Nate Lemoine

"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.

Ethan was awarded a 2022 NSF GRFP Fellowship!


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.

Chloe Langridge
-Undergraduate Molecular Ecology Researcher

"Would you like some stress cookies?"

I am a senior at Marquette University studying Biological Sciences. I have always had a strong passion for environmentalism. I started with vegetarianism as a way to conserve water within the environment and spent much of the 2021 summer in Minnesota protesting the rebuilding of the line 3 pipeline. Standing on the frontlines in efforts to stop the building of this pipeline in an entirely different place is what ignited the true environmentalism within me. I have been working with Dr. Lemoine since the following fall with a project allowing me to utilize my biochemistry background. This project analyzes protein extraction yield in plants and animals through the testing of different methods of extraction. While the methods themselves are tested, so is the protocol of each method. I hope to pursue a graduate degree in microbiology with a focus on environmental studies in the future.

Maggie Kemp
-Undergraduate Quantitative Ecology Researcher

“Let’s get this startey parted!”

I am a senior at Marquette University studying Mathematics and Environmental Studies.  In my free time, I enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible, whether it be hammocking, exploring Milwaukee’s parks and nature conservatories, window shopping downtown, or rollerblading along the lakefront.  In the winter, my hobbies consist more of taking care of my plant babies (there are over 50 plants in my apartment!) and destroying my roommates in Mario Kart.  I joined Lemoine Lab in the spring of 2022 to work on a quantitative ecology-based research project.  The project utilizes GIS software and R programming to curate geospatial plots of common moth and butterfly species’ occurrences and analyzes their distribution patterns in the Great Lakes Area.  Working on this project has me interested in learning more ways to apply data science techniques to questions in ecological research, and I hope to pursue a graduate degree in the ecological sciences with a focus on quantitative analysis in the future. 

Alina Dekirmenjian
-Undergraduate Plant Physiology Research

"Let's listen to some Elvis Presley!"

I am currently a junior at Marquette University studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Throughout my time here at Marquette, I have quickly developed a love for environmental sciences and the inner workings of the natural world around me. My interest in plant biology and function led me to join the Lemoine Lab in the Spring of 2022. I am currently studying how species differ in response to drought using a variety of different techniques. When not studying my plants, I am usually out traveling. I have been to over 20 states and 10 different countries, my favorite destination always being Armenia (although I might be a bit biased). I hope to continue my research involving plant biology in the future and eventually pursue a graduate degree in environmental sciences!

Claire Kraft
-Undergraduate Microbial Ecology Researcher

"Your guess is as good as mine!"

I’m majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Biocomputing graduating with the class of 2023.  In the future, I hope to apply for medical school and eventually obtain a Doctorate in Medicine. In addition, I want to incorporate my computer programming skills somehow in the future as well. In my free time, I love to read, pick up random hobbies, longboard, and enjoy the fresh air outside. I also love visiting the national parks with my family. On our last adventure, we went out west to Glacier National Park. I am very interested in environmental issues and working with this lab helps me understand more about how living and non-living things are connected to each other. My goal is to gain a better understanding of these important relationships and advocate for environmental improvements. I joined the Lemoine Lab in the Fall of 2021 as a volunteer helping a few hours a week. I continue to enjoy exploring the world of ecology in various projects and I am excited to contribute more to the lab in the future.

-Lab Security Blanket


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.

If you’re curious as to how such an adorable animal came to be, you can find out here!

-Assistant (to the) Lab Manager


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.


*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.


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!

Shayla graduated in December 2021. Since then, she was awarded both a UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship AND an NSF GRFP award and will be going to UC Berkeley for graduate school in Fall 2022!!!

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 graduated in Spring 2021 and 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.