Christopher Lortie
I am an integrative scientist. I enjoy creative challenges but hate puzzles. I love being outside. I love to run. Plants are cool. I want to learn how to build interaction networks. Here is my personal website:



Ally Ruttan

Hey, I’m Ally and I am a Masters student in the lab! I have been lucky enough to be able to travel to California to research plant-insect interactions for my undergraduate Honours thesis, as well as study the magnet hypothesis in northern BC at Pink Mountain this past summer! For my Masters I will be back in California to try and tease apart the direct and indirect pathways of pollinator facilitation by shrubs, aka the double magnet hypothesis. When I’m not busy chasing bees around the desert, you can find me hanging with my horse and painting the days away.



Alex Filazzola

I am interested in positive interactions, restoration ecology, and biological conservation/sustainability. Currently, I am studying plant facilitation and its restoration applications in Californian deserts. I enjoy greatly biology and what I do, but I also live a second life as a die-hard music enthusiast.

plantTaylor Noble

I completed my undergraduate thesis on ant biodiversity shifts in logged hemlock dominated forests at Unity College in Maine. I have worked on studies examining forest ecology, water quality, carnivore ecology, and shorebird monitoring. For my Master’s project I am examining plant-animal interactions in Carrizo National Monument.




Jenna Braun

I will be a first year master’s student this fall. I am interested in plant-insect interactions, restoration ecology and spatial ecology. I completed my undergrad at McMaster University in biology and environmental science and my previous experiences include examining insect communities in restored and remnant tallgrass prairie sites, cataloguing local forest diversity and structure, and creating a permanent forest dynamics plot. In addition to biology, I really enjoy cycling, knitting and gardening.


Tonia Cichella

I am an honours student studying environmental biology at York University. Currently, I assist in the research of pollinators and plant-insect interactions, as well as the conditions surrounding sexual vs asexual reproduction in rotifers. When I’m not studying biology, I’m most likely reading a book.



Eva Gruber

Eva grew up in North Carolina, spending many years in Poland as well. Always having a strong affinity for wildlife, she knew biology and conservation were her calling. She graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2010 with a BS in Marine Biology and has spent the past several years working with songbirds, seabirds, marine fisheries, and now is excited to be working with Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizards in California’s Serengeti – the Carrizo Plain.