Graduate Student Fellowship Program 

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Program Leaders

Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers
Dr. Weathers’ research focuses on quantifying how biology affects geochemistry and biogeochemical cycling across heterogeneous landscapes, and within and among multiple systems (air-land-water). Specific topics have included quantifying cross-boundary nutrient fluxes (e.g., nutrient and pollutant delivery and biogeochemistry from ocean to forest); how landscape and plant structure affect fog inputs—and how fog affects the biotic and abiotic maintenance of ecosystems; the importance of tree species, and their pests and pathogens, in controlling landscape biogeochemistry; and the effect of cyanobacteria on oligotrophic lake resilience.
Dr. Paul C. Hanson
Dr. Hanson’s research interests include: Carbon cycling: Lakes play important roles in carbon cycling at the watershed, regional, and even global scales. The balance between carbon sequestration and storage versus mineralization in lakes depends on how ecosystem boundaries are drawn, the nature of the lake and the load, and the time scale of interest. My research in carbon cycling focuses on how ecosystem processes alter these balances across different space and time scales in different ways among lakes of the world. Carbon cycling theme pervades work in a number of funded research projects in which I’m the lead PI or a co-PI, including the North Temperate Lakes LTER, a Wisconsin Focus on Energy project, and a collaborative project funded by Mellon foundation on regional carbon cycling modeling in Wisconsin. Ecosystem variability: My general interest in ecological scaling issues underlies recent work in cross-scale analyses of lake data sets. Ecological data are inherently messy and tend to show pattern at multiple scales — a phenomenon especially evident in data from sensor networks. Understanding controls over that variability presents analytical challenges that benefit from signal processing tools, such as wavelet transforms, spectral analysis, and other system identification approaches. The payoff has been a clearer picture of, e.g., how dissolved oxygen in lakes is controlled by internal waves at short time scales, metabolism at days to weeks, and long-term weather oscillations at decades. Such approaches also show promise for developing scaling laws governing, e.g., phytoplankton dynamics.Microbes, algae, and even fish: Although some of my past work has emphasized fish bioenergetics and fish identification through software and modeling tools, I’ve recently downsized in organisms. The control over microbial (bacteria and phytoplankton) dynamics in real ecosystems remains a mystery under many conditions. Through partnerships with microbial ecologists and physical limnologists at the University of Wisconsin and in the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), we are using high-tech sensor network measurements, coupled physical-chemical-biological models, and signal processing to study the vagaries of microbial dynamics. Studies of algal blooms, for example, are central to much of the research happening on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin.
Grace S. Hong
Grace S. Hong was the Program Coordinator for the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network from fall 2010 to February 2016. She has extensive experience with other international, multidisciplinary grassroots scientific networks, including PRAGMA since 2003. Grace received a masters degree in Organizational Psychology in 2008. Her interests in social psychology, group dynamics in science teams, facilitative leadership skills training for early-career scientists have resulted in participatory meeting designs at GLEON All-Hands meetings, Steering Committee, GLEON Student Association & GLEON Fellowship workshops. She also co-led in the evaluation surveys design for the Fellowship Program. She is now the Research Programs Coordinator for and other international projects at the ACIS Lab, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Florida.
Dr. Hilary Dugan
After taking part in the GLEON Fellowship Program as a graduate student, Hilary is now a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Limnology in Madison. Her time is split between the GLEON Fellowship Program and a research project with Paul Hanson focused on carbon cycling in temperate lakes. Her past research focused on polar limnology both in the Canadian Arctic and the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. More information can be found at
Dr. Emily K. Read
Emily became involved with GLEON in 2008 as a graduate student, and she joined Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin Madison as the first postdoctoral associate for the GLEON Fellowship Program in fall 2012 through 2014.  Emily’s research interests include water quality, nutrient cycling, and microbial ecology. Emily now works at the USGS Center for Integrated Data Analytics.
Dr. Luke Winslow
Luke was a graduate student in Limnology at UW-Madison. With his research, he asks large-scale questions like, “When does a puddle become a pond?” and “How many lakes are there in the world?”. In 2014, he finished his dissertation work examining lakes of the U.S. and their role in large-scale cycles.To the fellowship program, he brings a long history of scientific software and model development. Luke now works at U.S. Geological Survey: . He is especially interested in topics linking science and technology:

  • Scientific code sharing and reuse
  • Collaboration lessons from the open-source community
  • Scientific dataset compilation and sharing
  • Large-data science in ecology and limnology