1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
sample banner photo


Many people have helped make the lab a fun and productive place to work.

Lab Managers | Postdoctoral Fellows | Graduate Students | Honors Research Students | Undergraduate Research Assistants | Lab Attendants | High School Research Students | Visitors | In Memoriam

Lab Managers

skalney Mary Sklaney
Lab Manager
Mary used microsatellite markers to assess paternity in yuccas. She also helped extensively with several field experiments at the Archbold Biological Station.
brad spacer Brad Cunningham
Field Specialist
Brad helped direct a large field project aimed at understanding how a complex community of insects influences mutualism between yuccas and yucca moths.

divider Back to top

Postdoctoral Fellows

kglennon spacer Kelsey Glennon
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology
Kelsey tested whether plant polyploidy leads to niche divergence using ecological niche modeling.
bzhu spacer Bin Zhu
Postdoctoral Associate
Bin helped us start a project on understanding how plant polyploidy influences tri-trophic interactions. Bin is now a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Hartford.

divider Back to top

Graduate Students

Laura Porturas spacer Laura Porturas
Laura examined how neopolyploidy impacts multiple modes of reproductive isolation in red clover.
ecarter spacer Elijah Carter
Elijah started a project on the evolutionary ecology of mutualism.
rruppel spacer Rebecca Ruppel
Finishing her M.S. degree in 2010, Becky studied patterns of inheritance in polyploid plants.
wxiao spacer Wei Xiao
Wei's Masters degree involved examining how florivorous insects impact female reproductive success in Yucca filamentosa.

divider Back to top

Honors Research Students

Maizy Ludden spacer Maizy Ludden
Maizy examined flowering and fruiting in serviceberry. She also was a significant help with our ongoing projects on yuccas and yucca moths.
msalinas spacer Pristine Mei
Pristine tested the role of competition in allowing mutualists and exploiters to coexist. She received the Donald Lundgren Memorial Award for her research efforts.
msalinas spacer Margo Malone
Margo examined how nutritional content of carrots change when they interact with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
ytovpeko spacer Yanina Tovpeko
Yana helped us with a microsatellite analysis of Yucca filamentosa.
msalinas spacer Mylenne Salinas
My examined how female choice can impact offspring quality in a monoecious plant.
msalinas spacer Megan Larson
Megan determined the geographic distribution of polyploidy in Heuchera cylindrica. In addition to presenting her research at the Biology Undergraduate Research Conference, she was also awarded a Norma Slepecky Award for excellence in undergraduate research.

divider Back to top

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Harry Munnings spacer Harold Munnings III
Harry tested the idea that moths feeding on different plant species may be differentiating into new species. He used microsatellites and population genetics tools.
aagresta spacer Alison Agresta
Alison helped with a number of projects from determining paternity in Yucca filamentosa to studies of mutualism in yeast.
aconrad spacer Anna Conrad
Anna examined how mycorrhizal colonization of the plant Palafoxia feayi is affected by burn frequency. Her paper on this work is now published in the journal Mycorrhiza.
nschwarting spacer Nathan Schwarting
Nathan tested whether brown and green anoles differ in density with respect to urbanization of the landscape. Nathan also played a key role in developing teaching materials for our educational outreach program for 3rd-5th grade students.
ktatsuko spacer Kendra Tatusko
Ruth Meyer Scholar, McNair Scholar
Kendra completed her biology distinction thesis on a phylogeographic analysis of Yucca filamentosa. She is now a genetic counselor.
tmccrae spacer Takisa McCrae
NSF Diversity Fellow
Kisha studied the repeatability of AFLP banding patterns and how this may influence phylogenetic analyses.
ajohncox spacer Andy Johncox
Andy worked on a research project comparing the abundance and diversity of parasitoids on anthropogenically disturbed and undisturbed plots of Palafoxia feayi, an endemic scrub plant.
ssuwoski spacer Sarah Sumoski
Sarah played an integral role in a study of the fitness effects of herbivory by leaf-footed bugs.  She also conducted an independent project that examined how urbanization influenced parasitoid abundance inPalafoxia galls. Her project on Palafoxia was published in the Florida Entomologist.
kpetrie spacer Kaylan Petrie
Kaylan worked on a project aimed at understanding the invasion history of a moth that was introduced to the United States.
kleedham spacer Kristina Leedham
Kristina worked on a DNA barcoding project. She used DNA sequence data to determine the species identity of parasitoid wasps that can not be identified with morphological characters.
dkelley spacer David Kelley
Dave blessed us with a computer program that electronically conducts the laboratory procedure AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism). We've used this program to test the utility of AFLP markers in phylogenetic analysis.
ssafari spacer
Sonaz Safari
Sonaz worked on a project aimed at understanding whether variation in seed weight influences seed fitness. She conducted a germination study on two species of yucca to determine whether seed weight correlates with germination success.

divider Back to top

Lab Attendants

nromero Noel Romero
Noel helped collect a large dataset on polyploid plant distributions and is a whiz at ArcGIS.
psaintlaurent spacer Priscilla Saint-Laurent
Priscilla helped us to assess the presence of mycorrhizae in plant roots, and also assisted with a project that examined the fitness impacts of yucca moth larval feeding on yuccas throughout the eastern United States.
enagle spacer Elizabeth Nagle
Elizabeth helped us with a number of projects in the lab before moving on to study biochemistry.
aonye spacer Azuka Onye
Azuka helped us to identify polymorphic microsatellite markers. We used an EST database to develop the primers for the initial screen that Azuka was involved in.

divider Back to top

High School Research Students

hlukow spacer Tal Frieden
Tal examined how evolution affected the persistence of cheaters in mutualism. He also published a study in the journal Evolutionary Ecology on host associated divergence in moths. Tal is now attending Brown University. 
hlukow spacer Hannah Lukow
Hannah studied the evolution of mutualism in yeast. She is now attending Davidson College.
skirkpatrick spacer Sarah Kirkpatrick
Sarah helped with a number of projects and primarily focused on field biology.

divider Back to top


jkoontz spacer Jason Koontz
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Augustana College
Jason is interested in conservation genetics, hybrid speciation, phylogenetics, and polyploidy. We're collaborating on a project aimed at understanding the hybrid origin of the larkspur Delphinium gypsophilum. Visit Jason's website.
tlinscott spacer Todd Linscott
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Blackhawk College
Todd is broadly interested in conservation genetics and is working on several projects involving rare plants and animals. Visit Todd's website.
sheard spacer Steve Heard
Professor, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick
Steve is broadly interested in evolutionary ecology and has conducted research on the shapes of phylogenetic trees, examined the ecology of pitcher plants and their associated insects, and is studying host associated genetic differentiation in a suite of herbivores that feed on goldenrods. Visit Steve's website.
ckolaczan spacer Chris Kolaczan
Graduate student, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick
Chris examined patterns of genetic structure in a parasitoid wasp that attacks an herbivore of goldenrods. The hosts of this parasitoid have differentiated according to the goldenrod species that they feed on, and Chris determined whether the parasitoids also reflect this differentiation. This work was published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

divider Back to top

In Memoriam

Zoe Zoe
Canine Field Assistant
Zoe extirpated voles from our garden plots and loved to spend time baking in the Florida sun.
Max spacer Max
Canine Field Assistant
Max enjoyed chasing deer from field sites and keeping an eye on our field crew.

divider Back to top