We are pleased to announce the following promotions for 2013-2014: Catherine Badgley to associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, with tenure and associate professor in the Residential College, without tenure; Liliana Cortés Ortiz to research associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology and the Museum of Zoology; Richard Rabeler to associate research scientist in ecology and evolutionary biology and the University Herbarium.
Badgley’s effective teaching style has focused on interdisciplinarity, experiential learning, writing, and student responsibility. Since 2010, she mentored two Ph.D., four master's, and four undergraduate students in her lab. Two of the master's students were in the Frontiers Master’s Program, designed to prepare underrepresented, underprepared students to move into academia. Badgley is a member of the doctoral committees of 11 other students.
Dr. Badgley has established and maintained an internationally recognized research program that focuses on how the Earth's history of climate and environmental change has shaped the evolution of mammals. She has been instrumental in establishing a new sub-field in paleobiology that investigates how geologic and climatic shifts over time have influenced the diversity and community structure of mammals. She publishes her findings in high-profile, high-impact scientific journals that attract world-wide attention from the scientific community and public media. Her grant productivity is strong and consistent, including two NSF research grants and an NSF REU site grant (as co-PI).
She has served on important committees for EEB, the Biological Station, and the Residential College. She was co-director of EDQUE2ST, a National Science Foundation-funded research experience for undergraduates that focuses on increasing diversity in the area of ecology and evolution. Badgley's international reputation is evident in her leadership role as president for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and is involved in outreach to the broader community in the area of sustainable agriculture and world food issues.
Dr. Cortés Ortiz became an assistant research scientist in EEB and the Museum of Zoology in 2004 and she has served as the director of EEB's Genomic Diversity Laboratory since 2009. As director of this multi-user lab, she advises researchers and students in the collection and analyses of molecular data and ensures that the facilities maintain standards and working conditions of a first-class research laboratory.
Her research involves the use of molecular techniques and genetic analyses to address questions about behavior, evolution and conservation of Neotropical primates. Current projects include:
- Paternity and population genetic analyses to examine aspects of behavioral ecology in primates, particularly howler monkeys (genus Alouatta).
- Phylogenetic analyses to determine the relationships of taxa for taxonomy and systematics.
- Phylogeographic analyses to understand levels of diversity among and within populations to reveal aspects of the origin and evolutionary history of these taxa.
- Population genetic analyses of threatened species that can serve as a basis to develop conservation strategies.
- Genetic, morphological, and behavioral analyses within a howler monkey hybrid zone to explore levels of reproductive isolation among species and the possible mechanisms responsible for them.
She has been advisor/co-advisor of a number of undergraduate and graduate students and is currently serving as the advisor of two Ph.D. and three master’s students at U-M. She serves or has served on thesis committees of students at other U.S., Mexican, Colombian and Brazilian universities. Since her arrival at U-M, she has mentored 13 undergraduate students who have gained research experience working in her lab.
Cortés Ortiz is the regional coordinator and advisor for Mesoamerica for the Primate Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (2009 to present), current secretary of the Mexican Association of Primatology (2012 to 2015), founding member of the Latin American Society of Primatology, and has recently been selected as a candidate for the vice president for Conservation of the International Primatological Society.
She is author or co-author of 22 publications that occur in peer-reviewed journals and books and 21 non-peer reviewed publications. She has been an editor of Neotropical Primates (journal of the Primate Specialist Group, Neotropical Section, SSC/IUCN) since 2007 and is a current co-editor of a special issue of the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution that focuses on the systematics and phylogeography of Neotropical primates. She is also a co-author of two books currently in press that provide updated information on evolution, taxonomy, behavior, ecology and conservation of howler monkeys.
Dr. Richard Rabeler earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1986. He has been a collection manager and researcher with U-M Herbarium since 1987. Rabeler’s research focuses on the Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family). His independent and collaborative projects primarily involve the distribution of native and introduced species in North America, as well as the phylogenetic relationships among the approximately 90 genera comprising the family.
Much of his work is collaborative; he is one of only a few specialists in the morphology and relationships of this group of plants in the USA. In addition to helping to write and edit the treatment of the family in the Flora of North America, he has contributed to four other U.S. flora projects (two more are in preparation) as well as the Flora of China and has reviewed Caryophyllaceae treatments for 18 other projects.
Another of Rabeler’s interests is large-scale, collaborative Herbarium specimen digitization. He’s currently leading U-M’s participation in an NSF-sponsored digitization grant: “Plants, Predators, and Parasitoids: Hemiptera as a Model System for the study of Tri-Trophic Associations.” He is also actively involved in two iDigBio working groups examining digitization protocols.
Rabeler is heavily involved in professional service, much of it involving the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, an international organization of collections professionals, including a term as president. He has also been active for the past 11 years in the Flora North America Association, where he has been a member of the board of directors and executive committee as well as being a co-editor of two volumes and a major author in a third.