Morgan MacBeth, Alexandra Flanigan, Jean Burns and David Burke (left to right) at a CWRU Intersections poster presentation. These students are presenting their research on soil microbial communities from Bodega Bay, CA, USA. This work was done in David Burke's lab at the Holden Arboretum.

The lab takes a field trip to Triangle Bog in 2013.

The lab helps Colin Cope sample invasive earthworms for his dissertation at Holden Arboretum (2014).







Ecology Reading Group

Lab Group Schedule

Prospective Students



Jean H. Burns, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

Case Western Reserve University

2080 Adelbert Road

307 DeGrace Hall

Cleveland, OH 44106-7080

jbm122 <@>



People in the Burns lab

Jean H. Burns,

Assistant Professor.

Jean's research focuses on the mechanisms driving community assembly and biological invasions, including understanding the role of phylogenetic history in these processes.

Graduate students

Colin CopeColin Cope, Graduate Student, Ph.D. program.

Colin is interested in how species interactions such as herbivory and soil biota mediate biological invasions.

Andrew Lance, Graduate Student, Ph.D. program.

Andy is studying the role of mycorrhizal mutualists in tree restoration.

Jennifer Murphy

Jennifer Murphy, Ph.D. candidate.

Jennifer is studying the correlates of global invasiveness in the Roses, using detailed physiological studies and phylogenetic comparative methods.

Anna OsvalssonAnna Osvaldsson, Ph.D. candidate.

Anna is interested in global climate change and biological invasions.

Undergraduate students


Alex Faidiga

Alex Faidiga.

Alex is working with graduate student Colin Cope to test the hypothesis that invasive earthworms influence the allelopathic effects of invasive garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Kathleen Gigsby.

Here, Kat is helping Anna Osvaldsson with her climate change experiment.

Drake Sweet in FieldDrake Sweet.

Drake is studying the effects of environmental drivers on species coexistence in perennial plant communities. Drake received REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) funding from NSF to conduct his research in the summer of 2014.

High School Students

Lane Chesler

Lane Chesler, Hathaway Brown.

Here, Lane is helping manipulate snow cover for Anna Osvaldsson's Ph.D. experiment on the effects of climate change on spring ephemeral plants.


Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Angela BrandtAngela J. Brandt,

postdoctoral scholar.

Angela studies the role of spatio-temporal environmental heterogeneity on biological invasions and species coexistence, and how species characteristics affect their interactions and outcomes of invasion or restoration. Angela is now working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Bill Lee in New Zealand at Landcare Research.

Gaston del Pino, SPUR fellow.

Deanna Drenton, GLISTEN undergraduate stewardship liaison.

Lauren Huffman, GLISTEN undergraduate stewardship liaison.

Angela Kaczowka, SPUR fellow.

Angela has started in the PhD program at the University of Arizona, in the Venable lab.

Conor Leahy, SPUR fellow.

Brad Ochocki, visiting scholar.

Brad is conducting simulation studies on the role of demography and dispersal in invasion success. Brad is currently a member of the Tom E. X. Miller lab at Rice University. Congratulations, Brad!

Elizabeth Odil, undergraduate researcher.

Matthew Sievers, undergraduate researcher.

Benjamin Sulka, undergraduate researcher.

Christine Yu, undergraduate researcher.

Xiaoni Zhao, undergraduate researcher.

Yulong Zheng was a Visiting Scholar from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden funded by a Chinese Academy of Science Fellowship.

Nicole Zimmerman, undergraduate researcher.