People

Steven T. Brantley, Ph.D.

Scientist

Steven received his B.S. and M.S. in Biology and his Ph.D. (2009) in Integrative Life Sciences, all from Virginia Commonwealth University. His research at VCU focused on the consequences of shrub expansion on the Virginia barrier islands and was supported by the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER program. He subsequently worked as a post-doc at the U.S. Forest Service Coweeta Hydrologic Lab where he studied the effects of forest species composition on forest water use, the hydrologic effects of the hemlock woolly adelgid infestation, and strategies to conserve surviving hemlock trees.

O. Stribling Stuber, M.S.

Research Associate

Stribling received her B.A. in Biology from Agnes Scott College and her M.S. in Ecology from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Her graduate research was based at the Jones Center, where she studied the impact of land use on the plant communities of geographically isolated wetlands and modeled change in wetland connectivity through time. Before pivoting to ecohydrology, her work in ecology focused on her first love: botany and vegetation surveys. In addition to southwestern Georgia, she has worked throughout Missouri, on the Georgia coast, and in South Africa, and studied semi-desert, prairie, savanna, forest, and wetland communities. Now, as the Research Associate for the Ecohydrology Lab, Stribling manages day-to-day lab operations, nerds-out on tidy data wrangling, and contributes to presentations and publications.

Haley M.W. Ritger, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

M.P.A. Co-advised with Kamal Gandhi, University of Georgia. Haley earned her B.A. in English, her M.S. in Environmental Science and her Master of Public Affairs degrees at Indiana University. She’s currently a doctoral candidate at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Haley’s research focuses on how managing longleaf pine forests with prescribed fire affects bark beetles and tree defenses. When she’s not working on her dissertation, she can usually be found out exploring the idyllic landscapes of the Southeastern Coastal Plain.

Coleman Barrie, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

Co-advised by Frances O’Donnell, Auburn University. Coleman is in the beginning stages of his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering studying hydrology and biogeochemistry of geographically isolated wetlands in the Dougherty Plain. He aims to aid the development of a prioritization framework for wetland conservation. Coleman received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on water and environment from the University of Georgia Driftmier College of Engineering. His M.S. research emphasized quantitative hydrology concerning surface-groundwater interactions in karst environments at various scales. 

Justine Rojas Valadez, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

Advised by Daniel Johnson, University of Georgia. Justine received her B.S. in Biology at the University of California, Riverside in 2016 where she worked as an undergraduate researcher studying photosynthetic pathways of orchid species. She then went on to receive her M.S. in Biology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2018 where she studied biomechanics and anatomy of pygmy coast live oak in central California. Justine is now a PhD candidate in the Tree Physiology lab at the University of Georgia where she is focused on the effects of drought resistant traits on tree form and function. Specifically, she is looking at the ecological importance and functionality of water storage and capacitance (stored water in woody tissue released and used to support transpiration) among tree species.

Monica Harmon, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

Co-advised with Dan Johnson, University of Georgia. Monica received her B.A. in Biology at Drury University in 2012. She went on to serve in the Peace Corps in Ecuador from 2013-2015. While there she worked in education at local rural schools developing a science curriculum and engaging in a multitude of cross-cultural activities. Upon returning, she helped develop a set of genic markers in Acer saccharum and related Acer species, earning her MS in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology at the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University. She is currently a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia. Her work looks at longleaf pine seedling physiology especially pertaining to seedling water use.

Suranjana Chatterjee, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

Suranjana received her B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) and received her M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Lamar University, TX. Suranjana is now pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Auburn University. She is currently using hydrologic modeling and analysis to determine the long-term trajectory of nutrient deposition and biogeochemical function in geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs), which are widespread in many agricultural regions. Her research is part of a larger collaborative effort that will help to mitigate the effects of non-point source pollution from agriculture on water quality.

Dakota Holder, B.S.

Senior Seasonal Technician

Dakota received her B.S. in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida. She has a multitude of interests dealing with natural resource management, conservation, and freshwater ecology, and particularly wetlands. Her recent interests lie in prescribed fire and wetland ecology, which she is pursuing as a seasonal technician with the Jones Center. When she’s not in the lab or field, you can find Dakota reading, cooking, working on her latest cross-stitch pattern, or taking a walk trying to find herps and other wildlife.

Sophie Roberts, B.A.

Seasonal Technician

Sophie received a B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College.  She is interested in the intersection between forests, fire, watersheds and climate change adaptation. Her curiosity about the longleaf pine ecosystem and its hydrology was piqued after observing changes occurring in longleaf wetlands during surveys for an endangered butterfly in North Carolina. When she isn’t measuring trees or chasing butterflies, Sophie can be found listening to anthology podcasts, reading far too many books at once, and counting turtles on the Ichawaynochaway Creek. 

Lab Alumni

Graduate students

Joe Honings

Ph.D., 2022

Joe Honings, Ph.D., Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University (2022). Dissertation: Hydrogeologic investigation of a covered karst region.

Phoebe Judge

M.S., 2022

Phoebe Judge, M.S., Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia (2022). Thesis: The impacts of hydraulic redistribution on the physiology and growth of understory plants in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) sandhills.

Benju Baniya

M.S., 2021

Benju Baniya, M.S., School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, University of Florida (2021). Thesis: Re-assembly of the longleaf pine ecosystem: effects of groundcover seeding on understory characteristics, fire behavior, and soil properties.

Gavin Kenney

M.S., 2021

Gavin Kenney, M.S., Department of Biological Science, University of Alabama (2021). Thesis: The effects of Hurricane Michael on the structure and function of longleaf pine woodlands.

Coleman Barrie

M.S., 2019

Coleman Barrie, M.C.E., UGA College of Engineering (2019). Thesis: Groundwater flow on a karstic landscape in southwest Georgia.

Jill Qi

Postdoctoral Associate, 2017-2019

Jill Qi, Post-doc (2017-2019). Jill worked with our lab and the Jones Center Aquatic Biology Lab to model the effects of agricultural water conservation and forest restoration on streamflow in Ichawaynochaway Creek using the SWAT model.

Michael Belovitch

M.S., 2018

Michael Belovitch, M.S., UGA Warnell School of Forest Resources (2018). Thesis: Hydraulic redistribution: roots to ecosystems.

Research Staff

Senior Technicians

Alex Gordon (2022)
Joshua Scherrer (2021-2022)
Robert Ritger (2016 - 2021)

Stephen W. Golladay, Ph.D.

Scientist

Dr. Golladay’s interests include the ecology of streams and wetlands, the impact of human land use on water quality and aquatic invertebrates, and the impact of variation in hydrology on ecological processes and aquatic communities Recently, he has developed an interest in the ecology and conservation of rare and endangered freshwater mussel species.

Dr. Golladay has served as a technical advisor to the Sand County Foundation, Georgia EPD, DNR and Water Management districts in Florida. He has developed training activities for resource professionals in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Golladay also has assisted in the development of programs to enhance the
natural resource awareness of regional educators in cooperation with regional Georgia Youth Science and Technology.