Curriculum Vitae

Ilka C. Feller

Insect Ecologist
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
647 Contees Wharf Rd.
Edgewater, MD 21037

Telephone: 443-482-2269
Fax: 443-482-2380
Email: felleri@si.edu

EDUCATION: Ph.D. Ecology Georgetown University, Washington, DC Ecology 1993

DISSERTATION: Effects of nutrient availability on growth and herbivory of dwarf red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Advisor: Edward M. Barrows
Dwarf Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) responded quickly and grew vigorously when treated with P and NPK fertilizers. Leaf number, leaf area, branching, shoot length, and aerial root production increased dramatically over 2 yr. N-fertilized trees grew slowly and their responses were not different from Control. Some responses to P fertilization varied by water depth and tidal elevation, but physico-chemical factors associated with the soil did not explain the differences in growth responses. These results indicated that phosphorus availability is a major factor limiting the growth of dwarf R. mangle. Herbivory by specialized insect species increased in P- and NPK-fertilized trees only. Fertilization had no effect on feeding rates and standing damage by a leaf-feeding guild of generalist herbivores or on the frequency of shoots killed by stem borers. Herbivory by the two specialists was not related to C:N ratios, but was inversely related to concentrations of phenolic compounds. Neither nutrient ratios nor concentrations of phenolics affected rates of herbivory by the generalist folivores. Sclerophylly of R. mangle leaves decreased in P- and NPK-fertilized trees but not in N-fertilized and Control trees. However, there was no relationship between leaf toughness and herbivory by generalist folivores.

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS:

Insect Ecologist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD 1997-current

Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD 1994-1996

Research Collaborator, Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 1986-1994

Scientific Illustrator 1975-1986

PROFESSIONAL GOALS:

My professional goals are to: develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of animals, in particular insects, as ecoarchitects and regulators of ecological functions in forested ecosystems; test and synthesize competing hypotheses used to explain patterns of herbivory and other animal-plant interactions based on research in different forest types in geographically broad regions; contribute to development of ecological theory regarding herbivore-plant interactions; develop SERC as an international center for research in animal-plant interaction; develop a research program at SERC to complement existing programs; continue developing national and international collaborations; increase the understanding and awareness of environmental problems and issues for policy makers and the general public by continuing to conduct environmental education programs, specifically for teachers and civil servants.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

Animal-plant interactions; insect-plant interactions in estuarine and forested ecosystems; the role of insects, in particular wood-boring insects, in forested ecosystems; effects of resource availability on animal-plant dynamics; within-stand nutrient cycling and adaptations for nutrient conservation in forested ecosystems; mangrove ecology; coastal and estuarine ecosystems; physiological ecology; conservation ecology; environmental education.

GRANTS AND AWARDS:

Current. NSF, Mangrove Biocomplexity: Microbial and Nutrient Controls on Mangrove Ecosystems.

Current. Smithsonian Marine Science Network, with Catherine Lovelock, Dennis Whigham, Karen McKee . Patterns of Nutrient Limitation in Mangrove Ecosystems in the Caribbean at Three Field Stations in the Smithsonian's Marine Science Network

Current. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce , with Catherine Lovelock, Dennis Whigham, Karen McKee . Patterns of Nutrient Limitation in Mangrove Ecosystems along the Indian River Lagoon

1996-1997 U.S. Agency for International Development, Reconnaissance Trip to Survey Coastal Ecosystems in Bocas del Toro , Panama .

1995-1996 The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mangrove Education and Training Program for Belize .

1994-1996. Atherton Seidell Endowment Fund Grant with K. Rützler and K. Smith; Reprinting and producing CD-ROM of publications from research sponsored by the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program.

1994-1996 Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship, Effects of light levels, gender, mineral nutrients, and elevated CO2 on herbivory in the deciduous woody shrub Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume (Lauraceae) in riparian forests along the Chesapeake Bay .

1993-1994 The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant with M. Sitnik and K. Rützler; Mangrove Education and Training Program for Belize .

1993 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Annual Award for Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study.

1992-1994 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sanctuaries and Research Division Grants, with K. L. McKee; Interaction among nutrients, chemical and structural defense, and herbivory in estuarine mangroves at Rookery Bay , Florida .

