People

Nate Lemoine
-PI

"Well, that didn't work."

I received my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Richmond in 2006. From there, I moved to Pensacola, FL for a year where I worked as an hourly contractor for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. I then moved to Dauphin Island, AL to study coral reef ecology; I received my Master of Science in Marine Sciences from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in 2010. Immediately following, I moved to Miami, FL to study coral reef ecology at Florida International University with Dr. Deron Burkepile (now at UCSB). Apparently, the ocean and I just don’t get along, so I switched to terrestrial plant-insect ecology, co-advised by Dr. John Parker at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. In 2015, I received my PhD and moved to Colorado State University for a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellowship, where I studied the impacts of drought on insect control of grassland nutrient cycling. In 2019, I began as an Assistant Professor at Marquette University.

You can find my life’s work here!

Michelle Budny
-Lab Manager

"Oh, I like science (and the Blackhawks)"

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Environmental Science and Physical Geography, from Carthage College in 2009. As a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University, I studied the leaf gas exchange and water use efficiency of two subtropical wetland species and received my Master of Science degree in 2015. Between my bachelors and masters degrees, I worked as a technician for a broad range of ecological research projects including eDNA surveillance of Asian carp in the Great Lakes basin and the bait trade, vegetation surveys of aquatic plants and tropical rainforest seedlings, and monitoring pine flatwood community recovery after fire. Prior to my current position, I spent four years as a Hydrologic Technician for the USGS Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center measuring stream discharge, salinity, and storm surge events. Thankfully, I returned to the Midwest to join the Lemoine Lab in January 2020.

Ethan Rose
-PhD Student

"I'm a sucka for yuccas."

I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in 2020, majoring in biology and wildlife ecology. As an undergraduate student, I completed several research projects ranging from seed dispersal modeling on Guam with Dr. Haldre Rogers and Hugo Thierry to honeybee disease prevention with Dr. Kendra Greenlee and the USDA in Fargo, ND. During my final year, I began a project on alpine plant demography at Niwot Ridge, CO with Drs. Bill Morris, Dan Doak, and Megan Peterson. After graduating, I spent a summer as an Americorps member conducting prairie vegetation surveys and developing a community-based habitat monitoring protocol in western Iowa. I joined the Lemoine lab in fall 2020 with an interest in restoration, global change, and community assembly in North American prairies.

Shayla Husted
-Undergraduate Ecosystems Researcher

"That's what I'm saying!"

I am currently a senior at Marquette University studying Environmental Studies and Biological Sciences.  During the summer of 2019, I had to opportunity to participate in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program working with Dr. Schnitzer researching environmental inequality analyzing the amount of green space, park space and trees in neighborhoods throughout the City of Milwaukee. After completing this program, I realized I wanted to shift my research interests to environmental science where I am currently working with Dr. Lemione to examine the biogeochemical constraints on soil microbial activity in two Wisconsin soils. I hope to pursue a Ph.D. degree in environmental science after completing my undergraduate studies!

Anesti Sotirovski
-Undergraduate Microbial Ecology Researcher

“Have you ever eaten a whole bag of cherries?”

I recently received my U.S. citizenship in May 2021. I am first generation, born in Korçë, Albania but my nationality is Macedonian. I speak four languages, including English, Spanish, Macedonian,  and Albanian. I am also a first generation college student, and will graduate from Marquette in 2023. I am majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in professional selling. Some of my interests outside of science include mountain biking, photography, and cooking. Before starting at Marquette, I represented Glenbard East High School at UC Berkeley through the 2018 NSLC program. I joined the Lemoine Lab in the summer of 2021, and will continuing with independent research throughout my time at MU. My project explores factors that impact soil microbial respiration.

Sasha
-Lab Security Blanket

"Squirrel!"

A rare breed combination of English cocker spaniel and Cajun mountain goat, Sasha was supposedly born in Louisiana, but no one knows for sure. She was given up for adoption and promptly whisked away to the Miami Humane Society on account of her being adorable. She was quickly adopted by the PI, and has been a faithful companion, field helper, and lab mascot ever since. When not doing field work, she can be found snoozing in the office, chasing her ball in the hallway, or chasing squirrels and gulls across campus. Sasha’s research interests include snow, rodent and avian behavior, and aquatic fitness.

Scout
-Assistant to the Lab Manager

"IT'S TIME TO GO OUTSIDE NOW! NOW! DID YOU HEAR ME?"

Scout is a newcomer to the world of science (and to dog life in general). After a tumultuous time in shelters and foster care, he was adopted by the Lab Manager in September 2020. A friend to everyone he meets, he loves pets and scratches and quickly learned which offices have the best treats. Scout is usually found napping in the lab or following the lab manager, although he has been known to escape on his own adventure from time to time. With his keen internal clock, he is often heard alerting the lab manager when he’s ready for an afternoon walk or when it is time to go home. Scout’s research interests include urban geography and small mammal nutrition and behavior.

Jade
-Intern

*Heavy sigh....*

Adopted in 2021 by Ethan, Jade is a 65lb mystery mutt who loves naps and hates traffic cones. You might find her sprawled under Ethan’s desk or bounding through your local prairie in search of the smelliest spots to roll in. If you want to meet her, you’d better make it worth her while with some treats or you’ll get the stink eye and a sassy growl. A true botanist, Jade’s favorite grass to munch on while Ethan isn’t looking is prairie dropseed. After all, it smells like tacos. Her other research interests include somnology and small mammal dispersal.

Alumni

Joe Sizemore
-Undergraduate Engineering Intern

"Sounds simple enough"

I’m hoping to graduate Marquette University in May of 2021 with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Minor in Business Administration. In 2018, I did circuitry and modeling work as an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Anthony Parolari analyzing the interplay of CO2, O2, and H2O in the soil of an urban garden on Marquette’s campus. I spent all of 2019 as an intern at Extreme Engineering Solutions as an associate embedded engineer. There I performed design verification testing on their single board computers. I returned to this job in the summer of 2020. I spend some of my free time doing even more electrical engineering work, but besides that I also snowboard and juggle.

Joe now works for Lutron as a Project Electrical Engineer in Boston, MA.

Sir Duncan the Prickly
-Battle Hamster

"All I do is burrow"

After spending the first 4.5 years of his life in South Florida, Sir Duncan adjusted to midwestern Milwaukee life surprisingly well. Like all battle hamsters, Sir Duncan is not outwardly affectionate, but does tolerate love when forced upon him. And, like Sasha, he enjoys a good butt scratch every so often. His hobbies include night jogs, blanket spelunking, and soil respiration trials. If the weather is warm, Sir Duncan also enjoys a good day in the field. During the day, he can be found sleeping in the lab manager’s desk drawer, but like most of us, he’ll wake up for a meal worm, piece of bell pepper, or a Wendy’s frosty.

Sir Duncan has relocated to the Rainbow Bridge, where he enjoys endless spelunking and frosties.