Graduate Students

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Molly Barrett, MS

Principal Investigator – Dr. Saunders

Molly joins Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources from Northern Arizona where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in forestry with a minor in biology. Molly’s research is focused on regeneration response of oaks to prescribed fire and gap-based harvesting in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR).

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Aziz Ebrahimi, PhD

Principal Investigator – Dr. Jacobs

Azia is a PhD student at Purdue University, studying whole genome and genes related to cold tolerance in walnut and koa.  Aziz’s interest is in landscape genetics, phylogeny and evolution of tree species, and he has utilized genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics tools to address questions in that area of research.

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Elias Bowers Gaffney, M.S.

Principal Investigator – Dr. Saunders


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Sayon Ghosh, PhD

Principal Investigator – Dr. Saunders


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Scott Gula, MS

Principal Investigators -Dr. Ginzel and Dr. Couture

Host-plant interactions of long-horned beetles.

Yunmei Huang

Yunmei Huang, PhD

Principal Investigator -Dr. Fei

Yunmei is interested in digitial forestry research. Her current work focuses on the use of AI in species recognition and biometrics extraction.

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Brianne Innusa, M.S.

Principal Investigator – Dr. Jacobs


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Caleb Kell, MS

Principal Investigator – Dr. Jacobs

Farm Technician/Graduate Research Assistant

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Bowen Li, MS

Principal Investigator – Dr. Shao

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Alison Ochs, PhD

Principle Investigator  – Dr. Saunders

She studies the short and long term effects of timber management on terrestrial salamanders. In particular, she focuses on the effects of prescribed fire, the different effects of clearcuts, shelterwood harvest, and uneven age management, and how far into surrounding forest such effects reach.

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Brande (Bee) Overbey, PhD

Principal Investigator – Dr. Jacobs

Bee’s research focuses on the role that birds play in forest restoration through seed dispersal, scatter hoarding, germination and pollination, and how to maximize the impact of these behaviors through our forest management strategies.

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Minjee (Sylvia) Park, PhD

Principal Investigators – Dr. Couture and Dr. Jacobs

Minjee’s research is characterizing abiotic and biotic tree stress using hyperspectral information.

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Summer Rathfon, MS

Principal Investigators – Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Woeste

Summer is a new graduate student this fall!

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Thaddeus Swart, MS

Principle Investigator – Dr. Jenkins



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Kelsey Tobin, PhD

Principle Investigator – Dr. Ginzel

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Cameron Wingren, MS

Principle Investigators – Dr. Fei and Dr. Hupy

Cameron’s research interests center on the use of UAS to detect and monitor forest disturbance.

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Recep (Rich) Yildiz, MS

Principle Investigator – Dr. Meilan and Dr. Woeste

I am from Turkey and graduated from Karadeniz Technical University-Forest Engineering Department as a forest engineer, in Turkey, in 2012 . I will be studying on forest tree breeding and quantitative genetics.