1992 U.S. Agency for International Development, with M. Sitnik and K. Rützler; Technical Assistance Grant, Mangrove Education and Training Program for Belize .

1990-1992 NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, The Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Growth and Herbivory of Dwarf Red Mangrove.

1989-1993 Georgetown University Predoctoral Fellowship, Department of Biology, Georgetown University , Washington , DC.

TEACHING/EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE:

STRI/OTS Graduate Tropical Marine Ecology Course, June-July 2003

Mangrove Ecology Courses: Organized and designed course, curriculum and teaching manual for a mangrove/coastal ecology field course for undergraduates, high school and college teachers, civil servants, and developers. 1992-Current

Graduate Student Committees, University of Bremen, University of Maryland

Undergraduate Student Advisor, Smithsonian Institution Intern Program 1994-Current

Invited Lecturer, Georgetown University:
         Plants and Human Affairs
         Marine Biology 1993

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Georgetown University (1989-1993):
         Introductory Biology
         Environmental Physiology
         Plants and Human Affairs

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Ohio University (1969-1971):
         Introductory Botany
         Phycology

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Ohio University:
         Botany, 6 sections
         Phycology, 2 sections
         1969-1971

SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS:

Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Association for Women in Science
Ecological Society of America
INTECOL
Sigma X

PUBLICATIONS:

Feller, I.C. & A.H. Chamberlain. Submitted. Herbivore responses to nutrient enrichment and landscape heterogeneity in a mangrove ecosystem.

Erickson, A.A., I.C. Feller, V.J. Paul, L.M. Kwiatkowski, & W. Lee. In press. Selection of an omnivorous diet by the mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii. Journal of Sea Research.

Feller I.C., C.E. Lovelock, & K.L.McKee. 2007. Nutrient addition differentially affects ecological processes of Avicennia germinans in nitrogen vs. phosphorus limited mangrove ecosystems. Ecosystems. (pdf)

McKee, K.L, J.E. Rooth, & I.C. Feller. In press. Mangrove recruitment after forest disturbance is facilitated by herbaceous species common to the Caribbean region. Ecological Application.

McKee, K.L, D. Cahoon, & I.C. Feller. In press. Caribbean mangroves adjust to rising sea-level through biotic controls on soil elevation change. Global Ecology and Biogeography. (pdf)

Lovelock, C.E., I.C. Feller, J. Ellis, A.M. Schwarz, N. Hancock, & Brian Sorrell. In press. Mangrove growth in New Zealand estuaries: The role of nutrient enrichment at sites with contrasting rates of sedimentation. Oecologia.

Rodriguez, W., R.M. Wright, D.W. Urish, & I.C. Feller. In press. Relationships between tidal exposure (drying) frequency and normalized difference in vegetation index (NDVI) in a mangrove island ecosystem, Belize, Central America. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

Lovelock, C.E., M.C. Ball, B. Choat, B.M.J. Engelbrecht, N.M. Holbrook & I.C. Feller. 2006a. Linking physiological processes with mangrove forest structure: phosphorus deficiency limits canopy development, hydraulic conductivity and photosynthetic carbon gain in dwarf Rhizophora mangle. Plant, Cell and Environment 29: 793–802. (pdf)

Lovelock, C.E., M.C. Ball, I.C. Feller, B.M.J. Engelbrecht & M.L. Ewe. 2006b. Variation in hydraulic conductivity of mangroves: Influence of species, salinity, and nitrogen and phosphorus availability. Physiologia Plantarum  127: 457- 464. (pub)

Lovelock, C.E., I.C. Feller, M. C. Ball, B. M. J. Engelbrecht & M.L. Ewe. 2006c. Differences in plant function in phosphorus and nitrogen limited mangrove ecosystems. New Phytologist 172: 514-522. (pdf)

Lovelock, C.E., R.W. Ruess & I.C. Feller. 2006d. Fine root respiration in the mangrove Rhizophora mangle over variation in forest stature and nutrient availability. Tree Physiology 26:1601–1606. (pdf)

Piou, C., I.C. Feller, U. Berger, & F. Chi. 2006. Zonation patterns of Belizean offshore mangrove forests 41 years after a catastrophic hurricane. Biotropica 38: 365-374. (pdf)

