Mike McCoy, Lab PI
I develop and implement experimental and statistical approaches to link empirical data to ecological and evolutionary theory. I typically take a mechanistic approach to understand how individual traits (e.g. size, stage and phenotype) scale up to influence population and community level processes and spatial coupling across ecosystems. I have broad interests and my research is very question driven and integrative. As a result I have worked on wide variety of topics, organisms and in wide array of ecological systems. In my spare time I enjoy running ultramarathons, hiking, camping, traveling, and spending time with my family.
Sarah Goodnight, Ph.D. student - Sarah’s dissertation work focuses on helminth endoparasites of amphibians, which often have complex, multi-host life cycles that bridge ecological and trophic gaps. She is specifically focused on how parasites disperse across landscapes by manipulating their hosts, and uses a combination of field surveying, mesocosm experiments, and ecological modeling to answer her research questions. In her free time, Sarah enjoys running (away from her problems), watching documentaries, and snuggling with her overweight cat, Pi.
Ellen Titus, MS student - Ellen is interested in how the abiotic and biotic forces in ecosystems combine to influence the assembly and persistence of biological communities. She is interested in the variability in community ecology, and examining how the influence of both bottom-up and top-down processes shape biological communities. Her Masters project is modeled on the James River rock Pool ecosystem and is examining inconsistent predation, in the form of pulses, and its effects on the community assembly of freshwater invertebrates and nitrogen nutrient dynamics. In her free time Ellen enjoys baking, painting, hiking, and watching movies, and is trying to learn to love running.
Ellie Baker, MS Student - Ellie is a Greenville-native, and earned her B.S. in Biology from ECU. She has returned to earn a Masters, and is interested in both Population Dynamics and Evolutionary Ecology. Specifically, she’s fascinated by predator-prey dynamics, the effects of abiotic stressors on organisms and their ability to function, and how these dynamics shape an ecosystem over time. Ellie loves all amphibians, and plans to focus on native North Carolina anurans for her thesis work. Being a ballet & contemporary dancer most of her life, Ellie enjoys a good ballet class or yoga session. She’s also passionate about all classic mafia movies & epics (like The Godfather or Braveheart), and is enthusiastic about chocolate, beer, and coffee.
Lu Kernstine, MS Student- Lu is keenly interested in all things spatial ecology. Remote sensing, mapping, and GIS technologies are of particular interest to Lu as she works to understand the changing world and, ultimately, how we can use biogeographic data to do so. In her spare time, she loves to pet her cats - Cypress and Juniper - paddle around in her kayak, dine on fine wine and cheese, and spend countless hours making the perfect Spotify playlists.