Joan G. Ehrenfeld, 63, of Highland Park died June 25, 2011. She was born in New York City.
Dr. Ehrenfeld spent her 35-year career as a Rutgers University professor of ecology studying plant communities around New Jersey, ranging from the Pine Barrens to the urban wetlands of Rahway. She was internationally recognized as a leading voice on plant ecology; some of her recent work examined the role of biodiversity in the spread of West Nile Virus. She received numerous scientific awards, and delivered lectures in such locations as Bangalore, India; Lunteren, the Netherlands; Cuiaba, Brazil; and Beijing and Xiamen, China. She received millions of dollars in research grants, served on National Science Foundation panels, and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Barnard College in 1969, and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1970 and a PhD from the City University of New York in 1975.
She loved music, singing in the Highland Park Choir and playing piano, and she was a leader in the Jewish community.
She is survived by her husband, David; two daughters, Kate Gardoqui and Jane Dimyan-Ehrenfeld; two sons, Jonathan and Samuel; her brother, Robert Gardner; and three grandchildren.
Services were held June 25 with arrangements by Crabiel Parkwest Funeral Chapel, New Brunswick. Memorial contributions may be made to the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.