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The PLOS Ecology Reporting Fellows at ESA 2016


We are excited to announce our PLOS Ecology Reporting Fellows for 2016. These talented scientists will be providing in-depth and up-to-date coverage of the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during the coming week. But before we get to the science, we want to introduce you to these folks!caitlin

Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie is a PhD candidate in the Primack Lab in the Biology Department at Boston University. She spends her field seasons in Acadia National Park, Maine studying leaf out and flowering phenology and patterns of historical species loss across plant communities. Her field methods include three ridge transects that are conveniently located adjacent to beautiful running trails and carriage roads. Away from Acadia’s granite ridges, she’s interested in underutilized sources of historical ecology data including herbarium specimens, field notebooks, photographs, and old floras; the potential for citizen science in phenology research; and the intersection of science and policy. In 2016 she partnered with the Mount Desert Island Historical Society to co-curate a museum exhibit highlighting the scientific and conservation contributions of her 19th century “boyfriend” botanist, Edward Rand and his natural history colleagues in the Champlain Society. (Follow Caitlin on Twitter @CaitlinInMaine)

danielDaniel Winkler is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Irvine and a recent National Park Service Young Leader in Climate Change. Daniel is a plant ecophysiologist interested in invasive species, evolutionary ecology, and climate change impacts on native communities in “extreme” environments. His field sites include much of the desert southwest, alpine regions of Colorado, the subalpine forests of Baja California, and the tundra of northern Japan. All of Daniel’s research focuses on climate change impacts on native systems, with an emphasis on parks and protected areas. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielEWinkler, his research on Facebook at, or find more information on his website at


kelseyKelsey Graham is a PhD Candidate at Tufts University, Department of Biology. Her research interests lie at the intersection of invasion ecology and animal behavior, with a focus on interspecific interactions between native and non-native species. Kelsey uses an interdisciplinary approach to answer questions from multiple theoretical perspectives, providing a comprehensive assessment of an invasive species within their invaded ecosystems. Her current focus is on an invasive bee, the European wool-carder bee (Anthidium manicatum), and its impact on native pollinators and plants. (Follow Kelsey on Twitter @woolcarderbee)



umaUma Nagendra is a PhD student at the University of Georgia in the graduate program in plant biology. She has a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in biology and comparative literature. Her research focuses on the impacts of wind disturbances on plant-soil interactions in the Southern Appalachian Mountains through the combined use of greenhouse and field experiments to investigate how tornadoes can change not only what plants grow in an area, but also how they interact with each other– through the soil. (  (@atinytornado)


70mAUFD2Liz Kimbrough is a PhD student in the Van Bael lab at Tulane University. You can find her in New Orleans studying the microbial communities of bald cypress trees, writing about science, and playing her washboard. Though she hails from Alabama, Liz earned her Bachelor’s in botany amongst the redwood trees at Humboldt State University. Liz discovered a passion for bringing science and environmental news to the public when she began writing for in 2012.  Liz is currently a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and is excited to continue communicating science to the public and working in coastal and tropical ecosystems. (Follow Liz on Twitter @lizkimbrough_ )
Make sure to follow all of our Fellows during the week both on social media and on this site as they report on the research and happenings of this year’s Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

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