Lab Alumnae: Student Research Accomplishments

MEEC ConferenceField ResearchElizabeth FosseIntertidalMN Academy

All of my research involves student collaborators who contribute to ideas, research directions, field work, and the final analysis and  publication of results.  If you are a St. Kate's student interested in getting involved in ecosystem science and watershed studies, please contact me.  See the link here for a SCAN magazine story about our  research entitled, "Testing the Waters".   If you are interested in urban sustainability and St. Kate's ecological footprint analysis, contact me to learn how to get involved.

Student Research Projects, Presentations, and Career Paths

Here is a list of student research projects and information about what the students are doing now.  Links to stories focused on their research are highlighted in blue:

Jessica CormierJessica Cormier (2010-2011) Comparison of N2-fixation rates in dominant cyanobacterial taxa and the implications for nitrogen loading in an N-limited river ecosystem.  Jessica presented the results of this project at the Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium, Partnership for River Restoration and Science in the Upper Midwest, Oconomowoc, WI, in February 2011, and the St. Kate's science symposium.  She recently received the Minnesota High Tech Foundation Scholarship.

Angela Rosendahl

Angela Rosendahl (2010-2011) What limits the growth of algae and cyanobacteria in streams?  Results from a nutrient enrichment study. Angela conducted this field study in Summer 2010 and, as an elementary education student, she has used her research experience to shape her approach to science education.  Angela has since worked with the Will Steger Foundation on their new Minnesota's Changing Climate Curriculum and just started a full-time position teaching 5th grade at the Cannon River STEM School.

Hannah Kaup news

Hannah Kaup (2009-2011) Coupled nutrient uptake and nitrogen fixation rates by epilithic biofilms across a drainage area gradient.   Hannah presented the results of her work in the Chemistry Department Seminar Series and the St. Kate's science symposium.  Hannah graduated in 2011 with a double major in biology and chemistry and worked as the Welter lab manager and analytical technician in charge of method development,  sample processing, and data analysis.  She recently started a full-time position as a chemist at General Mills.             

Kelsey BoeffKelsey Boeff (2010-2011) Integrated Research and Teaching: Calculating Our Greenhouse Gas Footprint.  Kelsey was a coordinator and lead writer for the 2011 St. Kate's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.   Upon graduation, she received a position working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she conducted research and water chemistry analyses associated with oceanic surveys.  She is now a graduate student in Quaternary and Climate Studies in the Climate Change Instititute at the University of Maine.

Anika Bratt fieldAnika Bratt (2007-2010) Effect of light and nutrient availability on N2-fixation in Cladophora glomerata assemblages over successional time.  Anika completed this project over the course of two years.  She presented the results at the Ecological Society of America Meeting (Albuquerque, NM), the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (Lincoln, NE), the Minnesota Academy of Science Symposium (St. Paul, MN), and the St. Kate's Biology Department Seminar Series.   She is currently a Ph.D. student in ecology at the University of Minnesota. 

Caitlin GrayCaitlin Gray (2009-2010) St. Kate's Greenhouse Gas Footprint: Linking Our Emission to Our Mission.  Caitlin was the first greenhouse gas inventory coordinator and lead writer for the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment report, submitted in 2010.  Caitlin gave a public presentation of the inventory results in the Biology Department Seminar Series.  She recently completed an internship working with AmeriCorps in California to design local food and recycling programs in public schools.

maria_moenkedickMaria Moenkedick (2007-2009) Nitrogen fixation rates and nifH gene abundance in an N-limited stream network.   Maria took on the challenge of learning new molecular techniques needed to quantify nifH gene abundance using real-time PCR during this two year project. She co-authored a successful grant proposal to support this research.                     

Nichole TurnerNichole Turner (2008-2009) Effect of antibiotics on microbial community composition and N-fixation rates in a pristine river.  Nichole presented the results of a collaborative stream project at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (Lincoln, NE) and the Minnesota Academy of Science Symposium (St. Paul, MN) in 2009.  She is currently completing her doctorate in pharmacy.   

SigtermansRenée and Nadine Sigtermans (2008-2009) Interactive effects of fire and herbivory on nutrient cycling in an oak savanna ecosystem.  Renée and Nadine presented the results of a collaborative class research project at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (Lincoln, NE), the Minnesota Academy of Sciences Symposium (St. Paul, MN) and St. Kate's symposium in 2009.                   

