2009 Graduate Laerm Award Winners
The recipient of the 2009 Joshua Laerm Academic Support Award for Graduate Students is Jayna DeVore, who will conduct her study under the direction of Dr. John Maerz, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Jayna will test the hypothesis that grass invasion in terrestrial ecosystems alters predation rates among invertebrate predators, in this case by increasing the density of spiders that prey on amphibians, reducing amphibian survivorship. She will be studying the interaction of Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass), Bufo americanus (American toad), and lycosid spiders, an invertebrate predator. The grass may affect toad survivorship by enabling spider densities to increase. She will conduct field tests of her hypothesis at the Whitehall Experimental Forest.