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Alumni News

We love to hear from our alumni!  Please keep us posted on what is happening in your life by telling us your news. Please email us at EEB [at] UTK.EDU  We may post your news here on the Alumni News page, on Facebook & Twitter, or in the newsletter.

Important new work about invasive species by former EEB grad student, Martin Nunez

September 5, 2023

Tiny Fish Makes Big Splash

May 31, 2023

Read about Dr. David Etnier’s Snail Darter legacy here:

EEB Graduate Receives Fulbright Award

May 25, 2023

Spring 2023 EEB honors graduate Colton Adams received a Fulbright student award. Read about his plans here:

EEB Department Alumnus Weighs in on Shy Spiders

May 24, 2023

Dr. Angela Chuang, formerly of the Riechert lab, was consulted for this NY Times article on Joro Spiders, and whether current research is in fact proving how shy the species can be.

An Untraditional Concentration

November 16, 2018

Pursuing his DDS at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, John Patrick (J.P.) Carney (’13) begins his fourth and final year of dental school this fall. He will graduate May 2019. A graduate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Carney received his BS in biological sciences with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology. Before ...

Kalisz & Fukami Elected to ASN Leadership

March 27, 2018

EEB Department Head Susan Kalisz has been elected as President 2020 of the American Society of Naturalists.  Congratulations! Alumnus Tadashi Fukami (PhD 2003) has also been elected to the leadership of ASN, as Secretary 2019-2021.  

I Will Make Tennessee Proud

March 15, 2018

Pre-eminent entomologist Carl Huffaker (’38, ’39) never forgot the kindness of a UT president. By Brooks Clark (’16) Among the pleasures of working in UT alumni relations are the occasions when long, lost alums or their families come back to campus and we get to revisit the old sights and introduce them to the new show. Last ...

New Plant Species and Habitat Near Knoxville

February 27, 2018

A paper describing the discovery of a new plant species, the Leatherleaf Tassel Rue (Trautvetteria fonticalcarea), was just published by recent UT graduate Aaron Floden (PhD 2017) in the Nordic Journal of Botany. Floden, writing with his PhD advisor Prof. Ed Schilling, also provided the first published description of the unique habitat in which this ...

No Fortuitous Short-Cuts When Deciding Conservation Priorities

January 20, 2018

The Armsworth Lab has a new open-access publication out in Nature Communications: “Factoring economic costs into conservation planning may not improve agreement over priorities for protection.”  It is a collaboration between an interdisciplinary team of UT researchers with scientists at The Nature Conservancy and focuses on how best to identify candidate areas for establishing nature ...

Milt (PhD 2015) Recognized by Conservation Biology

October 1, 2017

Austin Milt (PhD 2015, now a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin) won third place in Conservation Biology’s ‘Rising Star’ award for his manuscript, “The Costs of Avoiding Environmental Impacts from Shale-Gas Surface Infrastructure.” The Rising Star award considers all student led papers published in Conservation Biology in 2016. This award is judged by a ...

Magic Mushroom Effects on Insects

August 25, 2017

There is an August 23, 2017 article in New Scientist about hallucinogenic mushrooms and their insect-repellent properties.  The article mentions work done at Ohio State, and the Matheny Lab helped with the research, particularly former grad student Hailee Korotkin (MS 2017). There’s a similar article in The Atlantic.

Discover Magazine Interviews Burghardt, Pruitt- UPDATE

May 8, 2017

The June 2017 issue of Discover Magazine has an article on play behavior in non-mammalian animals.  Called “The Play’s the Thing,” it features interviews with Professor Gordon Burghardt and alumnus Jonathan Pruit (PhD 2010, Riechert Lab, now on the faculty at UC-Santa Barbara). The article references a paper published in 2012 that was written by ...

Graduate Student Senate Awards 2017

April 17, 2017

Congratulations to the EEB grad students who won Graduate Student Senate awards this year. There are a few different categories: Research: This award is presented to graduate students who have received national and/or international recognition in their fields and show professional promise in their areas of research and creative achievement. Sam Borstein (O’Meara Lab) Angela Chuang (Riechert Lab) Aaron ...

EEB Students Win NSF GRFP Fellowships

March 20, 2017

EEB students have done very well again in the 2017 round of NSF GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) fellowships!  Our congratulations go to finishing undergraduate Patrick McKenzie (Armsworth Lab), incoming graduate student Rachel Swenie (Matheny Lab), and current PhD student Morgan Roche (Kalisz Lab). In addition, two EEB alumni won GRFP awards: Robert Connell (BS 2015, ...

Cover Images for Matheny Lab

February 13, 2017

Marisol Sanchez-Garcia (PhD 2016), former Matheny Lab member and now a postdoc at Clark University, landed a paper on ectomycorrhizal diversification on the cover of Evolution for January 2017.   Also, Biz Sheedy, a visiting grad student to the Matheny Lab from Melbourne, has a paper on the diversification of truffle-forming fungi in Australia on the cover ...

Iversen (PhD 2008) Receives ESA Fellowship

February 9, 2017

EEB adjunct professor and alumna Colleen M. Iversen (PhD 2008) has been named as an Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow for 2017.  Fellowships are awarded to young scientists who advance the science of ecology and show promise for continuing contributions. Iversen is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Climate Change Science Institute and Environmental ...

