Conservation & Science Staff Bios
Joseph L. Simonis, Ph.D.
Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology
- Ph.D. – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
- B.S. – Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Areas of Expertise
- Quantitative and theoretical population biology
- Dispersal and metapopulation biology
- Influence of demographic stochasticity on population dynamics
- Persistence in fragmented landscapes
- Aquatic ecology
About Josie Simonis:
Josie Simonis is a research scientist at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology. Josie began her position in 2013 and works with Lisa Faust, Ph.D., on projects ranging from modeling the spatial population dynamics of the Hines emerald dragonfly to assessing among-species patterns of population viability in cooperatively managed animals.
Josie received her B.S. (with highest honors) in integrative biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, conducting research on enzyme production by aquatic fungi and parasite-host dynamics in Daphnia (water flea). Following a year off from school, which she spent as a technician in a plant-insect lab at Florida State University, Josie began her Ph.D. studies at Cornell University in 2007.
Working with Nelson Hairston Jr., Ph.D., in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Josie studied how dispersal and trophic interactions combine to determine the dynamics of populations in spatially fragmented landscapes. Her thesis consisted of observational, experimental and theoretical studies and was focused on a system of freshwater rock pools on Appledore Island, Maine. The rock pools provided a fantastic field system to study how populations and food webs persist in naturally fragmented habitats. While in grad school, Josie also developed and taught a graduate-level course and multiple workshops on statistical programming. Josie completed her dissertation (titled “Food Webs in Space!”) in January 2013 and promptly moved back to Illinois.
A native of northern Illinois who has lived in (nearly) every corner of the country, Josie is happy to now call Chicago home.