Group Members

Looking to join our team? (See openings in the lab here)

Jump to our team, recent alumni, or past students.

Our Team

Amy E. Zanne

Professor and Aresty Chair in Tropical Ecology

  • Research interests include ecology, evolution and physiology, especially that of plants and microbes; decomposition, carbon cycling
  • Favorite species? An impossible question - probably a Proteaceae - Conospermum ericifolium

Rebecca Clement

5th Year PhD Student

  • I am interested in the evolution and community ecology of insects, especially termites. I love learning about the role that termites play in decomposition and carbon cycling. I am also interested in urban ecology and the ways that insects adapt to living in cities.
  • Favorite species? Nasutitermes magnus (nasute termites)
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Veggie burgers

Marc Rosenfield

3rd Year PhD Student

  • By developing novel carbon flux systems, I hope to understand short- and long-term changes to carbon cycling in urban systems, patchy ecosystems and marine-terrestrial interfaces. It is especially important to understand carbon cycling across marine-terrestrial gradients, as these areas are seeing some of the most intense environmental changes and disturbances.

Julliene Monteiro

PhD Student (co-supervised)

André Mouro

PhD Student (co-supervised)

  • I am currently involved in projects that assess how plant-soil feedbacks influence vegetation structure, organic matter turnover and restoration success of the Brazilian Cerrado.
  • Favorite species? Vochysia thyrsoidea (locally called gomeira), a typical tree species that grows in dystrophic and shallow soil in the Brazilian Cerrado.

Abbey Yatsko

2nd Year PhD Student

  • I am interested in how carbon is stored and released from terrestrial ecosystems, particularly focusing on how decomposition releases C in different rates and forms. I am also interested in the role that termites play in decomposition rates in different habitats.
  • Favorite species? Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) - the tree that makes for both the most magical sights and sounds!
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Vegan banana bread (the more bananas and chocolate chips, the better)

Rose Cheney

Undergraduate Student

Kelsey Bartlett

Undergraduate Student

  • My current project centers on the mechanisms and predictors of flower phenology shifts. Other research interests include investigating the implications of global change on plant distribution and ecosystem function.
  • Favorite species? My favorite species is probably desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), but the red columbine is a close second (Aquilegia canadensis)!
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Lasagna and blackberry scones

Nora Cavanaugh

Undergraduate Student

  • I am interested in how plants develop strategies for survival, growth and reproduction, plant diversity and adaptive radiation. Right now, I'm learning about epiphytes, or air plants, which grow on other plants and have aerial roots rather than being rooted in the ground, making their survival strategies very unique.
  • Favorite species? Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Banana bread and spicy cookies!

Donna Davis


  • I am a multi-discipline artist intrigued with the idea of connection; my work explores intersections between art and science with a particular focus on natural and social ecosystems.
  • For more on Donna's work, check out [her website here](, or check out our photo gallery!

Recent Alumni

Leona Neftaliem

In the Zanne Lab from 2018 to December 2020, now a SERC scientist with Dr. Roy Rich
Role: Honors Undergraduate Student, studied wood decomposition and its influence in carbon cycling within various biomes.


Habacuc Flores-Moreno

In the Zanne Lab March 2018 to December 2020, now a Data Curation Analyst at TERN.
Role: Postdoc in stationed in Cairns, Australia, collaborated and deployed the wood, termite, and fungi (WTF) project


Marissa Lee

In the Zanne Lab XXXX to 2020, now a postdoc in Christine Hawkes’ new lab at NC State University
Role: Postdoc


Brad Oberle

In the Zanne Lab 2012 to 2015, now a Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at New College of Florida
Role: Postdoctoral Scientist & Adjunct Instructor


Past students

Postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students

Leona Neftaliem

Habacuc Flores-Moreno

Marissa Lee

Amy Milo

Tania Fort

Justin Hachey

Henry Betts

Oyomoare Osazuwa-Peters

Brad Oberle

Roy Rich

Luke McCormack

Mike Boyher

Justin Collins

Bryan Cordes

Maranda Evans

Andrew Harrington

Haris Lalic

Andrew Miller

Rachel Milner

Payal Patel

Mariya Shcheglovitova

Laura Bader

Juan-Carlos Penagos

Chris Riggs

Gonzalo Rivas

Shannon Shanafelt

Sheila Strickland

John Sweeney

Mandy Terry

Vania Torrez

Elvis Valderrama

Nicole Butler

Neeki Ahmadi