Heather Lynch Joins the Faculty in Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Heather Lynch has accepted our offer to join the faculty in Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook. With Jim Rohlf's semi-retirement in the spring of 2011, it became imperative that we hire a new faculty member to assume responsibility for instruction of our graduate students in statistics and to serve as a statistical consultant for members of E&E. She visited Stony Brook in March to participate in the annual E&E Retreat and explore options for her new office and laboratory facilities. We had cast a wide net for someone with an active research program in any area of ecology or evolution but particular strengths in statistics and quantitative biology. Heather met our criteria perfectly, and we look forward to her arrival during the summer of 2011.
Dr. Lynch received her A.B. in physics from Princeton University in 2000, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the American Physical Society's LeRoy Apker Award for the best undergraduate physics thesis in the US. She continued her physics training at Harvard University, but after receiving her M.A. in Physics, decided to transfer into the Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Department to pursue her interest in statistical ecology. Under the advising of Dr. Paul Moorcroft, Dr. Lynch received her PhD in 2006 for her thesis "Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Insect-Fire Interactions". As a post-doctoral research associate, and then assistant research scientist, in Dr. William Fagan's lab at the University of Maryland, Dr. Lynch applied her expertise in the statistical analysis of complex ecological datasets to a range of problems including patterns of survivorship in mammals, biodiversity patterns in dendritic ecological networks, and the effect of reproductive asynchrony in defining the geographic range of the bagworm.
Dr. Lynch's research focuses on the development and application of statistics and mathematics to conservation biology. Her current research revolves around a large-scale vessel-based breeding bird survey program called the Antarctic Site Inventory, a project she manages in partnership with the non-profit research organization Oceanites. Her work to understand the complex spatiotemporal dynamics of Antarctic penguins, in particular their response to climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula, will bring a multitude of exciting opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the department. We are very excited about the strength in statistics and mathematics and added breadth in conservation biology that Dr. Lynch will bring to our department and anticipate that she will also strengthen connections between our group and others on campus.