The Lab

Stephen Gosnell, Principal Investigator

A native of South Carolina, Stephen completed his PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and postdoctoral positions at the UCSB Marine Science Institute and the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory before joining Baruch College as an assistant professor in 2014.   His goal as an ecologist is to gather data on how communities are structured and what they provide so we can aid management and restoration efforts.  Much of his lab's work currently focuses on understanding coastal systems in and around New York.  The lab also asks similar question in other parts of the world through analysis of existing data sets and collaborations.

Stephen's research interests and approach also drive his work as a teacher.   He leads upper division courses on conservation biology and biostatistics, and enjoys introducing students to ecology through non-majors and first-year courses.  His courses typically use open educational resources in lieu of traditional textbooks in order to increase student access and bring current material into the classroom.  You can view material he has developed or aggregated for his courses under the teaching tab

Google Scholar profile 

Curriculum vitae

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Current Members

Daniel Kitaygorodskiy

Dani Kitaygorodskiy is a 5th year student at Baruch College double majoring in Biology and Psychology. During their undergraduate career, they have served as a Representative Senator on Baruch's Undergraduate Student Government and prior to that, as the Secretary of the Psychology Club at Baruch. They intend to pursue Dental School after completing their undergraduate education but have also always held a strong passion for ecology and research. Their love for the natural sciences and desire to study the planet is what brought them to help Stephen with his research. Dani is a staunch climate and civil rights activist and plans to incorporate their passion for social work into their career as a dentist by working to make dental care more accessible for underserved communities. In their free time, Dani is an avid photographer, artist, and musician.

Celine Lozach

Originally from Queens, New York and is creating a major combining chemistry and economics. A passion of hers has always been preventing the impacts of climate change. She plans to by using her knowledge of chemistry to create sustainable alternatives.

Kayva Pradeep

Kavya Pradeep is a sophomore at Baruch College majoring in Math and minoring in Environmental Sustainability and Interdisciplinary Studies. She plays piano, reads, and plays tennis during her free time. This is her first time at the lab, and she is passionate and interested in using data analytics to better understand environmental issues as a result of climate change.

Lab Alumni

Sara "King" Agustin

Sara "King" Agustin is a senior transfer student at Baruch College majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. They plan to attend medical school after graduation and held an interest in environmental science since taking an AP course in high school. They gained an interest in research after doing previous research for 2 semesters at their original institution in biochemistry with Dr. Rajintha Bandaranayake. They began doing research with Professor Gosnell after taking his course in biostatistics as a junior. In their free time, they play music and read. 

Laila Akallal

Laila graduated from Baruch College in 2020 with a major in biology and a minor in physics and psychology. Previous lab experience includes studying the comparison of field dependence on entropy change in first order and second order materials at Brooklyn College. Her research in the lab included connecting GIS to conservation efforts and research pertaining to different factors that impact the health and sustainability of communities. Following her time in the lab she continued on to a degree in public health at Dartmouth.  

Basya Buchbinder

Basya worked in the lab on several projects considering the impacts of fear on prey species and communities.

Arpita Banik

Arpita volunteered in the lab while an undergraduate at Hamilton College majoring in Biology. Her research interests include invasive species, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. In the future, she plans to combine her interests in health, business, and technology while attending medical school. 

Jennifer Chiu

During her time in the lab from 2009-2011, Jen assisted with projects focusing on the non-consumptive effects of predators on prey in the intertidal zone and completed a senior research project investigating the burgeoning and unregulated Kellet’s Whelk fishery along the California coast.  After graduation from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011, Jennifer accepted a Fisheries Ecology Internship at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, where she participated in numerous projects in the northern Gulf of Mexico (including Tiger Shark gut content research, Bonnethead Shark functional response, Cownose Ray foraging ecology and Red Snapper tagging) and worked as a Biological Science Technician at the USGS, where she studied the distribution and biomass of benthic invertebrates in San Francisco Bay.  She joined the Master’s program in the Fisheries & Conservation Biology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in the fall of 2012 and completed a thesis project investigating the relationship between diet and stable isotope ratios in Yellowtail Rockfish, Sebastes flavidus.  She also served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the CA Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP), which establishes protocols to gather information for fisheries management about central California marine protected areas from fishermen and scientists.   

