Steven T. Brantley, Ph.D.


Steven T. Brantley, Ph.D.


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. Steven has been at Ichauway since 2014 where he has engaged in diverse interdisciplinary work related to interactions between land and water.

O. Stribling Stuber, M.S.

Senior 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.

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.

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.

Sophie Roberts, B.A.

Senior Research 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. 


Carlie Blackburn, B.S.

Seasonal Technician

Carlie received her B.S. in Coastal Ecology and Environmental Sciences from The College of Coastal Georgia. While getting her degree, Carlie researched the effects of surrounding vegetation on water quality of residential ponds. After graduating, Carlie studied the restoration of maritime grasslands, including the reestablishment of culturally important sweetgrass populations, along the coast of Jekyll Island, GA. During her time on the coast, she also participated in eastern diamondback rattlesnake tracking, phytoplankton monitoring, and alligator population surveys. Her many interests include plant ecology and physiology as well as hydrology and water quality,  and she is looking to pursue a career in those areas. Carlie is very excited to conduct research within the longleaf pine ecosystem and gain experience in the ecohydrology lab. In her spare time, Carlie enjoys exploring the outdoors, reading, and watching Star Wars.

Lab Alumni

Graduate students

Haley Ritger

Ph.D., 2023

Haley Ritger, Ph.D., Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia (2023). Dissertation: Forest health implications of restoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystems with prescribed fire.

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

Dakota Holder (2022 - 2023)
Alex Gordon (2022)
Joshua Scherrer (2021-2022)
Robert Ritger (2016 - 2021)

Stephen W. Golladay, Ph.D.


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.