Faculty and Staff
Dr. Rob Richardson. Rob is a Professor and Extension Specialist with responsibilities for Aquatic and Non-cropland Weed Science. Since 2005, he has directed the Aquatic Plant Management project at NCSU. Rob is a Past President of the Aquatic Plant Management Society, the North Carolina Vegetation Management Association, the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society, and the Weed Science Society of North Carolina. He currently serves as an Aquatic Plant Management subject matter expert to the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs.
Jessica Baumann. Jessica entered the role of Lake Gaston Extension Associate in July 2018. Originally from Georgia, she received her B.S. degree in Biology from Augusta State University. She then went on to receive her M.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from NCSU in 2007 working with Dr. Tom Kwak and researching the diets of introduced Flathead Catfish in NC. After receiving her M.S. degree, she worked with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission as a fisheries biologist and focused on recreational fisheries management in Piedmont reservoirs. In her current role, Jess delivers extension programming to Lake Gaston stakeholders with a focus on aquatic plant management and related aquatic issues.
Dr. Kurt Getsinger. Kurt is an Adjunct Professor at NCSU. He has been studying the biology, ecology, and management of aquatic plants since 1973, focusing on chemical control of submersed, floating and emergent invasive species. He is a native of North Carolina and earned a B.S. in Biology from Campbell University, an M.S. in Biology from East Carolina University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Clemson University. Kurt is a Research Leader with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center and adjunct faculty at NCSU. Kurt is a Past President of the Aquatic Plant Management Society. He has served as a technical advisor for over 30 Federal, state, and international water resource and aquatic plant management agencies.
Logan Wilson. Logan is a Research Assistant in the Aquatic Plant Management Program. He conducts research trials, supervises aquatic vegetation field surveys, and works closely with graduate students. Logan graduated with a B.S. in Agricultural Science from NCSU in 2018.
Andrew Howell. Andrew is a Research Scholar at NCSU and provides support to NCSU and US Army Corps of Engineers field research projects. He completed his Ph.D. with a focus on incorporation of autonomous systems into aquatic plant surveys and management. Andrew was awarded the 2018 Aquatic Plant Management Society Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Link to Andrew’s Dissertation. Link to Andrew’s Thesis.
Delaney Davenport. Delaney is a Research Assistant at NCSU. She conducts numerous research activities and works closely with graduate students on research trials.
Jens Beets. Jens is a Ph.D. student conducting research on Hydrilla management in flowing systems as well as Vallisneria biotype genetics and response to herbicides. He also initiated some of the first research trials on the Connecticut River biotype of hydrilla.
Kara Foley. Kara is a Ph.D. student at NCSU and is also employed as a Research Specialist. Kara earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire in 2016. After completion of her degree, Kara interned for the Exotic Species Program at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services where she was inspired to continue her studies in the aquatic plant management field. Kara is co-majoring in Crop and Soil Science as well as Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Her research is focused on aquatic plant management in the US Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District reservoirs.
Steve Hoyle. Steve was a Research Specialist III with almost 30 years of experience in Aquatic Plant Management prior to his retirement. He is a native to North Carolina and earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Education from NCSU in 1980. Steve has conducted research throughout the southeast US from North Carolina to Texas and has collaborated with the US Army Corps of Engineers on field research in Montana and Idaho. He has helped develop and implement aquatic weed management programs in many important waterbodies. Steve is a Past President of the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society and recipient of the 2015 Aquatic Plant Management Society Max McCowen Friendship Award. Steve still assists our Program from time to time.
Dr. Erika Haug. Erika was a Research Scholar with a focus on Aquatic Plant Biology and Management. Erika had over ten years of experience in Aquatic Plant Management. She was active with numerous research and extension activities and works closely with graduate students to develop their projects. She is an active member of the Aquatic Plant Management Society, Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society, and South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society and has served as a Board of Directors member. Erika was awarded the 2015 Aquatic Plant Management Society Outstanding Graduate Student Award, the 2016 NCVMA Graduate Student award, the 2015 NEAPMS Graduate Student Scholarship and received several top oral presentation awards during her graduate career. Erika currently works for North Carolina DEQ as an Environmental Specialist.
Dr. Amanda West. Amanda completed a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management at the University of North Carolina Asheville, an M.S. in Crop Science at North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology at Colorado State University. During her M.S. program she worked with Dr. Rob Richardson as a Research Assistant with a focus in invasive plant ecology and management. Prior to her Ph.D. program Amanda was employed for two years as an Agriculture Specialist with the US Department of Homeland Security in the US Virgin Islands. After her Ph.D. program she was employed for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL), Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University. She is currently employed as a Manager of Science Information with the Colorado State Forest Service and serves as a Research Affiliate with NREL. She enjoys applied research and teaching involving the use geospatial science in sustainable natural resource management, and outdoor adventures. Link to Amanda’s NCSU thesis.