Faith Crawford

As an undergraduate student Faith spent her days studying biology in the laboratories at Baruch College. As a senior she began to pursue her interests in environmental biology, taking several courses to expand her knowledge on the subject.  Her work in the lab focused on assisting with the distribution and analysis of a survey focused on quantifying reintroduction progress and how human engagement factors impact long-term outcomes 

Wajdi Fakhoury

Wajdi worked in the lab from 2010-2014.  He helped with a variety of projects ranging from whelk dissections to field collections before settling on a senior project studying population-level differences in responses to temperature change among whelks.  His work resulted in a Marine Biology paper. Wajdi pursued a career in counseling and therapy after his time in the lab.   

Adam Fallis

Adam interned in the lab while an undergraduate student double majoring in biology and economics at Vanderbilt University. He is deeply interested in stem cell, cancer, and ecological research and wants to merge his business and medical passions to uplift communities, improve patient outcomes, and reform the public health sector. He has worked with governmental and private entities in deeply rewarding projects. He participated in several research initiatives during his summer in the lab to continue his track of academic interest and growth. 

Christina Francis

Christina worked in the lab as part of the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program (BUEE) REU program.  Her summer work focused on impacts of oysters on denitrification.  She completed her undergraduate degree at John Hopkins University.  

Emily Goetz

Originally from Harrisburg, PA, Emily studied conservation biology at Middlebury College.  Emily began work in the Gosnell lab in the summer of 2014 at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, assisting with studies of oyster reef restoration techniques and predator effects on oyster growth. She continued working in the lab on various projects as an adjunct at Baruch College , partially in partnership with the New York Harbor School.  Projects included looking at the impacts of environmental variation throughout oyster life stages and a meta-analysis of predator training in captive rearing programs.  Emily continued her marine research after Baruch by beginning a master's program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. 

Rachel Kenny 

Rachel graduated from George Washington University in 2013.  After graduation she worked on a coral reef ecology study at American University, using benthic foraminifera as indicator species in an ongoing effort to monitor the long-term health of Guam's coral reef ecosystems.  She joined the lab in 2016 to assist with ongoing projects, focusing on a meta-analysis  evaluating the effectiveness of predator training programs.  She joined the Masters program in Environmental Science at the Bren School, University of California-Santa Barbara in fall 2017. 

Peyton Kessler

Peyton interned in the lab as part of the 2021 College Now Program at Baruch College. He enjoys reading books and playing sports, especially baseball.

Arin Kukharsky

Arin majored in biological sciences with a minor in philosophy.  Originally on the finance track, his passion for science was rekindled halfway through his undergraduate journey and he joined the Gosnell Lab. His primary interests lie in microbiology and the interactions between macro and microorganisms. 

Valerie Kim

Valerie worked in the lab as part of the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program (BUEE) REU program.  Her summer work focused on how size impacts the predator-prey relationship between oysters and oyster drills.  She is currently completing her undergraduate at Rutgers University.  

Minkyung Sarah Lee

Sarah majored in Environmental Pharmacology as part of the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. Her work in the lab focused on public support for reintroductions as well as developing  educational modules for conservation biology lessons. She continued on to graduate work focused on cancer epigenetics and treatments at Dartmouth University.

Alexis Lemberikman

A recent graduate of Baruch College, Alexis received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a minor specialization in psychology. During her undergraduate years, she primarily gained experience in utilizing bioinformatics tools for multiple genomics-centered projects, involving gene annotation in Drosophila species, under the guidance of faculty mentor Dr. Krista Dobi. She joined the Gosnell Lab after taking Stephen’s biostatistics course, which prompted her interest in ecology and data analytics. Outside of the lab, Alexis works as a peer tutor at Baruch and devotes herself to volunteering. In her pursuit of a career in medicine, she hopes to integrate a deep understanding of scientific principles, clinical knowledge, and research skills with her love for learning, as well as her commitment to advocating for equitable access to healthcare and educational resources.

