Managers Volunteers Partners

Staff

Dr. Christopher Pennuto, Director

Dr. Christopher Pennuto, Director
Dr. Christopher Pennuto, Director

Dr. Christopher Pennuto is a professor of biology with SUNY Buffalo State and Director of WNY PRISM. He has had a 25-year career in aquatic ecology and invasive species research with over 30 publications and $6.75 million in external funding. Chris is passionate about stream ecosystem functioning and loves doing insect identifications. His recent invasive species research investigates round goby impacts in lake and stream ecosystems with a focus on behavior-mediated direct and indirect effects.
Contact:  pennutcm@buffalostate.edu


Andrea Locke, Coordinator

Andrea Locke, Coordinator
Andrea Locke, Coordinator

Andrea Locke started as WNY PRISM Coordinator in January 2014, as the first full-time employee of WNY PRISM. Prior to working for WNY PRISM, Andrea worked for The Nature Conservancy, on a large scale, high diversity prairie restoration in Northwest Indiana and for Huron Pines in northern Michigan, where she coordinated a partnership network focused on working with private landowners in order to help implement stewardship on their lands.
Contact:  lockeas@buffalostate.edu


Brittany Hernon, Terrestrial Invasive Species Program Manager

Brittany Hernon,
Project Manager

Brittany Hernon started with WNY PRISM in November 2017 as the Great Lakes Slender False Brome Working Group Project Manager. Upon completion of this work, Brittany was appointed our Early Detection Project Manager. Prior to working with WNY PRISM Brittany worked on invasive species surveys in the Adirondacks and Long Island and species distribution modeling as a graduate student at Stony Brook University. She also worked on hummingbird surveys and nectar studies with the Hummingbird Monitoring Network in Patagonia, Arizona and enjoys volunteering at Reinstein Woods. Brittany completed her undergraduate work at SUNY at Geneseo and received her M.A. in Biological Sciences and Applied Ecology from SUNY at Stony Brook.
Contact:  hernonba@buffalostate.edu


Emily Thiel, Education and Outreach Program Manager

Emily Thiel, Education & Outreach Program Manager
Emily Thiel,
Program Manager

Emily Thiel began her time with WNY PRISM as the Education and Outreach Assistant in 2018 and returned as the Education and Outreach Program Manager in 2019. She is a graduate of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a M.S. in Environmental Science. Emily has also completed her Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University. Her specialization in invasive species comes from her Certificate in Invasive Species Management from the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA).
Contact:  thieles@buffalostate.edu


Nicole Smeenk, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager

Nicole Smeenk, Program Manager

Nicole Smeenk joined WNY PRISM in November 2020 as the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager. Before joining us, Nicole worked for the Finger Lakes Institute as a Coordinator for their Watercraft Steward Program in the Finger Lakes PRISM region and an Outreach and Education Coordinator for aquatic invasive species. She has also spent a number of years working in the agricultural industry and grew up on a family farm. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a B.S. in Natural Sciences, and an emphasis in Environmental Science.
Contact: smeenknm@buffalostate.edu