Current Lab Members

Christine Rohal, postdoc

Christine studies ecology and restoration of wetland macrophytes and submerged aquatic vegetation, and has been a member of the lab since 2017.

Stephanie Verhulst, PhD candidate

Steph studies salt marsh plant community response to sea level rise, and will graduate with her PhD in Summer 2022.

Natalie Salman, MS student in Interdisciplinary Ecology

Natalie received her Bachelor’s degree in 2020 from Florida International University where they majored in Environmental Studies & Sustainability with certificates in Agroecology and Biodiversity Conservation and Management. Natalie’s Master’s research focuses on the study of better propagation methods for carnivorous plants in an indoor setting for commercial markets and habitat reintroduction. Other passions include invasive species management, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem restoration

Alex Matys, Undergraduate Scholars Program research assistant

Alex has been working in the lab as a research assistant since 2019. Her undergraduate thesis focused on improving protocols for monitoring long leaf pine restorations.

Kiki Montgomery, Undergraduate research assistant

Kiki joined the lab in Summer 2022 and earned an Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Summer Internship. They are studying mechanical engineering and environmental horticulture. Their current project focuses on living shoreline plantings and resilience to climate change stressors. Other passions include crop management, development of local community garden spaces, and the integration of hydroponics in civilian spaces. 

Elise Williams, Undergraduate research assistant

Elise joined the lab in Summer 2022 and provides research support for ongoing experiments. They are currently working towards their BS in Natural Resource Conservation, and also work as a Risk Analyst at the IFAS Assessment. Their past research includes exploring the interplay between thermoregulatory behavior and thermal tolerance in ectotherms. Other scientific interests of theirs include environmental restoration, invasive plants, and most aspects of ecology, while other passions of theirs include music, crafting, and spending time outdoors.

Mikel Barbeite, research volunteer

Mikel began volunteering in the lab in Summer 2022, and assists with research in the lab and greenhouse.

Leah Cobb Lee, PhD

Leah received her Bachelor’s degree in 2013 from the University of Florida where she majored in Plant Science with a specialization in Restoration Horticulture. Leah’s Master’s research, completed in August 2015, involved identifying efficient sourcing strategies for resilient populations of sea oats in Florida and restoring coastal dune systems with respect to climate change impacts. For her PhD research, she studied Juncus roemerianus population ecology in Big Bend salt marshes, and earned her PhD in 2020. Other passions include primary science education, grassroots ecological initiatives, and ecological anthropology.