Angelica L. Gonzalez

Principal investigator

Angélica L. González 

I am a broadly curious ecologist, but my research interests are all tied together by the understanding of the ways in which the availability, storage and transfer of energy and matter affect biodiversity, trophic interactions and ecosystem processes. I use experiments, observation, data synthesis, and a variety of analytical tools (e.g., stable isotopes) to answer questions that integrate biodiversity (taxonomic and functional), species interactions and nutrient dynamics. I completed my Ph.D. at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Zoology and the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, Canada. I am now an assistant professor at Rutgers University, NJ. Google Scholar


Graduate students

Mark Nessel. PhD student (CCIB)

I received my bachelors degree in Biology from Drexel University. I am interested in a wide range of ecological topics. Before joining the González lab I had the opportunity to participate in a variety of ecological projects.  These included conservation work with ground nesting birds in Central Florida, population studies of primates in West Africa and phylogenetic research with flightless Tiger Beetles of the Southwestern United States,  I am excited about help uncover the mechanisms by which ecosystems are governed.


Morgan Kelly. Master student.

My research interests are focused on trait-based ecology and evolutionary biology.I’m specifically interested in the role of intraspecific variation as a driver of the evolution of species and community structure in a changing world. My current project focuses on the muldimensional trait niche of animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) using key functional traits: elemental content (C, N, and P) and body size.

Caleb Gilbert. Master student.

Caleb is co-adviced by Daniel Shain and Angélica L. González. I am interested in ecology and molecular biology. My project combines ecological approaches and metagenomics to understand patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of microorganisms across spatial scales. For my research, I am using pitcher plant aquatic communities as model study system.





Katrina Dewitt. Master student. 

In 2017 I graduated with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Rutgers-Camden.  I started a Master in Biology looking at the stoichiometric niche of aquatic communities across spatial scales and environmental gradients using pitcher plants communities as model study system.


JulianaJuliana S. Leal. PhD Student. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Brazil

Juliana is co-advised by Vinicius Farjalla and Angélica L. González.
I am particularly interested in how changes in community structure translate into changes in how ecosystems function. For my Masters, I studied the independent and interactive effects of rainfall changes and leaf litter diversity on CO2 dynamics in aquatic communities. I am currently studying how light availability influence regime shifts in energy pathways (i.e., leaf litter vs. algae) and ecosystem stability in aquatic communities. In my research, I use tank-bromeliads as natural model systems, because these confer high replicability, and allow for easy experimental manipulation to test ecological theory.


100_1335Sandra Benavides, PhD Student. Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) Brazil

Sandra is co-advised by Gustavo Romero and Angélica L. González.
I am particularly interested in how external stressors affect community structure and ecosystem functioning. For my Masters, I studied the effects of changes in precipitation and resource quality on aquatic communities of tank-bromeliads. Using principles from metabolic theory of ecology and ecological stoichiometry, I am currently studying the response of aquatic communities and nutrient cycling to changes in environmental temperature and nutrient fertilization. For this study, I am using field-warming experiments crossed with nutrient fertilization.

Undergraduate students

Alexis Brickner

Rachael VanCuren

Richard Vereneck

Former Lab members

Olivier Dézerald. Postdoc


At the interface between the physiology of organisms and community ecology, my research aims topredict the structural and functional responses of food webs to various natural or human-driven environmental changes. To this end, I am driven to combine field observations, in situ experiments and modelling approaches across gradients of biological and spatial scales. groups within communities; potential changes in organisms’ body size).


Ryan Walker. Master Student

During my time as an undergrad, I focused mainly on the morphology of mosquito larvae, resulting in the creation of a dichotomous key currently being used by the Hunterdon County Mosquito and Vector Control Program. Since then, my research interests have shifted towards understanding how human-induced environmental changes affect the nutritional needs of predatory arthropods and their top-down effects  on ecosystems. My thesis project focused on exploring the effects of temperature changes on the nutritional needs and feeding behavior of spiders.



Tiffany LutzTiffany Lutz. Master student

I just graduated from a Master in Biology Program where I studied the prey capturing and feeding efficiency of predators along environmental gradients. I am interested in predator-prey interactions, wildlife conservation, and the impacts of invasive species on native organisms.



Marissa Minardi 

Ryan Curry

Angela Wollard

Claudia Vaca

Rachel Carr