Erica Levine

While she was completing her Professional Science Master’s degree in marine biology through Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program, Erica interned with the lab.  She completed several projects exploring non-consumptive effects in oyster reefs and effects of substrate on habitat restoration efforts before continuing her work with the Florida Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.   

Christian Liriano 

Christian interned in the lab while a student at Hostos CC.  His research interests are, the habitat ecology/taxonomy of understudied organisms from northeastern North America(e.g, spiders, bryophytes), comparative community and ecosystem ecology of rural/urban systems and general research on the community/ecosystem ecology of aquatic/terrestrial ecosystems.

Glenn Liu 

Glenn graduated from CUNY Hunter College majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Earth Science. His work in the lab focused on developing and parameterizing Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models for the Atlantic Oyster Crassostrea virginicaand the Ribbed Mussel Geukensia demissa based on the DEBtool routines written by S. A. L. M. Kooijman. This modeling of energy flows based on the DEB theory will be evaluated in conjunction with inputs of environmental data to map the long-term suitability of different areas within the Hudson Estuary for oyster reef restoration, providing a quantitative means of site assessment for ongoing and future efforts with the Billion Oyster Project and the New York Harbor School.  After graduation he continued on to the Woods Hole-MIT Joint Program to pursue a degree in Physical Oceanography.

Kali Spurgin

As an undergraduate at Florida State University, Kali played an instrumental role in getting several new lines of research focusing on oysters reef started.  For her certificate in marine science, Kali worked on projects exploring how predator effects might play a role in regulating growth of cultured oysters.  Following graduation she began work as camp director for a marine ecology summer camp in Florida.   

Jennifer Symonds

Jenny  worked in the lab as part of the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program (BUEE) REU program.  Her summer work focused on impacts of predator biomass on non-consumptive effects. She completed her undergraduate at UC-Berkeley. 

Konrad Szenfeld

Konrad interned in the lab as an undergraduate at Baruch College where he majored in Biology and a minored in Physics and Environmental science.  His work in the lab focused on studying the effects of predator presence on feeding in oysters over long term exposure as part of the ALAC scholarship for environmental sustainability. In the future he plans on attending dental school.  

Matias Tong

Matias studied biology at the City College of New York and aided oyster research efforts in the lab. He also completed an independent project focused on comparing various methods used to estimate trait data that is needed for fisheries models but that is often missing.  After graduation he worked with the Nature Conservancy.  

Caroline Troy

Caroline Troy worked in the lab as part of the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment (BUEE) REU program. She was a student at Brown University majoring in environmental science, with a focus on conservation science and policy. She had previously interned at Johns Hopkins University studying suburban stream chemistry, Morgan State University’s Patuxent Aquatic and Environmental Laboratory studying oyster restoration and forage fish habitat, and worked for Brown’s herbarium.

Lauryn Tham

Following her sophomore year at Los Angeles Harbor College, Lauryn worked in the lab as part of the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment (BUEE) REU program. Her previous research experience includes the Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM) Summer Course where she focused on the aquatic microbiology surrounding the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island. Lauryn is determined to utilize the world-class mentorship and hands-on research experience provided by the BUEE program to promote positive change in her future scientific endeavors. 

Lara Voelker

Lara worked with the lab as part of UCSB's INSET program in the summer of 2011.  Her summer project focused on size-specific predator-prey interactions and optimal foraging of intertidal whelks.  

Chelsea Wepy

Chelsea studied Entrepreneurial Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Spanish-English Translation at Baruch College. Her work in the lab centered on the role of GIS systems in data visualization for designing habit preservation zones, specifically for Florida panthers. She also be conducted research that examined environmental threats and solutions within Latin America in conjunction with the ALAC scholarship for environmental sustainability.  

Jennifer Zhu

Jennifer completed her Biology PhD student at The Graduate Center CUNY and Baruch College. Her research includes various oyster restoration projects and understanding the mutualistic relationship between ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa) and cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in the restored marshes of Jamaica Bay, NY. She graduated from Cornell University in 2016, studying the genetic diversity of the eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in the New York Harbor before joining the lab. She now works as the Marine Habitat Resource Specialist  for the Billion Oyster Project.