We have a busy summer planned. Watch this site for exciting news and developments!
Claudia was awarded a unique opportunity to attend the course “Species traits: a functional approach to biodiversity, from organisms to ecosystems” in Colombia. This is a long-running course that is known world-wide for producing emerging leaders in functional ecology (including yours truly!). It will be taught by some of the world’s leaders (and founders) of trait-based ecology.
As part of our post-Hurricane Maria research redesign, we are now collaborating with Casa Pueblo to study the role of functional traits on butterfly recovery in the subtropical forests near Adjuntas. Little work has been done relating the diversity or distribution of butterflies in Puerto Rico and our work will likely reveal interesting patterns and processes!
More exciting news from the lab. Amelia defends an outstanding Master’s thesis! She will be returning to the Dominican Republic to work at Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and continuing her work relating the functional role of bats as important seed dispersers in tropical insular dry forests.
Mariangeli wins a prestigious Mindlin Foundation Undergraduate Research Award! The award supports her work relating the phenotypic variation of the Puerto Rican monarch butterfly! She will be traveling to the McGuire Center of Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at University of Florida Gainesville to sample wing size and coloration patterns of specimens in the natural history collection. The award also supports travel to the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation Annual Meeting in Kuching, Malaysia in July!
We are moving! Hulshof has accepted a position at Virginia Commonwealth University, one of the largest R1 universities in Virginia. VCU is located in the historical and exciting city of Richmond. We are looking forward to being a short two hour drive from the Smithsonian and other institutions in the D.C. area.
We are all safe after Hurricane Maria! We are grateful for all the warm wishes as we recover and redesign our research. PI Hulshof will be visiting University of Florida Gainesville for one month under a program to support displaced faculty. There, she will be collaborating with folks from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and the famous Weecology lab! This month-long visit will have a huge impact on our research program and increase collaboration between subtropical Florida and Puerto Rico!
The lab welcomes Claudia and Dayneris, our newest members to the lab. Claudia previously studied the functional ecology of plants in Colombian páramo and Dayneris has previously worked on microbe seasonality of a high salinity lake in Cuba. They will be developing new projects related to tropical serpentine ecology.
This summer, our lab is collaborating with the Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research Site’s REU program to study butterfly and moth diversity of Puerto Rico’s tropical rain forest.
Carlos Pasiche wins Botany 2017 Best Student Presentation Award in Tropical Biology for his work titled “Elevation and historical events shape moss community traits and functional diversity in Puerto Rico” in collaboration with Ines Sastres. Carlos graduated with a Master’s in Biology from UPRM and is now pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba.
Our lab joined Jamie Horvath (Westchester) and David Vann (UPenn) for the first Susua Research Symposium! Jose presented his work on the serpentine endemic Crescentia portoricensis and Hulshof presented her work on serpentine plant diversity in Costa Rica.
Our lab participated in the Feria Para La Naturaleza science fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mariangeli and Oscar led some amazing science communication relating the importance of studying butterfly diversity, their roles as pollinators, and the enormous amounts of data stored in natural history collections!
Our lab joined Skip van Bloem and Jennifer Powers in Guanica, Puerto Rico to set up a long-term dry forest monitoring project. This is a DOE funded project (PI Powers) and includes dry forests from Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico!
PI Hulshof was awarded the NSF Macrosystems in Biology Early Career Award! This award will support our work relating the response of unusual soil systems to climate change across the Caribbean and Latin America.
In collaboration with Janet Franklin, we are hosting a tropical dry forest symposium at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Join us to learn more about the seasonality of dry forests and the effects of seasonality on tropical organisms.
Nemesis F. was awarded a summer research internship to work at the University of Georgia’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center! Nemesis has helped our lab digitize Lepidoptera and is excited to expand her research experience.
Andrea M. was awarded a summer research internship funded by the Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program. She will be working to inventory dragonflies across the entire island. She worked in our lab on a project relating food diversity across the island and also received a prestigious NSF REU last year!
We are starting the year with yet another award! Hulshof was awarded a Small Research Grant from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust ($70,000). This award will advance the digitization of natural history collections in Puerto Rico and lead to many new projects and collaborations.
PI Hulshof presented her work on climatic variability at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation in Honolulu, Hawaii and enjoyed some much needed time off!