Steve joined the Allen Lab as a PhD student in June 2017. After growing up with a fondness for critters living in the salt marshes and oceans of Long Island, New York, he ventured up to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received his B.S. in Environmental Science and developed an affinity for freshwater environments. During his undergraduate, he studied the influence of anadromous river herring (a migratory fish) on zooplankton communities and ecosystem processes in freshwater lakes. Steve is broadly interested in what structures freshwater communities and ecosystems at multiple geographic scales, and how these patterns respond to anthropogenic and climatic changes (i.e. changes in temperature and/or streamflow regimes). He is also interested in metacommunity ecology and hopes to study food web dynamics and energy flow in a metacommunity framework.
Michelle Busch, PhD Student
Michelle joined the lab in Fall 2017 and is a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at OU. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014. As an undergraduate she worked in the Cardinale Lab to find algal communities that could best be converted to biofuels. Once she graduated, she took time off to work with a non-profit in Uganda and then worked as a lab technician at the University of Houston. Projects she worked on while at UH focused on plant-soil-feedback interactions in the Crawford Lab. She is excited to be back in school and ready to dive back into aquatic systems. At Oklahoma she hopes to study how anthropogenic effects impact macroinvertebrate communities, hydrology, trophic level interactions, and food webs for her dissertation.
Darin Kopp, PhD Candidate
Darin joined the Allen Lab in summer 2015 and is now a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at OU. He received his BS in biology and environmental science from DePaul University, in Chicago, and an MS in Wildlife Science from New Mexico State University. He has diverse interests that generally intersect community and ecosystem ecology and emphasize spatial patterns and processes. In this vein, his dissertation work focuses on aquatic-terrestrial linkages and understanding the role of reciprocal material exchanges (e.g. movement of organisms, detritus or nutrients across ecosystem boundaries) in structuring foodwebs. See Darin's website.