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
email: aezanne@gmail.com

  • 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
  • Favorite things to cook? Fermented foods. Dishes that include lemon, mushrooms, rosemary, farro, cumin, zatar, tempeh, arugula, hot sauce, garlic, corn - usually of my own creation.
  • Find me at 204A in the Cox Science Center

Baptiste Wijas

Postdoc
email: b.wijas@student.unsw.edu.au

  • I have a particular interest in landscape ecology and am interested in the interactions that shape biodiversity and ecosystem functions. My research focuses on wood decomposition processes, herbivory, food webs, drylands and invertebrate detritivores such as termites.
  • Favorite species? Spotted pardalote
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Vegan tofu, asparagus and mushroom quiche

Abbey Yatsko

3rd Year PhD Student
email: ayatsko1@gmail.com

  • 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)

Yuri Souza

1st Year PhD Student
email: desouza.s.yuri@gmail.com

  • My broad interests are comprehending the Anthropocene’s consequences on organisms and environmental maintenance. Most of my research has focused on understanding how populations, communities, and ecosystems respond to human disturbances from different perspectives. My current interest is understanding how termites might affect below and above-ground processes through tropic cascades.
  • Favorite species? Spectacled Owl. This owl has a strong singing call and a funny staring face.
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake? Pasta and pizza!

Donna Davis

Artist-in-residence
email: donnadavisartist@gmail.com

  • 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 take a look at her feature in our photo gallery!

Recent Alumni

Rebecca Clement

Zanne Lab member from 2017 to 2022, now working on a postdoc studying aphids with the USDA.
Role: PhD student studying Australian termites from evolutionary and biogeochemical perspectives

email: rebeccaclement@gwu.edu

Marc Rosenfield

In the Zanne Lab from 2019 to 2022, now a researcher in Denver working on carbon emissions and nature based solutions.
Role: Masters student studying carbon cycling in urban systems, patchy ecosystems and marine-terrestrial interfaces

email: mrosenfield@gwmail.gwu.edu

Rose Cheney


Role: Undergraduate Student

email: cheneyr@gwu.edu

Kelsey Bartlett


Role: Undergraduate Student studying the mechanisms and predictors of flower phenology shifts as well as the implications of global change on plant distribution and ecosystem function

email: kbartlett99@gwmail.gwu.edu

Nora Cavanaugh


Role: Undergraduate Student studying how plants develop strategies for survival, growth and reproduction, plant diversity and adaptive radiation

email: noracavanaugh@gwmail.gwu.edu

Leona Neftaliem

In the Zanne Lab from 2018 to December 2020, now a PhD student at Stanford University.
Role: Honors Undergraduate student, studied wood decomposition and its influence in carbon cycling within various biomes

email: lneftaliem@gwmail.gwu.edu

Habacuc Flores-Moreno

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

email: habacucfm@gmail.com

Marissa Lee

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

email: marissaruthlee@gmail.com

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

email: boberle@ncf.edu

Past students

Postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students

Marc Rosenfield

Rebecca Clement

Rose Cheney

Kelsey Bartlett

Nora Cavanaugh

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