Lab Director

Wei Wu

I was trained as a systems ecologist, and have been working in diverse ecosystems, including upland and coastal forests, coastal wetlands, and open sea. My research interests have centered on ecological resilience through understanding species’ and diverse ecosystems’ response to environmental change. My research tools include cutting-edge model selection and Bayesian statistics, traditionally frequentist statistics, spatial statistics, GIS, remote sensing techniques, computer model simulations, field-based observations/experiments, and controlled experiments.


Current Students

Tyler Hardy

M.S. Student

Tyler Hardy earned his B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from the Rutgers University, NJ in 2014. At Rutgers, Tyler worked with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, USGS, and local restoration groups to manage both plants and wildlife using spatial analyses. His undergraduate coursework focused on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Bayesian statistical inference.

His thesis work details a model to predict changes in the value of ecosystem services given a mechanistic landscape model, changes in relative sea-level rise, the impact of restoration projects, and the presence of oil-production infrastructure.

Tyler is interested in using geospatial analysis to describing landscape ecological interactions in-depth, in order to capture the complexity of ecosystem-specific dynamics. He is also interested in using these interactions as priors for creating informed management and conservation plans. He believes geospatial analysis offers itself as a strong method for conservation analysis and action, as it suggested that habitat loss is the current leading cause of extinction. As such, Tyler wants to be able to use geospatial analysis to further conservation action.


Hailong Huang

Ph.D. Student

My research interests focus on climate changing impacts upon a variety of habitats, such as coastal wetlands and high elevation forest watersheds.  Over the time, people have seen climate changes in many aspects globally: atmospheric CO2 increasing, elevated sea level, and air temperature rises. My dissertation is to apply computer model to simulate these changes and impacts on high elevation forested watersheds including plants productivity, surrounding soils, and stream chemistries (current dissertation topic: Prediction of future climate changes impact on the Southeast U.S. high elevation forested watersheds with the biogeochemical model PnET-BGC). Furthermore, forest system is vulnerable to human involved activities, for instance, atmospheric depositions. Another proposed work for my dissertation would be the future deposition projection influences on these forested watersheds (nitrogen and sulfur). Except my own research, I have worked on several other projects so far including BP oil spill effects on local coastal wetland plants (e.g., Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus), Northern Gulf of Mexico sea level rising, and land cover and land use changes. During this time, I have learned a lot of knowledge and techniques such as remote sensing, productivity measurement in both small (LiCor 6400XT) and relatively large scale (Eddy Covariance Tower), model building, statistic and scientific experiment design, programming using R, C++, and Fortran, and being a boat captain.


Jason Tilley

Ph.D. Student

In 2011, I received my M.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi. My thesis examined the importance of Sargassum to the early-life history of two pelagic fishes. I am currently chief ichthyoplankton scientist for the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program’s (SEAMAP) Mississippi surveys. Other research includes work on the early-life history of tarpon, and I recently published research on the early-life history of larval Atlantic bluefin tuna. I have a deep interest in coupling larval fish growth with biotic and abiotic factors, and I am working to expand my knowledge of fish nutrition, remote sensing, and coupled biophysical models. My dissertation research will develop and validate a remote-sensing model for estimating phytoplankton fatty acid availabilities in the the northern Gulf of Mexico. I will also examine how phytoplankton fatty acid availabilities affect the abundance and nutritional quality of zooplankton.


Shuo Shen

Ph.D. Student


Previous Students and Post-doc