Lovelock, C.E., I.C. Feller, & K.L. McKee & R. Thompson. 2005. Forest structure of the extensive Caribbean mangrove forests of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Caribbean Journal of Science 41: 456-464. (pdf)

Guzman, H.M., P.A.G. Barnes, C.E. Lovelock, & I.C. Feller. 2005. CARICOMP Mangrove, Seagrass and Coral Reef Sites in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Caribbean Journal of Science 41: 430-440. (pdf)

Feller, I.C., G. Venable, & K. Rützler. 2005. Mangal Cay: A Caribbean Virtual Mangrove Island Tour. http://www.mangroves.si.edu/trail/MangalCay.html#Tour.

Rodriguez, W. & I.C. Feller. 2004. Mangrove landscape characterization and change in Twin Cays, Belize using aerial photography and IKONOS satellite data. Atoll Research Bulletin 513: 1-22. (pdf)

McKeon, C.S. & I.C. Feller. 2004. The supratidal fauna of Twin Cays, Belize. Atoll Research Bulletin 526: 1-22. (pdf)

Mitten, S., C.S. McKeon, & I.C. Feller. 2004. Winter and summer bird communities of Twin Cays, Belize. Atoll Research Bulletin 527: 1-18. (pdf)

Rützler, K., I. Goodbody, M.C. Diaz, I.C. Feller, & I.G. Macintyre. 2004. The aquatic environment of Twin Cays, Belize. Atoll Research Bulletin 512: 1-31. (pdf)

Rodriguez, W. & I. C. Feller. In Press. Classification and change of Twin Cays mangrove ecosystem, Belize : application of IKONOS and historical aerial photography. ASPRS Conference Proceedings.

Rivera-Monroy, V.H., R.R. Twilley, D. Bone, D.L. Childers, C. Coronado-Molina, I.C. Feller, J. Herrera-Silveira, R. Jaffe, E. Mancera, E. Rejmankova, J.E. Salisbury, & E. Weil. 2004. A biogeochemical conceptual framework to develop long term ecological research and sustain coastal management in the wider Caribbean Region. BioScience 54 (9): 843-856. (pdf)

Levine, M. T., & I. C. Feller. 2004. Effects of forest age and disturbance on population persistence in the understory herb, Arisaema triphyllum (Araceae) Plant Ecology 172: 73-82. (pdf)

Lovelock, C. E., I. C. Feller, K. L. McKee, B. M. J. Engelbrecht & M. C. Ball. 2004. The effect of nutrient enrichment on growth, photosynthesis and hydraulic conductance of dwarf mangroves in Panama. Functional Ecology 18: 25-33. (pdf)

Feller, I. C., D. F. Whigham, K. L. McKee, & C. E. Lovelock. 2003. Nitrogen limitation of growth and nutrient dynamics in a disturbed mangrove forest, Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Oecologia 134: 405-414. (pdf) 

Feller, I. C., K. L. McKee, D. F. Whigham, & J. P. O'Neill. 2003. Nitrogen vs. phosphorus limitation across and ecotonal gradient in a mangrove forest. Biogeochemistry 62: 145-175. (pdf) 

Lovelock, C.E. & I. C. Feller. 2003. Photosynthetic performance and resource utilization of two mangrove species coexisting in hypersaline scrub forest. Oecologia 134: 455-462. (pdf)

Feller, I. C., H. Kudoh, C. E. Tanner, & D. F. Whigham. 2002. Sex-biased herbivory in Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) by a specialist thrips. Pages 163-172 in Thrips and Tospoviruses. R. Marullo & L. Mound (Eds.). Proceeding of the 7th International Conference on Thysanoptera. Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra. (pdf)

Feller, I. C. 2002. The role of herbivory by wood-boring insects in mangrove ecosystems in Belize. Oikos 97:1657-176. (pdf)

McKee, K. L. I. C. Feller, M. Popp, & W. Wanek. 2002. Mangrove isotopic fractionation (d 15N andd 13C) across a nitrogen versus phosphorus limitation gradient. Ecology 83: 1065-1075. (pdf) 

Feller, I. C., & K. L. McKee. 1999. Light-gap creation in a Belizean red-mangrove forest by a wood-boring insect. Biotropica 31: 607-617. (pdf)

Feller, I. C., D. F. Whigham, J. P. O'Neill, & K. M. McKee. 1999. Effects of nutrient enrichment on within-stand nutrient cycling in mangrove ecosystems in Belize. Ecology. 80: 2193-2205. (pdf)

Whigham, D. F., & I. C. Feller. (Eds.) 1999. Within-stand nutrient cycling in wetland ecosystems. Ecology (Special Feature Section) 80: 2137-2138.

