Jonathan (Jonno) Morris

Ph.D. Student (2018 - Present)


I study the community ecology of natural pest control in agroecosystems. My research is driven primarily by two questions: First, how do biodiversity and interaction complexity regulate the functioning of biological control? Second, how does agricultural management impact that ecology? I have investigated these questions primarily by chasing around ants in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. Currently, I am developing ecological network theory and models to expand questions about biocontrol function to the community level. Beyond research, I find joy in exploring the wonder of the cosmos as revealed by the tools of science and sharing this wonder with others through teaching and outreach. When I’m not doing sciency things, I struggle to advocate for environmental and social justice but sometimes get distracted by the good food and drink in Ann Arbor.


Keywords: Community ecology, natural pest control, ecological networks, biodiversity


M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan (2016)

B.S. in Environmental Science, University of Florida (2010)

Iris Saraeny Rivera Salinas

Ph.D. Student (2019 - Present)


I am broadly interested in complex ecological interactions that maintain diversity in agroecosystems such as trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMII’s), mutualisms and keystone species. My research is conducted in coffee agroecosystems in Mexico and Puerto Rico where these types of ecological interactions are embedded in complex networks of community interactions. For my Ph.D., I plan to develop a series of projects that explore the role of TMII’s in permitting coexistence of species and in the biological control of pests of coffee. Outside of research, I enjoy going to the movies, dancing and trying new places to eat in Ann Arbor.


Keywords: TMII’s, agroecosystems, diversity, agroecology, Mexico, Puerto Rico, ants, coffee


M.S. in Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan (2019)

B.S. in Engineering of Agroecology, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (2015)

Bella Mayorga

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I am in the Conservation Ecology and Environmental Informatics tracks in the School for Environment and Sustainability. I am interested in interdisciplinary studies of agro-ecology and community-based initiatives in food systems sustainability. Prior to starting my graduate studies, I conducted research analyzing urban bird community dynamics in community-managed gardens of the central California coast. Outside of research, I enjoy plant-based cooking, sustainable fashion, rock climbing, sewing, and hiking. 


Keywords: Urban agriculture, food systems, sustainability, energy 


B.S. in Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (2019)

Andriana Miljanic

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I am interested in the impacts of land-use change and agriculture on local communities and native species. Prior to joining the Perfecto Lab, my research was focused on pollinator communities. I studied how local-level management and landscape composition impacted bee biodiversity in tree plantations throughout the southeastern US. Outside of research, I enjoy exploring new cities, art, and the natural world. 


Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, land-use change, communities, biodiversity


B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology, Emory University (2017)

Teresa Dorado

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I am in the Conservation Ecology track at SEAS interested in the intersection between ecological processes and community outreach. In particular, I am interested in the interactions between plants and animals as it pertains to land management. Prior to attending SEAS, I analyzed species diversity in rain gardens and their contribution in enhancing ecosystem services in an urban Chicago neighborhood. Outside of academics, I enjoy painting, running, long bike rides, and eating anything with dark chocolate. 


Keywords: Biodiversity, land management, community empowerment, ecology


B.S. in Environmental Science, Loyola University Chicago (2018)

Chenyang Su (Crispy)

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I am interested in maintenance of biodiversity in tropical terrestrial ecosystems and dynamic pattern-forming ecological processes. My current research focuses on the spread of fungal disease in coffee agroforestry systems. Prior to SEAS, I studied spatial structure and dynamics of alpine treeline in Colorado. Outside of school, I enjoy cooking and learning about intercultural relations. 


Keywords: tropical ecology, biodiversity, conservation


B.A. in Organismal Biology and Ecology, Colorado College (2019)

Dana Van Huis

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I am in the Environmental Justice and Conservation Ecology specializations at SEAS, and am interested in the intersection of biodiversity, community practices, and land management practices in urban smallholder farming systems. Prior to studying at SEAS, I attained my B.S. at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, and studied Environmental Science and Geography, with minors in German and Women's Studies. I primarily studied species diversity in grassland bird, macroinvertebrate, and plant communities. Outside of my research I enjoy running, drinking coffee, and hiking in new places.


Keywords: Biodiversity, environmental justice, agroecology


B.S. in Environmental Science and Geography, Aquinas College (2019)

Ayana Curran-Howes

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I attained my B.A. in Biology from William Jewell College in 2017 and am interested in how the migration of wildlife and humans is being impacted by climate change, human-imposed boundaries and artificial barriers such as borders. Also passionate about systemic change to food production and consumption, I am interested in how the diversification of farming systems can facilitate migration. I spend my spare time hiking with my dog, painting and enjoying live music.

Keywords: Migration, biodiversity, climate change, food systems, justice

B.A. in Biology, William Jewell College (2017)

Beth Weiler

M.S. Student (2019 - Present)


I’ve been researching Michigan Hymenopteran diversity as it relates to pollination in Dr. Erika Tucker’s lab, and am now planning to explore more plant-insect interactions in the neotropics. My project will focus on parasitoid wasp diversity and their functions as pest control in coffee agroecosystems. Aside from research, I love macro photography of arthropods, scuba diving, caring for my reptile collection, and trying out new beers.


Keywords: Biodiversity, pollination, agroecosystems, parasitoids, biocontrol


B.S. in Environmental Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2015)

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