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 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. She 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.
Katie is a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow and community ecologist who leverages quantitative and molecular tools to examine anthropogenic drivers of pollinator biodiversity, fitness, and foraging. A central theme of her work is reconciliation ecology, or the advancement of land management strategies that satisfy human needs while preserving healthy ecosystem functioning. Her postdoctoral research goal is to better understand bee’s foraging preferences in springtime and develop conservation management for wild pollinators of spring fruit crops. Katie completed her Ph.D at The Ohio State University where she studied urban pollinator conservation.
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 is a sixth-year PhD candidate. She is interested in the role of biodiversity in the functioning of plant-pollinator systems, as well as the inherent conflict between plants and their pollinators. For her dissertation, Lucia is using pollen analysis to study the pollen diets of spring-flying bee species in deciduous forest understories. Using her data on bees’ pollen collection, she is quantifying the spatial variation in the identity of plants bees rely on for pollen. She is also comparing bees’ patterns of pollen collection with patterns of pollen transport. Lucia conducted her field work in National Parks in Michigan and Indiana. She graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a BA in Environmental Biology.
Dylan is a fifth-year PhD student interested in the intersections of biodiversity, population dynamics, and ecosystem function, especially in the contexts of conservation and land-use change. His Ph.D research uses population genetics to examine the structure and connectivity of bumble bee populations across land use gradients. He holds a BS in environmental science and an MS in biology.
Andrew is a third-year Ph.D student interested in community ecology, particularly in inter-trophic interactions and drivers of biodiversity. He is doing his field work in Borneo where he is studying the phenology of plant-pollinator interactions in the tropical forest canopy, funded by a Fulbright Award. Andrew holds a MSc in Forestry from Bangor University and a BA in Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Max is a third-year Ph.D student interested in studying floral resource use by bees and applying this information to conservation. For his Ph.D work, he is studying metapopulations of a rare specialist bee, Andrena parnassiae, in the fens of northern New Jersey. Max graduated from Tufts University, where he majored in Biology and Environmental Studies, in 2020.
Elyse is a first-year PhD student interested in studying the biodiversity and ecosystem services of native bee populations, particularly in landscapes heavily altered by anthropogenic change. She hopes for her research to strengthen our understanding of the drivers affecting pollinator responses to urbanization, thereby informing evidence-based strategies for conservation. Elyse received her BA in Biology from the University of Evansville in 2023.
LAB ALUMNI/AE – POSTDOCS
- Natalie Lemanski is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Ramapo College Google Scholar
- Mark Genung is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at University of Louisiana Google Scholar
- Tina Harrison is a postdoc in the Genung Lab at University of Louisiana Google Scholar
- Dan Cariveau is an Associate Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota Google Scholar
- Ignasi (Nacho) Bartomeus is a tenured researcher at EBD-CSIC (Doñana Biological Station), Seville Google Scholar
- Geetha Nayak was a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab in 2011-2012
- Romina Rader is a tenured Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management at the University of New England, Australia Google Scholar
LAB ALUMNI/AE – GRADUATE STUDENTS
- Colleen Smith, Ph.D 2020 – Postdoc at University of California, Santa Barbara Google Scholar
- Michael Roswell, Ph.D 2020 – Postdoc at University of California, Davis Google Scholar
- Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, Ph.D 2018 – Postdoc at the University of Minnesota web site / Google Scholar
- Tina Harrison, Ph.D 2016 – Postdoc at the University of Louisiana Google Scholar
- Faye Benjamin, Ph.D 2015 – Adjunct Professor, Hofstra University Google Scholar
- Molly MacLeod, Ph.D. 2015 – Senior Manager in Science Content, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
- Sean Griffin, MS 2015 – Postdoc in the Jha Lab at University of Texas, Austin website / Google Scholar
LAB ALUMNI/AE – UNDERGRADUATES
- Aaron Scheiner ’21, PhD student in Applied Math, Northwestern University
- 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 ’11, Postdoc at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
HONORARY LAB MEMBERS (Born to parents in the Winfree Lab)
Freddie Turo (mom Katie Turo, postdoc)
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)
Violeta Bartomeus (dad Nacho Bartomeus, postdoc)
Sophia Budny (mom Rachael Winfree, PI)