People

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.

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.

Kelly Coles

Graduate Student

Kelly Coles is a Masters student at Emory University, where she is researching conservation of the endangered hemiparasite Schwalbea americana with Lance Gunderson, Lisa Giencke at the Jones Center, and Emily Coffey at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. She worked as a research technician at Ichauway in the Silviculture lab in 2018 and led ecological restoration efforts in Piedmont prairie habitat along the Atlanta BeltLine with Trees Atlanta for over 4 years. With the Native Plant Trust, she secured permission in 2021 to survey over 200 native Northeastern plants on private property in Massachusetts. Her research interests include chemical signals among plants, mycorrhizal relationships, and plant-pollinator connections. When not pursuing these interests, Kelly can usually be found hiking with an identification guide, foraging wild foods, reading, writing poetry, collaging her favorite places in nature, or cooking vegetarian meals from around the world.  

Allie Snyder

Senior Research Technician

Allie joined the Plant Ecology lab in May 2021 as a research technician. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in biological science, where she first was able to study botany and realize her passion about the vast plant biodiversity in northwest Florida. After graduating, she had the opportunity to join the Fire Ecology lab at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, where she gained general fieldwork experience and field taxonomic skills working across the region in longleaf pine herbaceous communities. She also was able to learn about the importance of prescribed fire regimes in fire-dependent ecosystems and helped perform prescribed fires in these native longleaf pine habitats. This experience led her to persue her master’s degree, where she returned to Florida State University under the direction of Dr. Nora Underwood and Dr. Brian Inouye. Her graduate studies built upon her research experience at Tall Timbers, where she studied the relationship between recurrent fire regimes and the native bee community in the Apalachicola National Forest. After joining the Plant Ecology lab at the Jones Center, she has enjoyed learning new fieldwork and labwork skills dedicated to building a seedbank with uncommon plant species across the property and southwest Georgia. She has also enjoyed implementing her plant-insect interactions research interests to identifying native pollinators for plants of conservation interest. She hopes in the future to build off of her experience here at the Jones Center to continue a career in plant conservation, and to promote scientific outreach about the importance of conserving plant biodiversity. Outside of her research interests, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and tap dancing.

River Pasquale

Seasonal Technician

River

Sara Sternick 2022

Sara Sternick

Seasonal Technician

Sara graduated from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, where she participated in research with invasive species and mycorrhizal relationships of native plants. She was led to Ichauway by the opportunities to learn more about and experience a unique ecosystem. Her hobbies include crocheting, rock climbing, and stopping to pet the moss.

cami_vanderwolf_2022

Vero Tessier

Seasonal Technician

Vero

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.