I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in understanding the full range of ways that plant populations respond to changing environmental conditions. Much of my work focuses on how rapid environmental changes (e.g., biological invasions, rising CO2 concentrations, and global climate change) impact population dynamics, species interactions, and the evolution of plant populations.
Susan is a PhD student in Plant Biology. She is interested in how invasive plant species affect community structure and diversity.
Prior to joining the Lau lab, Susan obtained an MS degree at Sonoma State University, where she studied the effects of an invasive plant (Carpobrotus edulis) on community composition in a California coastal dune.
Meredith Zettlemoyer received her B.A. in Biology and English from the University of Virginia, and began her PhD at MSU in 2015. She is interested in patterns of biodiversity loss in response to global change. Meredith is currently using historical botanical data to compare trait-based and phylogenetic patterns of local extinction, and is investigating the influence of nitrogen and herbivory on the population demography of extinct species.
Former Lab Members:
Casey, a former postdoc, is now an Assistant Professor at Cal State Northridge, where he studies a wide variety of species interactions, including the legume-rhizobium mutualism and coral-symbiont mutualisms. He completed his Ph.D. at Florida State University with Tom Miller and Don Levitan. He is happy to be back at the same institution where he received his Master’s degree (with Steve Dudgeon). You can read more about Casey at his lab site.
Rachel Prunier is now an Assistant Professor at Western Connecticut State University studying the evolution of White Proteas, Desmodium-rhizobium mutualisms, and turtles?!?
Dylan Weese, a former post-doc, is now an Associate Professor at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. He continues to study rapid evolutionary responses to nitrogen deposition in the legume-rhizobium mutualism, mentor undergraduate researchers, and fish.
Kane Keller completed his PhD in Summer 2016, went on to a postdoc at the University of Minnesota, and is now a new assistant professor at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Kane is a community ecologist studying how mutualisms and other symbioses influence plant community ecology.
Liz Schultheis completed her PhD in Summer 2016 and is now a postdoc on an NSF DRK-12 grant that will test the efficacy and expand the use of DataNuggets, a popular educational tool that uses small authentic datasets to teach elementary through high school students how to answer questions with data and how to create and interpret graphs. You can read more about Liz’s work here: https://ehschultheis.wordpress.com