Jacob Allgeier

The warmest of EEB welcomes to our newest faculty members, Jacob Allgeier and Benjamin Winger. Both started Sept. 1, 2017 as assistant professors in ecology and evolutionary biology. Winger is also assistant curator of birds at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

Allgeier joined the University of Michigan from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a postdoctoral research associate. “My goal as an ecologist is to apply ecological theory to help solve real-world conservation issues. Specifically, I seek to identify the mechanisms by which behavioral, population and community dynamics mediate nutrient and energy pathways. The objective is to improve our ability to predict ecological outcomes, and enhance conservation efficacy such as the sustainability of ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries). Much of this research takes place in tropical coastal ecosystems (mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs) where I study gradients created by anthropogenic impacts to test theory directly within the context of environmental change and biodiversity loss. My research is broad and multifaceted, and I rely on (and very much enjoy) integrative collaborations across a variety of fields.”

This fall, he’s teaching a course he developed, Coastal Ecology and Sustainability and Ecosystem Ecology. He’s seeking graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for his lab.

Benjamin Winger

Winger has been with the department for two years as a postdoctoral scholar of the Michigan Society of Fellows. Prior to that, he was a doctoral student at the University of Chicago.

Winger studies speciation, biogeography and movement ecology (migration and dispersal) in birds. He uses a variety of approaches and data types in his research, including population genetics, genomics, phylogenetics, museum collections and fieldwork.

“More recently, I’ve started thinking about how climate change impacts migratory birds,” he said. “I’ve started working with data from museum specimens on how climate change is affecting morphology – the size and shape of migratory birds – on rather remarkably short time scales.”

As curator of the bird collections, Winger oversees 200,000 specimens of birds. He calls the collections “one of best in North America, even in the world. It’s a real honor to be able to participate in its future and guide the direction we’re going, and make sure students have access.”

Winger taught Ornithology during fall 2016 and will teach it again in fall 2018.

Read feature stories about Allgeier and Winger in the fall issue of EEB's newsletter, Natural Selections, in November.