Jason K. Keller, Ph.D.

Dr. Keller received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame (advised by Dr. Scott Bridgham).  He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (advised by Dr. J. Patrick Megonigal) before joining Chapman University in 2008.  Most of his current research centers on understanding anaerobic carbon cycling in northern peatlands, although he is excited to expand his work into local salt marsh ecosystems as well.  He can be contacted at jkeller(at)chapman(dot)edu.

Cassandra A. Medvedeff, Ph.D.

Dr. Cassandra Medvedeff is currently an Instructional Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Chapman University.  She received her B.S. and M.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Cassandra Photo(advised by Dr. Anne Hershey).  She completed her Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science (Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory) at the University of Florida (under the direction of Dr. Patrick Inglett).  Her research interests include understanding mechanistic regulators and interactive controls on anaerobic microbial decomposition.  Her past research has focused on nutrient controls (carbon quality, phosphorus availability, ash/char fire residues) and disturbance (restoration, fire) on microbial decomposition (enzyme activity, CO2 and CH4 production) in wetlands within Everglades National Park.  Her research includes both a laboratory and field based approach to answer crucial questions within the context of global climate change.  A copy of her CV can be found here.

Glenn Woerndle, M.S.

Glenn Woerndle joined the lab as a research associate in May, 2016 after completing a Master’s degree in Biology: glenn-photoEcotoxicology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  Her research interests include spatial and temporal variation in methane cycling, as well as the sources, transformations, and fate of pollutants in aquatic ecosystems.  She is currently involved in all projects in the lab, and keep the place running smoothly from day to day.  A copy of her CV can be found here.

Jessica Rush (Biological Sciences, Class of 2018)

Jesse as a Biological Sciences and Spanish double major who joined the lab group in the Spring of 2016.  After jesse-rush-photodiscovering here interest in environmental science and hearing about both the lab and field work being done in the Keller lab, she knew she had to get involved.  Her main focus has been studying the role of humic reduction in peatland soils.  Currently, she is exploring the direct and indirect effects of temperature on humic reduction in a northern Minnesota peatland that is part of the SPRUCE project.  After graduation, Jesse hopes to travel to Spain and then study medicine to pursue a career in allergy and immunology.

Emily Hanna (Biological Sciences, Class of 2018)

Emily joined the Swamp Monsters in the Fall of 2016.  Her interest in biogeochemistry sparked after emily-hanna-photoattending Chapman’s Student Research Day and listening to other students present posters on their current research.  She is currently involved with experiments focused on humic reduction in peatland soils.

Kyvan Elep (Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2017)

Kyvan joined the lab in the Spring of 2016 and has been working on a project looking at greenhouse gas fluxeskyvan-photo at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.  This site is home to a pilot project using thin layer sediment augmentation as a mitigation tool to help offset sea level rise.  There is interest in exploring the climate implications of this management technique, which requires a greater understanding of the fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from the marsh surface.  Kyvan also has an internship focused on environmental education and post-graduation hopes to work as an educator in the National Park Service.

Haley Miller (Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2018)

Haley is an environmental science and policy major who became a Swamp Monster in the Spring of 2016haley-miller-photo. She has been involved in the Seal Beach project studying greenhouse gas flux. Haley is interested in the processes of carbon storage in wetland and oceanic ecosystems, and hopes to continue to study climate science and marine ecology following her undergraduate career.



Lab Alumni

Kristin Gabriel (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Class of 2016)

Inspired by the wonder and awe the natural world beholds, Kristin Gabriel joined Dr. Keller’s Ecosystem Ecology Lab inKristin Photo January of 2013 to complete research and fieldwork to further comprehend the complexity of living organisms.  Traveling from Chicago, IL her curiosity for the unfamiliar wetland environment exhilarates her interests for how plants and wildlife function and manifested into a desire she wishes to pursue on a professional level.  During the 2012-2013 academic year, Kristin assisted Kylle Roy on a marsh organ project exploring the effects of sea level rise on microbial respiration at Brookhurst Marsh in Huntington Beach, California.  Kristin ‘switched gears’ and took the lead on a project exploring the role of water-table level on humic substance reduction in northern peatland soils.  She gave an excellent poster on this work at the Society of Wetland Scientists Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.  Currently, Kristin is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine where she is working in the field of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Ari Jong
(Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2016)

Ari joined Dr. Keller’s Ecosystem Ecology Lab in the fall of 2013.  Her last research experience consisted of Ari Photodata retrieval and Excel graphs with her laptop as her only company.  Eager to gain her first experience working in a hands-on laboratory, she soon found out that Dr. Keller’s lab is home to more than just pH meters, balances, and beakers–it hosts a close-knit group of welcoming people who ask good questions and are willing to answer yours.  Ari’s work in the lab explored the potential CO2 and CH4 production through the depth profile in three peatland soils from northern Minnesota.  She gave an amazing poster presentation on this work that the Society of Wetland Scientists meeting in Portland, OR.  Ari also completed an internship at SCCWRP and a summer research fellowship working with Dr. Colleen Iversen at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.  Currently, Ari is a Staff Scientist at Council for Watershed Health in Los Angeles.

Mia Montanile (Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2015)

Mia PhotoMia joined Dr. Keller’s Ecosystem Ecology lab her sophomore year after her passion for wetlands was sparked during Dr. Keller’s Introduction to Environmental Science course. She is an Environmental Science and Policy major with an emphasis in ecology. Mia assisted with experiments focused on the importance of organic matter reduction in peatland soils.

