Nathan Swenson, Gillen Director
Nathan Swenson is the Gillen Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research studies woody plant ecology and evolution
in a dynamic world.
Stuart Jones, Associate Director of Research
Stuart Jones is an aquatic ecologist and has conducted research in the region surrounding UNDERC for nearly twenty years. As Associate Director for Research, he facilitates new and current research of all kinds at the University's Land O' Lakes property. His group's research spans from microbial to continental scales, but primarily focuses on the cycling of energy and matter in freshwater ecosystems. Jones leverages the outstanding UNDERC facilities and expansive Land O' Lakes property to conduct a number of whole-lake experiments and maintains a long-term monitoring program of more than a dozen lakes on the property.
Telephone (Notre Dame): (574) 631-5703
Telephone (UNDERC-East): (906) 842-8633
Michael J. Cramer, Assistant Director-East
Michael Cramer has been the Assistant Director for UNDERC-East since 2007. He oversees the Practicum in Field Environmental Biology, East, and teaches the Vertebrate Ecology module. He also mentors students on studies of small mammal ecology and behavior. His research focuses on foraging behavior of small mammals, the effects of predation risk on small mammal behavior, and the long-term effects of climate change on small mammal populations, especially deer mice (genus Peromyscus).
Telephone (Notre Dame): (574) 631-0970
Telephone (UNDERC-East): (906) 842-2486
David G. Flagel, Assistant Director-West
David Flagel has been the Assistant Director of UNDERC-West since Fall 2015. He oversees the Practicum in Field Environmental Biology, West, and oversees the Wildlife Ecology module. He also mentors a wide variety of student research on top-down and indirect effects. His research focuses on the indirect effects of predators on forest plant communities and the ecology of fear, particularly on how gray wolves (Canis lupus) impact the distribution and foraging behavior of their primary prey (ungulates) and primary competitors (coyotes, Canis latrans).
Telephone (Notre Dame): (574) 631-2612
Telephone (UNDERC-West): (406) 644-2478
Denise Rauschendorfer, Research Technician
Denise Rauschendorfer works as a research technician at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center. For this position, she helps students who are considering graduate school in ecology conduct a research project of their choice. Denise also assists Ph.D. students in Nathan Swenson’s lab complete research focused on plant ecology and evolution. Denise received her bachelor's degree in applied ecology and environmental sciences at Michigan Technological University in 2020. After gaining more experience as a research technician, she also plans to get a master’s degree in ecology.
Telephone: (248) 881-1395
Sherry DePoy, Administrative Assistant
Sherry DePoy has been the administrative assistant at UNDERC since 2015. She has been at Notre Dame for 37 years, previously working within Chemical Engineering, General Counsel, and Student Accounts. In 2018, Sherry received the REF (Responsive, Effective, and Friendly) Award from Notre Dame Research. Sherry is a NASCAR enthusiast, enjoys camping, traveling "up north", and an ardent lover of animals. She has two cats named Stokley and Peyton.
Telephone (Notre Dame): (574) 631-7186