Our Research Group

Jonathan on the wind-blown summit of
Ben A’an in the Scottish Highlands (Sep. 2016)

Jonathan Myers

Assistant Professor


Joe collecting seeds in the
Tyson Forest Dynamics Plot, Missouri

Joseph LaManna

Tyson Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Joe works at the interface of populations and communities to understand how and why the demographic consequences of local species interactions, such as predator-prey or host-pathogen interactions, influence the ability of species to coexist and scale up to determine changes in biodiversity from local to global scales.


Dilys at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Dilys Vela Díaz

Ph.D. Student – Evolution, Ecology & Population Biology

Research Interests: Dilys is interested in the causes of large-scale patterns of biodiversity across temperate and tropical ecosystems. Her research focuses on the question of how niche-assembly mechanisms at different scales determine patterns of species diversity and relative abundance in temperate and tropical forests.


        • Website 
        • E-mail: veladd@wustl.edu

Chris in search of herbaceous plants in the Tyson Forest Dynamics Plot, Missouri

Christopher Catano

Ph.D. Student – Evolution, Ecology & Population Biology

Research Interests: Chris is interested in the causes and consequences of biodiversity in changing environments. His research focuses on the question of how spatial processes — dispersal, environmental heterogeneity, landscape connectivity — influence how ecological communities assemble following disturbance, the ways species coexist, and the role biodiversity plays for producing and stabilizing ecosystem functions.


Ben censusing seedlings at
Tyson Research Center, Missouri

Ben Chase

Research Technician

Research Interests: Ben leads our field, lab, and team operations at Tyson Research Center. He is interested in botany, plant community ecology, biological invasions, and conservation.


  • E-mail: benjamin.c.chase@gmail.com

Former Graduate Students & Post-Docs

Marko Spasojevic

Tyson Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015) – Ecological consequences of plant functional diversity across scales

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of California-Riverside (Website)

Emma Moran

Ph.D. (2016) – Beta-diversity patterns and community assembly across latitudes
(co-advised with Dr. Tiffany Knight)

Former Research Technicians

Aaron Steinberg

Tyson Research Center Technician (2016)

Jennifer Kidson

Tyson Research Center Plot Technician (2013)

Maranda Walton

Lab Technician (20132016)

Brett Decker

Tyson Research Center Plot Technician (2012)

Jocelyn Frazelle

Tyson Research Center Technician (2016)

Javier Hernandez

Tyson Research Center Plot Technician (2013)

Michael Lehmann

Tyson Research Center Technician (2017)

Former Undergraduate Honors-Thesis Students

Amal Al Lozi

B.A. (2012) – Environmental Biology

Thesis: Unraveling mechanisms of recruitment limitation in temperate-forest seedling communities

Ashley Knudson

B.S. (2017) – Environmental Biology

Thesis: Biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships are mediated by the environment and functional-trait assembly

Elizabeth Yablon

B.A. (2013) – Environmental Studies

Thesis: Functional traits, environmental gradients, and community assembly in a temperate forest

Former Tyson Undergraduate Research Fellows

Alexandra Porter

Washington University – Computer Engineering

Eduardo Koerich Nery

Brazil Scientific Mobility Program & Indiana University

Jacqueline Treiger

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2013)

Liam Engel

Washington University –
Biology (2017)

Maya Samuels-Fair

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2017)

Anna Liang

Washington University – Environmental Biology

Emily Wen

Washington University – Environmental Biology

Jacqueline Reu

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2017)

Maddy Salzman

Washington University – Environmental Studies (2011)

Michaela Hyams

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2013)

Camila Chiriboga

Missouri State University – Biology

Emma Waltman

Washington University – Biology (Ecology/Evolution Track)

Jamal Gaddis

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2014)

Maggie Gardner

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2014)

Vanessa Hensley

Washington University – Environmental Studies (2012)

Dev Harrington

Columbia University –
Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology (2013)

Iris Seto

Washington University – Environmental Biology

Kate Harline

Washington University –
Biology (2013-2014)

Mariel Lutz

Washington University – Environmental Biology (2017)

Vincent Spradling

McKendree University – Environmental Studies (2016)