Plant Ecology

Lisa Giencke


Dr. Kier Klepzig

Director and Scientist

Kier is the Director and Scientist in Entomology for, and directs the conservation, research and educational programs of, the Jones Center at Ichauway in southwest Georgia. The program is sponsored by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The programs include the stewardship of the 30,000-acre Ichauway site, graduate student co-sponsorship programs, natural resource education and outreach to landowners, students, policy-makers, and public agencies, and five long-term research projects. His personal research interests include forest entomology, forest pathology, mycology, and insect and microbial diversity. Kier obtained his BS at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and his MS and Ph.D. in Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as a professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and as a Research Entomologist, Project Leader, and Assistant Director with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station. In his spare time, Kier acts in and directs local theatrical productions, plays guitar, and listens to a myriad of indie rock bands and podcasts. Also, his favorite color is definitely purple.

Lisa Giencke

Senior Research Associate II

Lisa joined the Plant Ecology lab in 2011. She has a B.A. in Biology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and an M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. Her interests include patterns of plant diversity in the longleaf pine ecosystem, including fire effects, endangered species management, and restoration.

Emma York Marzolf

Senior Research Technician

Emma holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Piedmont University in Demorest, GA and a M.S. degree in Environmental Studies – Conservation and Management from the Univ. of North Carolina – Wilmington. Her interest in plant ecology and conservation began as an undergraduate studying a rare plant species found in high mountain bogs of northeast Georgia. Since then, she has worked for the GA Dept. of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, The Jones Center at Ichauway (2015-2016), and most recently the North Carolina Botanical Garden. As a native of GA, she has experience working and playing in the many different floral communities of the state but is excited to be back in the Coastal Plain. Her interests include ground cover restoration, seed-based restoration, seed banking, and rare plant conservation and management.

Lewis Marquez

Ph.D. Student

Lewis Marquez is a Ph.D. student at Emory University, under the direction of Dr. Cassandra Quave, Department of Dermatology and Center for the Study of Human Health, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. His research focuses on identifying and isolating antimicrobial compounds from plant species used in traditional medicine for skin disorders. From these plants, his lab has curated a unique natural product library composed of >1,500 plant extracts. Currently, his research projects include identifying antibacterial compounds for use against Gram-negative bacteria like drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, identifying antifungal compounds that are effective against pathogenic fungi like Candida Auris, and identifying compounds that resensitize drug-resistant microbes to conventional antimicrobials In his free time, Lewis likes to watch old Western movies and go on road trips exploring the East Coast with his wife Roxxette.

Emma Reitsma

Seasonal Technician

Emma is an undergraduate student at the University of Vermont studying plant biology. She first got introduced to the field of conservation by attending summer camp through the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Since then she has continued to develop her passion for the outdoors and botany and it has led her to Ichauway! She hopes to continue a career in plant biology fieldwork and eventually go to graduate school and pursue research. When Emma is not working she is climbing, backpacking, or pressing plants.

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.