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Environmental Sciences Division

Post-graduate and Student Research

(last updated 10/24/2015)

Post-graduate positions open

Quantitative Ecologist Population modeling of white sturgeon and Chinook salmon (pdf)

Fellowships Opportunities

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Postdoctoral Fellowship

DOE Krell Institute Fellowship Program

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis

Post-graduate researchers

2014-2016:  Jasmine Kreig BS UNC Chapel Hill (2014) Jasmine is contributing to our bioenergy sustainability research. She has developed a combinatorial assessment of conservation practices using the Soil Water Assessment Tool. She is also leading a section of a manuscript on spatial decisions in bioenergy to benefit water quality, focusing on conservation practices that relate to placement of wetlands and tile drain mitigation.

2014-2015:  Nate Sutton MS University of Tennessee (2014). Nate developed an assessment of genetic and demographic risks and benefits to compare two conservation practices for white sturgeon populations in the Snake River. In addition, he developed a spatial optimization approach to allocate bioenergy crops in a way that is sustainable for grassland birds.

2009-2011:  Peter Schweizer. PhD Ohio University (2008). Peter is interested in relationships between watershed landcover, water quality, and fish diversity. Peter developed mixed models to forecast how projected increases in biomass fuel production might influence fish biodiversity in the Midwest. His first paper, which required advanced statistical methods to represent the distribution of fish richness and an ecological valuation of richness. Peter also published research with Mark Bevelhimer, Glenn Cada, and Vince Neary to quantify risk to fishes in marine kinetic turbines.

2001:  Annett Sullivan, PhD in Geology, U. of Wyoming (1999) and ORNL Wigner Fellow. Annett developed a spatial reservoir model linked with CE-QUAL2 output to examine the ability of white sturgeon to avoid and, thus, survive, seasonal water quality deterioration in Brownlee Reservoir, near Boise, Idaho. Annett is a hydrologist with the USGS office in Portland, Oregon. Annett's homepage

Students involved in research

Summer 2012:  Jamie Smedsmo, PhD student Univ. North Carolina, combined downscaled GCM climate data produced by the Climate Change Science Institute (S-C. Kao, B. Naz, Moetasim Ashfaq) with our SWAT model setup for the Arkansas-White-Red river basin (L. Baskaran) to examine the effects of future climate variability on the relative sustainability of winter wheat and switchgrass. Jamie was supported by DOE's Krell Institute Computational Fellowship

Summer 2012:  Mike Kelly, PhD student in mathematics, contributed to research in the Roanoke basin, VA. After reviewing studies of spatial optimization and prioritization of decisions relevant to the hydropower industry, such as where to develop new dams, remove existing dams, and provide passage, Mike developed Python tools needed to implement decision tools. Mike is a NIMBioS fellow at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville: (NIMBios page)

Fall 2010:  Lin Shi, UG student from Knox College, Illinois contributed to our bioenergy research research at ORNL by developing PATH or structural equation models of fish richness in the Arkansas-White-Red river basin to better understand the direct and indirect influences of land cover on water quality and fish richness.

2009-10:  T. Alex Perkins, PhD student from UC Davis conducted research at ORNL as part of the DOE Krell Institute fellowship program. Alex's research sought to understand how juvenile Snake River Chinook salmon use conditional strategies to adopt either a sub-yearling or yearling migration life history.  Alex developed a model of life history choice and incorporated this into an age-based population viability analysis model. He developed and applied optimization methods to identify parameters most consistent with the observed proportions in each life histories across spawning areas and years, and summarized his results in a paper to appear soon in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

2008:  Alexandre Lockhart, MS student from North Carolina State University, participated in the Snake River Chinook salmon project.  Alex imputed missing temperatures and contributed to the development of a temperature-driven model for incubation in tributaries and mainstem spawning areas of the Snake River Hell's Canyon reach written in C.

2007: Kendall Ernst, BS student from Stanford U, worked on the Ogeechee River shortnose sturgeon project.  Kendall implemented the SWAT model to Fort Stewart so that we could examine the effects of changes in military landuse practices.  He started the calibration process for SWAT and compiled the spatial data needed to construct a 2D grid for the EFDC hydrodynamic model of the Ogeechee and Canoochee rivers in Georgia .

2007: Sarah Lewis, recent Oak Ridge High School graduate, conducted a literature search using ISI of water use efficiency in biomass crops and produced an Endnote bibliography and a database of relevant data.

2006: Emmanuel Isang, BS student in microbiology/pre-med at ETSU, conducted a literature search to support a life history analysis of fishes that focuses on the relationship between the number of years between spawning events and other costs associated with spawning, such as parental care and migration.

2005: Darrell Hoy, BS student in Mathematics, Dartmouth College, NH, developed a variation on tabu search optimization that we will use to optimize well placement to minimize damage to sage grouse populations. Darrell also helped to develop a graphical user interface using MFC for our white sturgeon PVA model.

2003: Liliya Hartman, BS student in Computer Science, Pennsylvania , helped to run simulations of hatchery operations (equalized family sizes stocked) and their effects on the demographic and genetic health of a wild population.

2002: Eric Carr , Post-MS (Math, University of Tennessee) coded the object-oriented "badger" landscape model used to evaluate brine spill effects in C++.  This model served as the basis for, and was later generalized to represent a wide range of terrestrial life histories and is currently being generalized further to represent river habitats and aquatic species. Eric is a key member of the Tennessee Institute for Ecological Modeling and National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis . Eric's homepage

2001: Brian Maskarinec, BS in Math, U. Georgia, developed the skeleton for an object-oriented landscape model, reading an initial vegetation map and spatial disturbance data for fires, oil spills, and brine spills

2000: Brian Maskarinec, worked on our trout model to evaluate habitat use and its response to flow in a California stream.




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