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Dr. Allyson Salisbury

Postdoctoral Associate (2017-2018)

Allyson worked on anthropogenic-induced primary succession on an urban brownfield.

Dr. Linda Rohleder

Ph.D. candidate (2008-2013); currently Director of Land Stewardship, NYNJ Trail Conference

Ph.D. thesis “The vertical dimension of deer browse effects on forest understories: species diversity, plant traits and floristic quality”.

Dr. Julia Perzley

Ph.D. (2010-2018); Life Scientist at US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Dr. Julia Perzley is a plant ecologist interested in urban systems and public science education. Currently she is teaching Concepts in Biology, a large introductory biology course at Rutgers Newark. Julia completed her PhD in the Holzapfel lab in 2018. Her dissertation examined legacy effects of intensive land use by comparing early successional plant communities

Dr. Sahil Wadhwa

Ph.D. (2013-2017); currently Biology Teaching Faculty, Selaqui International Boarding School, Selaqui, Uttrakhand, India

Sahil’s research focused on understanding how heavy metal contamination shapes biodiversity in brownfields. During his PhD, he studied effects of metal contamination on diversity of epigeic invertebrate community and particularly on populations of terrestrial isopods in urban brownfields at Liberty State Park (LSP) in New Jersey, USA. In summer of 2008, he completed his Master’s

Xiang Lin

Ph.D. candidate, Teaching Assistant

Xiang is interested in ecological succession of plant communities under different environmental stresses, especially soil contamination. He uses GIS technology to trace plant transitions over time and build models to simulate ecological succession, as well as to predict future succession scenarios. In addition, he is also familiar with bioinformatic technologies used in genetic studies.

Dr. Kathleen Farley

Ph.D., currently director of Teaneck Creek Conservancy

Kathleen investigates how degraded habitats influence animal behavior and populations using the American Woodcock. Her research system includes the  brownfields and natural early successional habitats along an urbanizing gradient in northern New Jersey. She is currently investigating usage and fitness of males on their singing ground sites, home ranges, vegetation assemblages, food availability and predator

Dr. Anthony Cullen

Ph.D. (2014-2018); currently Supervisory PPQ Officer at USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Tony’s dissertation research explored the dispersal strategies of two invasive viburnum shrubs throughout New Jersey, the New York Metropolitan area, and the greater Philadelphia area. His two motivating questions were as follows: are dispersal strategies employed by closely related species comparable and what strategy leads to greater success at invading communities? To answer these questions, he employed an interdisciplinary approach


Lab dog (unofficial therapy dog)

As the official Holzapfel lab dog my duties are pretty straightforward. I must greet everyone who visits the lab, get humans off their chairs and away from their computers to play with me, nudge the humans or jump up in their laps when not paying me enough attention, or simply lay under their desks to