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  • Current Students

  • Alex Goetz
    white male in early 20's with shoulder-length curly auburn hair
    Alex joined the lab as a PhD student in Fall 2018. His research focuses on the impacts of riparian restoration and Tamarix removal on plant communities. He assisted with the lab's 2020 paper on the human dimension of restoration, and current projects include a study on regeneration of Salix trees following Tamarix removal as well as a broad-scale meta-analysis of Tamarix removal outcomes.
  • Ali Alghamdi


    Ali joined the lab as a PhD student in 2020. His research focuses on restoration techniques that affect the recovery of plants of degraded in dryland systems. He evaluates the restoration process over a period of years after the end of the implementation of the restoration works. He will pay particular attention to identify the most significant treatments influencing the long-term trajectory of restoring degraded drylands to improve restoration planning in the future.

  • Aziz Syammach

    Aziz Syammach joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in the fall of 2021. His research focuses on applying and standardizing novel techniques to monitor the effectiveness of riparian restoration actions. His current projects include using functional diversity indices and riparian response guilds to monitor plant community response to restoration actions in the Ebro river in Spain and the Garonne river in France. He is also working on a literature review using Automated Content Analysis to synthesis global trends in the river restoration literature

  • Mandy Malone

          Mandy joined the lab as a MS student in the Fall of 2020. Her research focuses on the relationship of environmental gradients to functional traits of key riparian trees.

  • Former Students & Post Docs

  • Annie Henry
    Annie Henry

    Annie is a newly minted PhD interested in invasive plant and restoration ecology, particularly in river systems. Current projects include research on the effect of the Diorahbda bio-control on Tamarisk infestations in the southwest, as well as studying the effect of treatment methods on secondary invasions. Annie gears her research toward informing effective management policy and public engagement in science and conservation.

  • Eduardo Gonzalez
    Eduardo Gonzalez

    Eduardo is a wetland plant ecologist that joined Dr. Anna Sher's lab in the spring of 2013 on a Marie-Curie International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. The main goal of his project was to find universal criteria of success in floodplain forest restoration projects and to explore the factors driving success along paired climatic gradients in southwestern American and European rivers. Before arriving in Denver, Eduardo obtained his PhD in Ecology at the University of Alcala-Madrid (Spain) in 2010 and has been a postdoc fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research, EcoLab-CNRS, Toulouse (2010-2011) and at the Peatland Ecology Research Group of the Université Laval, Quebec, Canada (2011-2013).

  • Lisa Clark
    Lisa Clark

    Lisa Clark defended her thesis in 2017. Her research focuses on the human side of riparian restoration in the West and how the attitudes of land managers can influence restoration success. She now works for an environmental non-profit in Arizona.

  • Darin Shulte
    Darin Shulte

    Darin Shulte defended his PhD in 2017 and now holds a position at NASA.  He creates state-and-transition models to inform landscape design based on ecological principles.

  • Joe Statwick
    Joe Statwick

    Joseph Statwick earned his Ph.D. in 2016. He investigated the evolutionary ecology of the largest plant genus, Astragalus. In particular, he was interested in whether its phylogenetics and patterns of physiological traits within the genus can help us understand rarity.  He was co-advised by Dr. Jenny Neale at Denver Botanic Gardens. Joe has already published four chapters from his dissertation and is working as an independent consultant.

  • Pengpeng Yue
    Pengpeng Yue

    Pengpeng Yue is a former postdoc who worked on the plant community dynamics associated with riparian restoration. Dr. Pengpeng Yue got her Doctor’s degree in Ecology from Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • Hisham El Waer
    Hisham El Waer

    Hisham El Waer (left) did his PhD dissertation research on restoration after tamarisk removal. He has been assisted in the field and with data analysis by Rob Anderson (right). Dr. El Waer is now a lecturer at Al Fateh University, Tripoli.

  • Michelle Ohrtman
    Michelle Ohrtman

    Michelle earned her PhD in Spring of 2009.  She did her research on the impacts of saltcedar on environmental salinity and the implications for native riparian species revegetation. She is now a lecturer at South Dakota State University.

  • Stephanie (Strudley) Carroll
    Stephanie (Strudley) Carroll

    Stephanie earned her MS in Summer of 2009.  Her work was studying the trophic cascades of the tamarisk biological control agent, Diorhabda elongata. She is now taking care of her two young children.

  • Maggie Meehan Gaddis
    Maggie Meehan Gaddis

    Maggie did her research on the effect of Russian olive on soil nitrogen and the implications for restoration.  She went on to work for an environmental education program and is now Chair of the Life Sciences Department for Colorado Community Colleges Online.

  • Stephanie Gieck
    Stephanie Gieck

    Stephanie did her thesis on tamarisk control and implications for restoration, earning her MS in 2006. She now works for the US Environmental Protection Agency office in Denver doing compliance inspections and enforcement work under the Clean Water Act. She manages the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Enforcement Unit. Her married name is DeJong.

  • Robin Forest Bay
    Robin Forest Bay

    Robin did a multi-state survey of restoration strategies and acheived her MS in Spring 06. She now manages large-scale restoration projects for Habitat Management Inc, a restoration company.

  • Past Undergraduate Students


    Kayleigh Kearnan

    Madison Sligh

    Carly McGuire

    Sarah Bachetti


    Ian Moffit


    Alex Dvorak

    Anna Williams

    Anthony Monzon

    Lisa Keim

    Matthew Peterson

    Robert Biedron

    Brandon Krentz


    Previous years; Organized alphabetically by first name

    Amelia Bowman - finishing medical school and applying for a residency in Internal Medicine

    Anthony Monzon - applying to medical school

    Ben Peters - accepted to graduate program in science

    Bethany DeMarco

    Brittany Catanach - accepted to medical school

    Cate McAllister

    Christie Lumpkin - accepted to graduate program in science

    Claire Slattery - working in a STEM field

    Court Ballinger - working in related field

    Delany Roney - applying to graduate school

    Eliot Jackson - accepted to graduate program in science

    Francesca Aguirre-Wong - accepted to veterinary school

    Grace Fierle

    Graham Frank

    Ingrid Anderson

    Jessica Williams - working with the Barley Breeding Group at MSU

    Joslin Heyward - working in a STEM field

    Julie Begin

    Katie Merewether- Masters student at University of Arizona

    Mary Louise Hathorn - working in a related field

    Michael Nagy

    Morgan James Anderson - accepted to graduate program in science

    Richard Burgess

    Rob Robertson

    Ryan Whitney - working in a STEM field

    Selina Martinez - working in a STEM field

    Sheena Marie Evans - working in a related field

    Stuart Coles - working in a related field

    Urte Zableckas - accepted to medical school

This portfolio last updated: 04-Dec-2021 11:47 AM