Principal investigator

Angélica L. González

Angelica L. Gonzalez

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 Bachelor’s 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.

Tess Konnovitch, PhD Student (CCIB)

I received my bachelor’s degree from La Salle University where I was a dual Biology and Environmental Science Major, with a minor in Education. I am interested in researching the effects of anthropogenic activities (i.e., nutrient enrichment, pollution, invasive species) on ecological phenomena (e.g., species populations, decline, extinction). I am passionate about STEM education, especially the enhancement of STEM education in low-income school districts. I am so excited to be a Ph.D student in the González lab, and further develop and investigate my research interests!

Sandra Benavides, PhD student (UNICAMP, Brazil)

100_1335Sandra 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. 

Ryan Curry, Master student (Biology)

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Minnesota. I am interested in understanding the response of communities involving aquatic larvae to nutrient loading and environmental pollutants such as heavy metals.

Concetta Magliocetti, Master student (Biology)

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ursinus College, where I had the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of insects.  Although, I am interested in a broad range of ecological topics, I have a particular curiosity for arthropods, in particular web-building spiders, and the ecological role they play in nature.


Caleb Gilbert, Master student (Biology).

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.


Undergraduate students

Lillian Kappatos

Iayra Bates

Madeline Oliver

Former Lab members

Olivier Dézerald. Postdoc


My research aims to predict 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). I am a Research Scientist at INRAE, France.

Katrina Dewitt. Master in Biology. 


I completed my Master in Biology in 2020, which focused on looking at intraspecific patterns in the stoichiometry of pitcher plants across a geographical gradient.  I am currently a PhD student in the Gilbert Lab at Duke University. 

Morgan Kelly. Master in Biology.

I completed my Master in Biology in 2019, which focused on exploring the muldimensional trait niche of animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) using key functional traits: elemental content (C, N, and P) and body size.


Juliana 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.

Ryan Walker. Master in Biology

I obtained my Masters in 2018, and my ty thesis project focused on exploring the effects of temperature changes on the nutritional needs and feeding behavior of spiders.



Tiffany LutzTiffany Lutz. Master in Biology.

I graduated from a Master in Biology Program in 2017 where I studied the prey capturing and feeding efficiency of predators along environmental gradients.


Undergraduate students

Aillen Kwok

Alexis Brickner

Rachael VanCuren

Richard Vereneck

Marissa Minardi 

Ryan Curry

Angela Wollard

Claudia Vaca

Rachel Carr