Shawna HandschugShawna Handschug (2006-2008) The effect of epilithic communities and grazing caddisflies on nutrient uptake in stream networks.  Shawna completed this project over two years and presented the results at the Ecological Society of America Meeting (San Jose, CA), Biology Department Seminar Series, and the St. Kate's science symposium.  She opened a chiropractic clinic in 2011.   

Michaela SwansonMichaela Swanson (2007) Nutrient uptake and regeneration across a drainage area gradient: the effect of  light availability on the production of organic nitrogen.   Michaela completed this project in Summer 2007.  She is completing her master’s degree in ecology at the University of  Alaska-Fairbanks.  Michaela's graduate research is part of a larger National Science Foundation project studying the effect of climate change on boreal forests at the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site in Alaska.

Lyna MenezesLyna Menezes (2006-2007) How does increasing nitrogen availability influence colonization, growth, and survivorship of the aquatic moth, Petrophila, in a California river?  Lyna co-authored a successful grant application to support this research project and she presented the results in the Biology Department Seminar Series and the St. Kate's science symposium.  She received her doctorate in physical therapy from St. Kate's in 2011.   


Miranda JohnsonMiranda Johnson (2005-2006) Climate change implications of reduced snow cover on biological activity in soils. Miranda presented the results of this project in the Biology Department Seminar Series and St. Kate's science research symposium.  Miranda is starting a second master's degree program in Coastal Zone Management at NOVA Southeastern University.  She recently completed a master's program in Marine and Coastal Climate Change in addition to an internship focused on marine conservation at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.

Carrie BoothCarrie Booth (2005-2006) Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of stream invertebrate communities in spring-fed and lake-fed streams.   Carrie completed this field project over the winter months in Minnesota.  She presented the results  in the Biology Department Seminar Series and St. Kate's science symposium.   Carrie also played a key role in a large multi-institutional collaboration studying rivers in northern California, serving as lead field and lab technician/coordinator in 2007-2008.

Honors Thesis Projects, Antonian Scholars Program

Elizabeth FosseElizabeth Fosse (2011-2012) The complexities of water: searching for environmental and social justice at St. Catherine University.   Honors Thesis Project, Antonian Scholars Program.  Committee: Jill Welter (Biology), Erick Agrimson (Physics), and Garry Pech (Philosophy). Elizabeth was a student leader in the St. Kate's Environmental Issues Task Force and Presidents’ Climate Commitment InitiativeShe recently received the Minnesota High Tech Foundation Scholarship.

Kaitlyn NeilsonKaitlyn Nielson (2011-2012) The effect of urban runoff on pond ecosystems and the potential for restoration.   Honors Thesis Project, Antonian Scholars Program.   Committee: Martha Phillips (Biology), Jill Welter (Biology), Lynne Gildensoph (Biology), and Jack Flynn (Geography).   Kaitlyn's research focused on the legacy of nitrogen and phosphorus inputs in urban ponds that may be stored in sediment layers and possibly remobilized to sustain eutrophic conditions.  She is interested in possible methods of restoration.

Anika Bratt PosterAnika Bratt (2007-2010) Effect of light and nutrient availability on N2-fixation in Cladophora glomerata assemblages over successional time in a northern California river.   Honors Thesis Project, Antonian Scholars Program. Committee:  Jill Welter (Biology), John Dwyer (Chemistry), and Kay Tweeten (Biology).  Anika presented the results of this project at the Ecological Society of America (Albuquerque, NM), the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (Lincoln, NE), the Minnesota Academy of Science Symposium (St. Paul, MN), and the St. Kate's Biology Department Seminar Series.   She is currently a Ph.D. student in ecosystem ecology at the University of Minnesota.

Eryn SchneiderEryn Schneider (2007-2008) Emily Carr: An example of how ecology, theology, and art are essential to an understanding of nature.    Honors Thesis Project, Antonian Scholars Program.   Committee:  Jill Welter (Biology) and Todd Deutsch (Art and Art History).  Eryn is a Ph.D. student working in the fire ecology of forest ecosystems at Northern Arizona University.

Michaela SwansonMichaela Swanson (2006-2007) The effect of fire frequency and herbivore communities on nutrient cycling in oak savanna ecosystems.  Honors Thesis Project, Antonian Scholars Program.  Committee:  Jill Welter (Biology), Kay Tweeten (Biology) and Adam Kay (U of St. Thomas).  Michaela presented the results of this project at the Ecological Society of America Meeting, Biology Department Seminar Series, and SCU science symposium in 2007.  She is completing her master’s degree in ecology at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

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