Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Advisory Board

The University of Michigan Biological Station Advisory Board was created in 2023 to bring new perspectives and ideas to the Biological Station’s research, teaching and community engagement.

Members of the board were selected from across U-M in 2023 to serve a five-year term to inform the future of the more than 10,000-acre research and teaching campus along Douglas Lake just south of the Mackinac Bridge in Pellston.

The board also helps recruit researchers who would add to the community and research diversity of one of the nation’s largest and longest continuously operating field research stations.

Members of the UMBS Advisory Board (2023-2028)

Dr. Karen Alofs
Assistant professor of ecosystem science and management in the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)

Dr. Karen Alofs is a familiar face at the Biological Station. She has been teaching extension as well as full courses on fishes at UMBS. Alofs studies how ecological concepts can be used to address conservation concerns in freshwater environments associated with stressors including climate change, invasive species and habitat degradation.

“Karen’s research focus on applied aquatics and her experience as a new faculty and researcher at UMBS will help guide our goals of increasing work in aquatics, onboarding new community member, and connecting our students and courses with the northern Michigan community,” said Dr. Aimée Classen, director of the U-M Biological Station and a professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutional Biology.

Dr. Alison Harrington
Collection manager in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department’s Division of Fungi, Lichens and Bryophytes

At the U-M Museum of Natural HIstory in Ann Arbor, Dr. Alison Harrington focuses on fungi and micro-fungi, which is a historic strength at UMBS.

“Alison will help us build stronger ties with the museum, keep a focus on taxonomic research and our important UMBS collections, and help us explore community engagement opportunities between the U-M campus, UMBS and northern Michigan,” Classen said.

Dr. Claire Pettersen
Assistant professor of climate and space science and engineering (CLaSP)

Dr. Claire Pettersen’s research focuses on winter and works extensively in northern Michigan. She builds large-scale infrastructure to explore questions that are important to the region and world.

“Her ability to work collaboratively and her cross-disciplinary work — both aquatic and terrestrial — will help us continue our tradition of large-scale, atmospheric and collaborative research,” Classen said.

Dr. Marjorie Weber
Assistant professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department

Science News named Dr. Marjorie Weber to its list of Top 10 Scientists to Watch in 2023.

Weber studies plant-protecting ants and other wonders of evolution. She started her teaching and research program at UMBS in 2023.

“Her research in evolutionary ecology will help us build a new strength in that area and her work leading Project Biodiversify will help us continue to become a more inclusive and just field station community,” Classen said.

Dr. Barbra A. Meek
Professor of anthropology and linguistics; University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor; and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)

Dr. Barbra Meek is a Comanche citizen and professionally trained linguist and anthropologist. Her research and teaching focus on representations and performances of linguistic difference in the management of social inequality, and the revitalization and endangerment of Indigenous languages. 

"We are committed to building stronger relationships with tribal communities both on the Ann Arbor campus and in northern Michigan, and Associate Dean Meek's work in LSA and her research on Indigenous languages is critical in helping guide our work,” Classen said.