Principal Investigator


Ryan W. McEwan, PhD

Professor & Schuellein Endowed Chair

Department of Biology
The University of Dayton
300 College Park, Dayton, OH  45469-2320

Office phone: 1.937.229.2558

 Graduate Students

Valerie Thurston – MS Student


Valerie obtained her BS in Environmental Biology in 2022 from the University of Dayton. She briefly worked as a lab technician before beginning her Master’s Program in the fall of 2022. She is now researching old-field succession with a particular interest in native and invasive plant species. 

Madelaine Gregory – MS Student


Madelaine completed her Environmental Biology degree in 2022 at the University of Dayton. As an undergraduate, she worked as a lab technician and a project leader for a study on mycorrhizal colonization in bur oak seedlings. Using this project as a starting point, Madelaine will be focusing on forest succession in a post agricultural field, with a particular interest in studying the interactions between planted oak seedlings, the microbial community, and soil composition.


Cait Lloyd – Lab Manager

IMG_1803 (2)

Cait graduated from the University of Dayton with her BS in Environmental Biology in 2019. After graduating, she joined the lab as a temporary postbac researcher before returning again in the fall of 2021 as the lab’s full-time manager. She enjoys working closely with the grad students, assisting with field and lab work, and managing all of the undergrad lab members. 

Undergraduate Student Project Leaders

Anna Pallone

Anna field pic

Anna is a junior Environmental Biology major and project leader for an ongoing NSF funded project looking at long-term patterns of Larch tree stand establishment in post-fire environments in Siberia. After receiving the Dean’s Summer Fellowship in 2022, Anna spent her summer on campus dating wood samples from a historic log cabin in Carillon Park, practicing dendrochronological techniques. 

Katie Holmes


Katie is a junior Environmental Biology major and research technician who contributes to a wide array of projects happening in the lab. She completed an REU through Eastern Kentucky University in the summer of 2022 focusing on the relationship between woody vegetation in wetlands and bat activity.  Katie will be starting her BPM program in the McEwan Lab come fall of 2023 to build on ongoing forest restoration studies at the Great Miami Mitigation Bank.

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