Rützler, K., & C. Feller. 1999. Mangrove swamp communities: an approach in Belize. In A.Yañéz-Arancibia and L. Lara-Dominguez (Eds.), Mangrove ecosystems in tropical America. Institute of Ecology A.C. Xalapa, IUCN Central America, and NOAA-NMFS-US Beaufort. (pdf) 

Koltes, K., J. Tschirky, & I. C. Feller. 1998. Carrie Bow Cay, Belize. Pp. 79-94 in B. Kjerfve (Ed.), CARICOMP - Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove sites. Coastal Region and Small Island Papers 3, UNESCO, Paris. (html)

Feller, I. C. 1997. Ecology of mud-poor mangrove systems. Pp. 33-35 in B.W. Flemming, M. T. Delafontaine, and G. Liebezeit (Eds.), Muddy Coasts '97. Forschungszentrum Terramare Berichte Nr. 2. Abstract Volume.

Feller, I. C., & W. N. Mathis. 1997. Primary herbivory by wood-boring insects along a tree-height architectural gradient of Rhizophora mangle L. in Belizean mangrove swamps. Biotropica 29: 440-451. (pdf) 

Feller, I. C. 1996. Effects of nutrient enrichment on leaf anatomy in red mangrove. Biotropica 28: 13-22. (pdf)

Rützler, K., & I. C. Feller. 1996. Caribbean swamp communities. Scientific American 274(3): 70-75. (pdf)

Rützler, K., & I. C. Feller. 1996. Ein Mangrovenbiotop im Barriere-Riff vor Belize. Spektrum der Wissenschaft. May 1996: 60-66.

Tyler, J., & I. C. Feller. 1996. A freshwater fish in a hypersaline mangrove environment. Gulf of Mexico Science 14: 26-30.

Feller, I. C. 1995. Effects of nutrient enrichment on growth and herbivory in dwarf red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Ecological Monographs. 65: 477-505. (pdf)

Rützler, K., & C. Feller. 1988. Mangrove swamp communities. Oceanus 30: 16-24. (pdf) 

Chemsak, J. A., & C. Feller. 1988. New species of Cerambycidae from Twin Cays, Belize (Coleoptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 90: 179-188 .

SEMINARS and MEETING PRESENTATIONS:

Feller, I. C. Research opportunities at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya.

Entomology Seminar Series, Department of Entomology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, September 3, 1998, Washington, DC.

Feller, I. C., D. F. Whigham, J. P. O'Neill, and K. L. McKee. Effects of nutrient availability on growth of red mangrove and within-stand nutrient cycling across mangrove forest ecotones. ESA 1998 Annual Meeting, August 1998, Baltimore, MD.

Feller, I. C. Patterns of nutrient dynamics and herbivory in mangrove forests in Belize. College of Marine Sciences, University of Delaware, October 14, 1997, Lewes, DE.

Feller, I. C. Keynote Speaker: Ecological processes in tropical non-muddy coasts. 1997 International Conference on Muddy Coasts. September 1-5, 1997, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Feller, I. C. Effects of nutrient enrichment on within-stand nutrient cycling in mud-poor mangrove forests. Dauphin Island Sea Lab, June 24, 1997, Dauphin Island, AL.

Jacobson, M. E., L. Westholm, J. Meeder, I. C. Feller, and M. Ross. 1997. The use of sediment and biota to evaluate estuarine contamination: an example using sediment enzymes from the Florida mangrove system. 1997 Estuarine Research Conference. Providence, RI.

Feller, I. C. and D. F. Whigham. Within-stand nutrient cycling in wetland ecosystems. Symposium organizers and chair. INTECOL V Wetlands Conference 1996. September 1996, Perth, Western Australia.

