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Welcome New Faculty and Staff


 Welcome New Faculty and Staff

Dr. Jason Hoverman

Join FNR in welcoming Dr. Jason Hoverman, Assistant Professor in Vertebrate Ecology. Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and doctorate in ecology and evolution from the University of Pittsburgh. He conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Colorado, University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State University.

His research investigates the mechanisms through which environmental stressors, both natural and anthropogenic in nature, affect the outcome of species interactions and the function of biological communities. He focuses on three topics: 1) the ecological and evolutionary importance of inducible defenses in prey; 2) the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic chemicals on communities; and 3) the ecology of emerging infectious diseases. He is teaching "Wildlife in America" and an interdisciplinary capstone course.

Dr. Shaneka Lawson

Please welcome Dr. Shaneka S. Lawson who joined the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) as a US Forest Service scientist. Shaneka earned her Ph.D. in FNR under the direction of Dr. Paula Pijut. She assumed her new duties as a Research Plant Physiologist on October 10, 2011, with an office in FORS 3rd floor. As part of the recently formed Tropical HTIRC initiative, Shaneka will be studying the various environmentally induced parameters that differentiate tropical hardwood populations that drive tropical hardwood

Tamara Benjamin

Welcome back Tamara Benjamin who is rejoining FNR on campus as a research scientist after having worked for the department for 12 years in Costa Rica. During this time, she helped bridge the link for faculty, Extension Educators, and students to work in Central America. In the upcoming years she will focus her efforts on bringing back to Indiana some of the tools she learned in the south to work with farmers and landowners in the state. Her work has focused on agroforestry management practices and design as well as helping landowners identify environmental services they provide to the surrounding landscape. She will be working with both the FNR and Botany and Plant Pathology departments, helping to set up meaningful student internships in sustainable agriculture and natural resources as well as working alongside Extension Educators and farmers who would like to conduct participatory research in the field.

Kara Salazar

Please welcome Kara Salazar as the new Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist in FNR. Kara relocated with her husband and children from Indianapolis, where she worked for 9 years as the Education Outreach Coordinator of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI. In her new position, Kara will serve as a link between communities and scientists conducting research on natural resource sustainability, and she will work with campus faculty and specialists in building an integrated program that develops and delivers research results, decision tools and research based products to end users. She will participate in Natural Resource sustainability groups on campus that include Local Decision Maker team, PLUS, and SHE as well as other groups to provide input and expertise on development of technical decision support tools that meet community needs in a user-focused manner and lead to delivery of products and programs to extension educators, community officials, and other key stakeholders. Kara also will work with Ag & Natural Resources, Community & Leadership Development, and Sea Grant extension personnel to develop and deliver comprehensive educational programs, continuing education trainings and products to communities necessary to achieve Natural Resource sustainability.