Dr. Sarah Meadows. Sarah earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from NCSU. Sarah is currently a biologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Link to Sarah’s NCSU thesis. Link to Sarah’s NCSU dissertation.
Dr. Rory Roten. Rory received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Extension Education and his Master in Science in Crop Science from North Carolina State University. It was here (2006) that he began his career in Weed Science as a Research Associate under the direction of Dr. Rob Richardson in aquatics and forestry. Upon completion of his MS degree, he moved to New Zealand to work as the Crop Protection Scientist at Lincoln Agritech, a Lincoln University based research firm. Here he specialized in pesticide spray technologies, calibration, and spray drift quantification. While in this role he completed a PhD in Crop Protection from Lincoln University. He is currently a Technical Specialist with SePRO Corporation. Link to Rory’s NCSU thesis. Link to Rory’s dissertation.
Dr. Brett Hartis. Brett earned his Ph.D. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from NCSU. He was the first to fill the role of the Lake Gaston Extension Associate Position and previously served for over 3 years as the Program Manager for the Aquatic Plant Management Program of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Brett is currently a Lead Scientist Duke Energy. Link to Brett’s dissertation.
Dr. Justin Nawrocki. Justin received his B.S from University of Idaho in Environmental Science with an emphasis on groundwater and aquatic ecology. He then took a job in MI as a professional aquatic herbicide applicator and after 2 years continued working in this field in NC on Lake Gaston. While working in NC he met Dr. Richardson and was offered the opportunity to continue his education at NC State University. Justin spent 8 years at NC State earning his M.S and Ph.D studying impacts of invasive species, particularly hydrilla, on sport fish, macroinvertebrates and the ecosystem as a whole. In addition to his course work Justin also assisted with herbicide field research as well as taking on the role of Extension Specialist (Lake Manager) for Lake Gaston. Justin is a Field Development Manager with UPL where he develops new management technologies for the UPL portfolio. Link to Justin’s NCSU dissertation.
Dr. West Bishop. West grew up in Michigan and has always loved the outdoors. He received a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University in 2006, Master of Science from Clemson University in 2010, and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2016. The focus of his research has been on efficient management of nuisance algae and cyanobacteria as well as water quality improvement. Dr. Bishop is a Certified Lake Professional through NALMS and has presented at numerous professional conferences and contributed many articles to peer-review and other literature. Currently he is the Algae Scientist and Water Quality Research Manager at SePRO Corporation and has been employed with SePRO for around 8 years. Dr. Bishop is also the host of an informational video series on algae called Algae Corner. He enjoys spending time with his family including most outdoor activities and coaching his children in soccer. Link to West’s dissertation.
Emily Vulgamore. Emily completed a M.R. in Crop and Soil Science with a research focus on the biology, ecology and management of the filamentous cyanobacteria, Lyngbya wollei. Prior, she worked at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in both the Public Information and Watershed divisions. Emily received a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Political Science from The University of New Hampshire in 2017. She was awarded a UNH Undergraduate Research Conference merit scholarship award for a policy analysis on nuclear weapons and ISIL.
Eryn Molloy. Eryn grew up near Fort Bragg, NC and spent the majority of her time outdoors in the woods. She began working with aquatic plant management as a junior in 2016. In 2017, she graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Technology and Management with two minors in Biological Sciences and Environmental Toxicology. Eryn completed a M.R. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and also Crop and Soil Science. Her focus was invasive plant management on US Army Corps of Engineers management areas. She also completed a certificate in GIS. Eryn won the 2018 MidSouth APMS scholarship and she served on the North Carolina Invasive Plant Council. Eryn is currently a Biologist with Duke Energy.
Gabriel Hoekstra. Gabe was a Research Assistant in the Aquatic Plant Management Program. He graduated with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from NCSU in 2018. Gabe is currently a Field Analyst with Galileo Group.
Tyler Harris. Tyler was a Research Specialist with over 10 years of experience in Aquatic Plant Management. He conducted numerous research activities and worked closely with graduate students on research trials.
Stephanie Nawrocki. Stephanie was a Research Specialist with over 15 years of experience in Aquatic Plant Management. She worked closely with graduate students on research trials and conducts aquatic vegetation surveys. Stephanie is currently a Biologist with Foster Lake and Pond Management.