The University of Wisconsin-Madison Skip navigation
UW-Madison > Department of Botany > Courses > Tropical Ecology & Conservation > Instructors  

Who Are We?

The creation and development of Botany 575 is a combined effort of Catherine Woodward (Botany) and Joe E. Meisel (Zoology). Both are graduates of the University of Wisconsin, and founders of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation. Combined, they have over 25 years of teaching, research and conservation experience in tropical America. Catherine Woodward will be the course instructor in the Spring semester of 2006. For more details about us, please see below.

Catherine Woodward, Ph.D.

Catherine WoodwardCatherine received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, followed by a Master's degree in Botany at the University of Florida where she studied the effects of soil compaction on forest regeneration in Ecuador. She completed her Ph.D. in Botany at UW-Madison in 2005. Her research examines the reproductive and genetic consequences of forest fragmentation in tropical understory tree species. Catherine conducted extensive fieldwork in and around the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica that involved field sampling and GIS mapping of small forest fragments.  The genetic analyses were conducted at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.  Her research has shown that populations of understory trees pollinated by mobile animals can maintain genetic diversity in forest fragments, although fruit set and seed dispersal may decline. She is the president of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, for which she has manages a number of habitat protection programs and teaches field courses in Ecuador.  For more information, see her website.

To email Catherine, use this address (not a link):

Joe E. Meisel

Joe MeiselJoe attended the University of Virginia where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Biology. He completed a Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, studying tropical bird assemblages in Costa Rica. He obtained his Ph.D. in the Department of Zoology at the UW-Madison in 2005. Joe's research explores the effects of tropical forest fragmentation on the tightly knit system of army ants and the ant-following birds that forage with them. His results have demonstrated that army ants attract large and diverse flocks of foraging birds even in very small and isolated fragments, and that vegetative corridors connecting fragments are used by the mobile colonies of ants. He is vice-president of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, for which he teaches summer field courses in tropical ecology and coordinates conservation programs to protect habitat on private lands in Ecuador.

To email Joe, use this address (not a link):


Course Description
View Course Example
Back to Top        Back to Course Home
Department of Botany | UW Home