Steve grew up and went to college in Minnesota, where he enjoyed stereotypical Minnesotan activities such as hockey, boating, cross-country skiing, and pretending the winters aren't that bad. He received his PhD from Indiana University by studying the impacts of drought on forests, through which he became fascinated by the multitude of ways that plants can cope with environmental stress. He then did a postdoc at the University of Utah, where his research focused on how an ongoing ‘megadrought’ has impacted the ecology of western drylands. While in Utah, Steve spent months camping in southern Utah for fieldwork and gained a deep appreciation for the rugged yet fragile deserts of the western US. He then did another postdoc at Colorado State University, where he investigated how ‘agrivoltaic’ arrays (solar energy production co-located with agriculture) alter the physiology and ecology of the plants growing underneath. This work taught him the value of bringing ecological principles to bear on questions of sustainable development. His favorite tree is the tulip poplar, followed closely by Utah juniper.
Ana Maria Restrepo Acevedo
Ana is (very proudly) from Medellín, Colombia, where she cherished countless family moments with her extensive clan, comprising 25 tíos and tías and over 30 cousins. She embarked on her academic journey, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from LaSalle University in Colombia. Ana's first visit to the United States in 2015 led her to a non-paid internship, immersing herself in fieldwork within Michigan's forests for over two months. During this unique experience, she was introduced to the captivating realm of ecohydrology, sparking a newfound passion for these innovative concepts. This pivotal moment inspired her to pursue postgraduate studies in this dynamic field. Ana received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin and her research focused on comprehending the impacts of drought and ecological disturbances on forest ecosystems. Employing an array of sensors and modeling techniques, she adeptly monitored and forecasted the water status of plants. Currently, Ana is actively involved in the launch of PSInet, a global network that converges data and expertise in the realm of plant and soil water potential measurements. This community is envisioned to be characterized by people centered around the ecology of plants and soils with a greater purpose of enhancing gender balance, increased racial diversity, and expanded geographic representation in science.
Cameron's research interests lie in the realm of climate change, where he is particularly interested in how trees are responding to altered climate conditions. He received his MS from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where he studied the decline of Chestnut Oak in southern Indiana. He has previously worked with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute developing a novel method to analyze the impact of climate change on intra-annual wood growth phenology. His past research has illustrated how sensitive certain tree species are to climate change and how forest health may suffer as a consequence.
When he's not working, Cameron enjoys hiking and running through the mountains near Morgantown.