Researcher Spotlights


featured researcher photo

Loren Merrill

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Illinois Natural History Survey working with T.J. Benson (Avian Ecologist, INHS) examining the influence of different land-cover types on the health and condition of shrubland birds. Prior to joining INHS, I did a one year postdoc with Jennifer Grindstaff at Oklahoma State University examining the impacts of early-life stressors on short and long-term trait expression in zebra finches. I conducted my PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara on life-history strategies and ecophysiology of blackbirds. I am an avid birder and nature photographer and am happiest when immersed in wild places.

featured researcher photo

Sara Benson

Sara is a lawyer with ten years of experience teaching at at the University of Illinois College of Law. Prior to joining the College of Law, she worked both in a large international law firm and a small boutique non-profit law firm. Currently, Sara is the Copyright Librarian at the University Library at Urbana-Champaign. The ultimate goal of her research agenda is to shape the future of copyright policy by examining both on-the-ground practice in libraries and museums and the socio-political guiding principles behind such practices.

featured researcher photo

Jeffrey Kwang

Jeffrey Kwang is a graduate student studying fluvial geomorphology in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under Professor Gary Parker. He studies how landscapes evolve over geologic time by using both physically-scaled and numerical models. His goal is to determine and understand the fundamental processes that are necessary to create the structure of landscapes and drainage networks that we see here on Earth.

featured researcher photo

Greg Spyreas

Greg Spyreas is a plant ecologist and botanist with the Illinois Natural History Survey. His research area is applied ecology that aims to bring about better conservation, restoration, management, monitoring, and understanding of natural areas and their floras/faunas, especially those of Midwestern North America. Greg published data from a longitudinal assessment of milkweed populations in the Illinois landscape and possible correlations with monarch declines.

featured researcher photo

Heidi Imker

Heidi Imker is the Director of the Research Data Service at Illinois and an Associate Professor at the University Library. Prior to joining the Library, Heidi was the Executive Director of the Enzyme Function Initiative, a large-scale collaborative center funded by the National Institutes of Health. Heidi holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and did her postdoctoral research at the Harvard Medical School. Her current research focuses on understanding and improving data management, sharing, and archiving practices.

featured researcher photo

Lindsay Clark

I am a plant geneticist with particular interests in polyploidy, population genetics, and the development of novel algorithms and software for the analysis of molecular markers. I am currently a research specialist in the lab of Prof. Erik Sacks in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I study genetic and phenotypic diversity of Miscanthus, a perennial grass used for bioenergy and biomass, and have made discoveries about its evolutionary history in the wild and in cultivation.

featured researcher photo

Christie Wiley

Christie received her MSLS from Florida State University with a concentration in Information Architecture. Before joining the University Library, she was a librarian at NOAA Miami Regional Library. Christie joined the University Library in 2013 and is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Data Services Librarian. Her research focuses on data management practices, the implementation of data services programs, and uses of institutional repositories.

featured researcher photo

Qian Zhang

Qian Zhang is a joint postdoc across the iSchool, NCSA and RDS. She is also a computational scientist and oceanographer in Physical Oceanography. Her multidisciplinary research covers quantitative data analysis and visualization, high performance computing (HPC), numerical/mathematical modeling and simulations of atmosphere-ocean dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Qian published the data from her PhD dissertation about the computational study of hydrodynamics in the Wax Lake Delta

featured researcher photo

Tandy Warnow

Tandy is the Founder Professor of Engineering. Her primary appointment is in Computer Science, but she is a member of many other departments and programs at the U of I. She received the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Award in Science and Engineering in 1996, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship in 2006, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for 2011. Her research areas are: bioinformatics and computational biology; machine learning and statistical inference; and discrete algorithms on big data.

featured researcher photo

Bryan M. Reiley

A graduate student at the University of Illinois / Illinois Natural History Survey, Reiley is working on his PhD in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. His recent work found population declines of Swainson's warblers following catastrophic flooding events.