Milt (PhD 2015) Research Featured in New Book

October 17, 2016

Austin Milt’s PhD (2015, Armsworth Lab) work is featured in a nice, one-page color spread in a new book by Craig Groves and Eddie Game: Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healthier Planet. The book “will be very well-read within its field – likely the industry leading text for the next 5-6 years if recent history is ...

Nelson in Knoxville Mercury

September 26, 2016

FWF alum Stephen Nelson appeared in an article in the Knoxville Mercury on September 21, 2016. Nelson did research in the Fitzpatrick Lab as an undergraduate; he is now a herpetology keeper at Knoxville Zoo.  The article focuses on what might be a new species of mudpuppy in the Hiwassee River.  

Editor’s Choice for Read

July 11, 2016

Quentin Read’s (PhD 2016) recent paper in Oikos has been highlighted as an “Editor’s Choice” article. The study challenges how we currently conduct biodiversity studies by demonstrating that a high percentage of studies over estimate the effects of diversity and may actually conclude species level effects when those effects are actually driven by hidden nested variation. “Accounting ...

Fulbright for Rewcastle (BS 2015)

May 9, 2016

Kenna Rewcastle, a 2015 graduate in the College Scholars program, has been awarded a Fulbright US Student Program Grant for 2016–17. She will be going to Sweden to complete research on the impact of climate change on the food source for reindeer herds managed by the Sami indigenous people. Rewcastle, of Apison, Tennessee, who was ...

Curt Richardson (PhD 1972): Alumni Update

April 14, 2016

Curt Richardson (PhD 1972) is the second person ever to graduate from UT with a PhD in Ecology, and his career after graduating has been impressive!  This is what he had to say: No question UT put me on the path to a remarkable career, first at the University of Michigan and then at Duke University ...

John Reynolds (PhD 1973): Alumni Update

April 14, 2016

John Reynolds (PhD 1973) was the third person to receive a PhD from the Ecology program at UT.  It is thanks to his input that the department has an alumni blog!  This is what he had to say: The attached article captures my scientific research up to 2012.  In April, I published a major paper on ...

UPDATE: NSF GRFP Award for Daws; Honorable Mentions for Lash, Ramsey, Dunkirk

April 7, 2016

One of our alumna has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year: Sarah Caroline Daws (BS 2015)! In addition, three EEB students/ alumni have been awarded NSF GRFP Honorable Mentions: Chloe Lash (Current graduate student, Kwit Lab); Adam Ramsey (BS 2013; now PhD student in Biological Sciences at University of Memphis); Nora Dunkirk (BS 2014) [apologies for ...

Tenure-Track Position for Shah (PhD 2011)

April 6, 2016

Premal Shah, a PhD student who graduated from EEB in 2011, is now an Assistant Professor of Genetics at Rutgers University, as of January 2016.  Congratulations!

Williams, Edwards, and Ramsey in the American Journal of Botany

March 28, 2016

Prof. Joe Williams is the organizer of a special issue of the American Journal of Botany and lead author on the cover paper. The issue also features a paper from Joe that has two undergraduate alumni co-authors (Jacob A. Edwards and Adam J. Ramsey), both now in graduate schools elsewhere.  The work was completed while they ...

The Value of EEB

March 2, 2016

A March 1 article in the UT Daily Beacon fights the granola-crunching stereotype of the EEB major and explains why studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is so important, whether you want to be a doctor, a conservationist, or an informed citizen. “Ecology majors battle hippie stereotypes for science” by Heiler Meek, Staff Writer

Kuebbing (PhD 2014) Receives Award from SCB

February 28, 2016

Alumna Sara Kuebbing (PhD 2014) has been awarded a Smith Fellowship from the Society of Conservation Biology.  The prestigious David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program seeks to develop future world leaders and entrepreneurs who are successful at linking conservation science and application.  Congratulations, Sara! From the press release: The Smith Fellowship, the nation’s premier postdoctoral program ...

Wildflower Pilgrimage April 19-23

February 18, 2016

The 66th Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage will take place April 19-23 2016.  For more information, please select one of the following links: Online registration information; Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage website; Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Facebook page. Thanks to Ken McFarland for organizing this spectacular event! Photo credit: Trillium undulatum 0996, The Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman, copyright Alan S. Heilman, copyright The ...

Kim Bush (BS 1973), Distinguished Alumnus

October 26, 2015

Kim Bush (BS 1973, Zoology) was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at the Alumni Board Awards dinner on Friday, October 2.  Bush has devoted his life and career to the advancement of global health. After completing a highly successful thirty- three-year career at Baxter International Healthcare Corporation, he was recruited in 2011 to the Bill ...

Shute (MS 1984) and Rakes (MS 1989) in National Geographic

February 25, 2015

On pages 6-7 in the March 2015 issue of National Geographic, there is a shout-out to J.R. Shute (MS 1984, Zoology) and Pat Rakes (MS 1989, Zoology), two of Dave Etnier’s former Zoology graduate students.  They founded Conservation Fisheries, Inc., based in Knoxville, which is devoted to the captive rearing and, where possible, the release ...