Feller, I. C., D. F. Whigham, J. P. O'Neill, and K. L. McKee. Within-stand nutrient cycling in neotropical mangrove ecosystems. INTECOL V Wetlands Conference 1996. September 1996, Perth, Western Australia.

Feller, I. C., H. Kudoh, C. E. Tanner, and D. F. Whigham. Sex-biased herbivory in Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisema triphyllum) by a specialist thrips. ESA 1996 Annual Meeting, August 1996, Providence, RI.

Feller, I. C. The impact of insect herbivory on nutrient cycling in mangrove ecosystems. Annual Meeting of the Trustees of the Chesapeake Research Consortium. June 14, 1996. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD.

Feller, I. C. The importance of wood-boring insects in the ecology of mangrove forests in Belize. Dept. of Biology, Old Dominion University, March 6, 1996, Norfolk, VA.

Feller, I. C. Mangrove conservation through environmental education. November 13, 1995. Nacional Acuario, Dominican Republic.

Feller, I. C. The role of wood-boring insects in mangrove forests in Belize. The Second Coastal Ecology and Management Symposium. December 6-8, 1994. Key Largo, FL.

McKee, K. L., and I. C. Feller. Effects of nutrient enrichment on leaf herbivory in mangrove forests. The Second Coastal Wetland Ecology and Management Symposium. December 6-8, 1994. Key Largo, FL.

Feller, I. C. Effects of nutrient enrichment on growth and herbivory in dwarf red mangrove. October 21, 1994. National Wetland Center, Lafayette, LA.

Feller, I. C. Wood-boring insects in mangrove forests. October 20, 1994.Department of Biology, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

Feller, I. C. Herbivory in mangrove forests. September 20, 1994. The Nature Conservancy, Roslyn, VA.

McKee, K. L., and I. C. Feller. Effects of nutrients and shading on growth and architecture of mangroves in Belize. August 8, 1994. Annual ESA Meeting, Knoxville, TN.

Feller, I. C. Effects of nutrient enrichment on growth and herbivory in dwarf red mangrove. February 1994. Department of Biology, St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, MD.

Feller, I. C. Evidence of an unusual insect-plant mutualism in mangrove (Atylostagma polita (Cerambycidae) in Laguncularia racemosa (Combretaceae)). Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, December 1991, Reno, NV.

Feller, I. C. Interactions of controlled nutrient enrichment, plant growth, and insect herbivory in red mangrove. Department of Biology, Georgetown University, November 1991, Washington, DC.

Feller, I. C. Mangrove communities: an intertidal paradise. Public Seminar Series, Biodiversity Program, Baird Auditorium, Smithsonian Institution, May 1991, Washington, DC.

Feller, I. C. Mangrove insects and island architecture. Biodiversity Seminar Series, Biodiversity Program, Smithsonian Institution, March 1991, Washington, DC.

Feller, I. C. Ecology of mangrove insects. Department of Entomology, Smithsonian Institution, February 1991, Washington, DC.

Feller, I. C. Mangrove communities in Belize. Belize Audubon Society, Bliss Auditorium, January 1991, Belize City, Belize.

SMITHSONIAN SERVICE:

SI Science Commission

Smithsonian Science Coordinator for Mpala Research Center, Nanyuki, Kenya, 1999-2003

Mangrove coordinator in Belize for Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP) for the Smithsonian Institution.

Steering Committee member, Smithsonian’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program

Education Committee member, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Science Committee member, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Intern advisor, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Graduate Fellow advisor, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, FL

Study leader, Smithsonian Associates tour

Co-host with K. Rützler, Biology and Geology of the Pelican Cays, Belize. A Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program Workshop. November 20-22, 1994. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD.

Smithsonian representative to a Tropical Forest Action Plan conference, sponsored by UNDP and FAO, Belmopan, Belize

Co-host with K. Rützler, A mangrove and coral reef workshop by Smithsonian’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program for the Policy and Research Division of the World Bank

Exhibit Committee, Marine Hall, National Museum of Natural History

Consultant, Orkin Insect Zoo, National Museum of Natural History

Exhibitor, Congressional Night, National Museum of Natural History