Victoria Brown (Biological Sciences, Class of 2013)

Victoria PictureVictoria has been working in the lab since the Spring or 2012, beginning as the lab’s official dishwasher.  She is completed a project exploring the carbon and nitrogen concentration of belowground biomass from a manipulative sea level rise experiment in northern California.  Currently, Victoria is exploring potential carbon mineralization in northern peatland soils.  Victoria is currently attending Veterinary School in Australia.

Jes Mosolf (Environmental Science & Policy, Class of 2013)

Jes joined the lab in 2012.  She is worked on a number of projects exploring the importance of humic substance reduction in peatland soils.  In particular, she focused on the role of temperature in regulating the competition between humic reduction and methanogenesis in these soils.  Jes was selected as a 2012 summer intern at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD where she continued working on issues related to humic substances as alternative electron acceptors.  Following graduation, Jes received a competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Chapman University where she made great strides in her research.  Jes is currently back home in upstate New York working for a pharmaceutical research company.

Kellie Stump (Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2013)

Kellie started wetland research in the Ecosystems Ecology (BIOL319) course in Fall of 2011.  She officially joined the lab in the Fall of 2012 after studying abroad in Fiji.  Kellie explored the drivers and consequences of changing microbial activities by depth in a local salt marsh soil.  Prior to joining the lab, Kellie was an intern at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Program in Costa Mesa, CA.  Kellie completed a MS in Conservation Leadership Through Learning at Colorado State University.

Kylle Roy (Biological Sciences, Class of 2013)

Kylle Roy started wetland research in the Ecosystem Ecology (BIOL319) class in Fall 2011.  She joined the lab the Fall of Kylle Photo 22012 upon returning from studying abroad in Australia. During  2012-2013, she focused on a marsh organ project studying the effects of sea level rise on porewater chemistry and microbial respiration at Brookhurst Marsh in Huntington Beach, California.  Kylle is currently a MS student in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science program at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.

Kimberly Takagi, Ph.D. (Post-doctoral research associate 2011-2012)

Kimberly Takagi received her B.S. in Integrated Biology from Chapman University (advised by Dr. William G. Wright).  She completed her M.S. in Marine Science and Ph. D. in Marine and Environmental Science at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan (under the direction of Dr. Makoto Tsuchiya).  She re-joined Chapman University in February, 2011 as an adjunct professor, instructing the general biology labs. Kim worked in the Keller lab from May, 2011 through September, 2012 as a post doctoral researcher investigating the role of humic substances in peatland soils. She was particularly involved in working out the new methodology to correct for pH issues and partition electron shuttling to solid-phase and dissolved humans.  After leaving Chapman, Kim was a post-doctoral researcher with Mandy Joye at the University of Georgia.  Currently, Kim is a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow and is pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree in Teaching at Piedmont College

Morgan Brown (Biological Sciences, Class of 2012)

Morgan worked in the lab from 2011-2012 on a number of projects focusing on soil carbon storage in southern California salt marshes.  This has included work exploring the importance of plant community in determining soil carbon storage as well as a project investigating soil carbon accumulation following restoration.  She presented at the 2012 Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting and  received the runner up award for her presentation at the 2012 OC Graduate Women in Science conference.  Morgan is currently a MS student working with Dr. Christine Whitcraft at California State University, Long Beach.

Chelsea Takahashi (Environmental Science & Policy, Class of 2012)

Chelsea worked in the lab in 2012 on her senior capstone project focused on antiherbivore defenses in maize and its wild relative, the teosinte. Her project was a continuation of her NSF-REU internship at Texas A&M. More about her work and the REU program can be found at this link:  Chelsea presented the results of this work at the 2012 Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting as well as the 2012 Orange County Graduate Women in Science meeting.  After leaving Chapman, worked as a Community and Economic Development Specialist for the USDA in Washington, D.C. She completed a Master’s degree in Agribusiness at Texas A&M.  Chelsea is currently a Delivery Programs Coordinator at the Food Basket, Inc. – Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.

Jillian Wade (Biology, Class of 2011)

Jill worked in the lab from 2010-2011 and was an NSF-funded REU researcher during the Summer of 2010.  After countless hours of root-picking, she designed and completed an independent project focused on the role of trace metals in regulating peatland carbon mineralization.  She received a Faculty-Sponsored Student Scholarly/Creative Research Grant to complete this work and presented her poster at the 2011 Student Research Expo.  Jill was awarded the Chapman University Outstanding Biology Senior Award and the Chapman University Excellence in Presentation Award at the Scholarship and Undergraduate Research Fair in recognition of her efforts.  After leaving Chapman, Jill completed the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at California State University, Los Angeles.

Catrina Clausen (Environmental Science & Policy, Class of 2011)

Trina worked in the lab from 2010-2011 on a project exploring the importance of nitrogen allocation in leaf litter allocation.  She presented the results of her work at the 2011 Spring Student Research Expo.  Trina has the distinction of being the first Environmental Science and Policy graduate at Chapman University. Upon graduation, Trina worked with the National Wildlife Federation’s Northern Rockies and Prairies Region on issues related to renewable energy.  Trina graduated with a law degree from the University of Montana and is currently an attorney in Montana.

Crisand Anderson (Chemistry, Class of 2011)

Crissy worked in the lab from 2009-2011 and spent the summer of 2009 at the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Research Center as an NSF REU student.  Her capstone project focused on the importance of humic substances in peatland decomposition and she received a Faculty-Sponsored Student Scholarly/Creative Research Grant to complete this project.  She presented the results of her work at the 2011 American Chemical Society meeting, the Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Spring 2011 Student Research Expo.  Crissy was awarded the Orange County American Chemical Society Outstanding Student Award for her efforts.