Olga Kildisheva, MSc (Research Scientist)
I’m originally from Ukraine, which despite being half a world away is strikingly similar to the Palouse in its agricultural focus. I came to Idaho by way of Indiana, where I earned a B. S. in Natural Resources from Purdue University. I recently received a MSc under the direction of Dr. Anthony Davis. My thesis work focused on native plant restoration, seed ecology and plant physiology with respect to the environmental drivers for seedling establishment. In addition to my thesis work, I have conducted restoration monitoring for the Idaho Transportation Department and have been extensively involved in plant propagation and research at the Pitkin Forest Nursery. In times of leisure, I enjoy the finer things in life such as baking, gardening, and the great outdoors.
Matthew Aghai (MSc Research Scientist)
I received my undergraduate education at Purdue University in the Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources. Since then I have moved to Moscow, Idaho and recently completed a Master of Science degree in the Dept. of Forest Ecology and Biogeosciences. My interests are in forest ecosystems, specifically regeneration and silvicultural practices. Since 2009 I have been working on projects at the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research, examining the effects of stocktype parameters and different culturing regimes on some ecologically and economically important plants: Quaking Aspen, Western Larch, Big Sagebrush and Acacia koa. I spend my free time exploring the great outdoors by boots or bike and also playing in a band with local musicians.
Kent Apostol, PhD (Adjunct Assistant Professor)
My Ph.D. is in Forest Biology and Management from the University of Alberta, Canada, which I received in 2003. Prior to earning my doctorate, I attended the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, where I received my B.S. and M.Sc. in Forestry. My postdoctoral research at Purdue University, examined how woody plants (e.g., water oak, northern red oak, Douglas fir, red pine) respond to stress factors, which may inhibit early seedling development following transplanting. My plant physiology work has included species from the boreal forest ecosystems in Canada, the bottomland hardwood forests, the Pacific Northwest, central hardwood regions throughout the US, especially the Midwest.
My research emphasizes the importance of whole-plant physiology, stress physiology, and nursery growing practices utilizing measures of seedling physiology. I have used a wide variety of techniques such as gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, water relations, seedling nutrient status, root oxygen uptake, plant cold hardiness, carbohydrate dynamics, and cell membrane permeability. Currently, my work with the University of Idaho focuses on water use and seedling performance of subirrigated and overhead irrigated aspen seedlings.
Jeremy Pinto, PhD (Adjunct Assistant Professor)
Jeremy serves as research plant physiologist and tribal nursery coordinator with the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the USDA Forest Service.
Kas Dumroese, PhD (Adjunct Associate Professor)
Kas serves as research plant physiologist and national nursery specialist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the USDA Forest Service. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Native Plants Journal.
Bridget McNassar (Master of Science candidate, Natural Resources)
Bridget came to the University of Idaho following nine years as a middle school science teacher in Enumclaw, WA. After an inspiring volunteer trip to a sustainable forestry project in Puerto Rico and some summer fieldwork in forest ecology, she decided to change paths and pursue a Master’s degree. In the future, she would love to be involved in work that incorporates both her background in education and skills gained through this program. During temporary escapes from the grad school grind, Bridget enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring outside and improving her photography and plant id skills.
Bridget joined the lab group in August 2010. Her thesis project involves a stocktype trial of conifer seedlings, and an investigation of the effects of different site preparation treatments on outplanted seedling survival and growth. This work will include tailoring growing regimes to container size and species as well as working with field foresters to test site preparation techniques of interest to reforestation practitioners.
Layla Dunlap (Master of Science candidate, Natural Resources)
Originally from Alabama, I moved west to Montana after I found a great love for everything outdoors. I spent several summers conducting rare plant surveys and forest inventories for various federal agencies; and, eventually, I began to work in a native plant nursery. Propagating plants and working in a nursery setting, I soon realized, was a career that I would like to pursue. With a B.A. in Biology from the University of Montana, I recently moved to Moscow, Idaho, to study at the CFNSR. Besides my interest in native plants, I enjoy backpacking, reading, photography and snowboarding.
Matt Fisk, (Master of Science candidate, Natural Resources)
Matt has been working for the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, based out of Boise, Idaho, since 2003. His work there focuses on native plant materials development and restoration in the Great Basin, as part of the grassland, shrubland and desert ecosystem research program. He works on various projects within the Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project, Joint Fire Science Program and many other collaborative efforts. Prior to joining the University of Idaho CFNSR, he spent six months at the Brandenburgische Technische Universität in Cottbus, Germany, working on brown coal mine reculture efforts involving energy plantation and vineyard establishment. His thesis work at University of Idaho is focused on the dynamics of cold hardiness accumulation and loss for Great Basin native plants. In his spare time it is not hard for him to stay entertained with outdoor activities, traveling, music, brewing beer and working on his newest love–an 1890’s kit home.