr. Mark Genung and Rachael on biodiversity-ecosystem function analysis using the Price equation. Tina is based in Mark Genung’s lab at the University of Louisiana.  Google Scholar






Dr. James Reilly

James Reilly

James is an ecological modeler who develops and analyzes mathematical and statistical models in collaboration with various members of the lab. James received his Ph.D from Cornell University in 2009.






Lucia Weinman


Lucia Weinman is a fourth-year Ph.D student funded by Rutgers Presidential and EOAS Fellowships. She graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a major in Environmental Biology.


Dylan Simpson


Dylan is a third-year PhD student supported by Rutgers Excellence and EOAS Fellowships. Dylan is interested in the intersections of biodiversity, community composition, and ecosystem function, especially in the contexts of conservation and land-use change. He holds a BS in environmental science and an MS in biology.


Andrew Aldercotte


Andrew is a first-year Ph.D student supported by Rutgers Excellence and EOAS Fellowships. He is interested in community ecology, particularly in inter-trophic interactions and drivers of biodiversity. Andrew recently completed an MSc in Forestry at Bangor University in the UK, doing his field work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and has a BA in Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz.


Max McCarthy


Max is a first-year Ph.D student interested in studying floral resource use by bees and applying this information to conservation. He graduated from Tufts University, where he was a Barry Goldwater Scholar and majored in Biology and Environmental Studies, in 2020.








Aaron Scheiner


Aaron is a sophomore in the Honors College at Rutgers and a double major in mathematics and computer science. He is working with Dylan Simpson on modeling North American firefly distributions and biodiversity, in collaboration with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.





  • Colleen Smith, Ph.D 2020 – Postdoc in Forrest Lab at University of Ottawa
  • Michael Roswell, Ph.D 2020 – Postdoc at University of California, Davis and SESYNC
  • Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, Ph.D 2018 – Postdoc in the Cariveau Lab at the University of Minnesota   web site / Google Scholar
  • Tina Harrison, Ph.D 2016 – Postdoc in the Genung Lab at the University of Louisiana  Google Scholar
  • Faye Benjamin, Ph.D 2015 – Adjunct Professor, Hofstra University Google Scholar
  • Molly MacLeod, Ph.D. 2015 – Senior Director, Science Communications and Engagement, BioMarin Pharmaceutical
  • Sean Griffin, MS 2015 – Postdoc in the Jha Lab at University of Texas, Austin website / Google Scholar


  • Casey Hamilton, ’19, MS student, Penn State University
  • Rosy Tucker ‘17, Graduate School of Education, University of Virginia
  • Joe Zientek ’16, Lab manager, Oakland University
  • Kurtis Himmler ’16, MS student in Biology, Loyola University
  • Tiffany Bennett ’16, Forester, Gracie and Harrigan Consulting
  • Hinal Patel ’15, MD student, Drexel College of Medicine
  • Abigail Cohen ’14, Ph.D student, University of Washington
  • Bridget Johnson ’13, Peace Corps, Paraguay
  • Samantha Hauser ’11Postdoc at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


HONORARY LAB MEMBERS (Born to parents in the Winfree Lab)

Gavin Genung (dad Mark Genung, postdoc)


Isabelle Socolar (mom Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, Ph.D student)


Zelda Keitel and Max Keitel (mom Faye Benjamin, Ph.D student)

IMG_8151 - Version 2

Violeta Bartomeus (dad Nacho Bartomeus, postdoc)


Sophia Budny (mom Rachael Winfree, PI)