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Graduate Students

Note: we have a separate page listing recent graduates.

Robin Abraham
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research Interests: Amphibian life history & behavior, Biogeographic patterns
Hometown: Thiruvananthapuram, India

Ahmed Alenazi
Master's student, EEB
Haworth Hall

Adviser: Craig Martin
Research Interests: Desert plants
Hometown: Arar, Saudi Arabia

Abdelkafar Alkishe
Master's student, EEB
Dyche Hall

Adviser: Town Peterson
Research interests: Disease modeling
Hometown: Tripoli, Libya

Katie Allen
Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisers: Rafe Brown and Town Peterson
Research interests: Phylogeography of Central African reptiles
Hometown: Jefferson City, Missouri

Mabel Alvarado Gutierrez
Doctoral aspirant, EEB

Advisor: Michael Engel
Research Interests: Ichneumonidae
Hometown: Perú

Emily Arsenault
Master's student
Higuchi Hall (Kansas Biological Survey)

Advisor name: James Thorp
Research Interests: Aquatic food webs
Hometown: Branford, CT

Catherine Ausland
Doctoral aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Jim Bever and Ben Sikes
Research interests: Community ecology, plant-fungal interactions and mutualisms, tripartite interactions, plant ecology
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Steve Baca
Doctoral aspirant, Entomology

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Systematics of Noteridae (Coleoptera)
Hometown: Alburquerque, NM

Chet Bhatta
Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Haworth

Advisor: Deb Smith
Research interests: Bees and Pollination
Hometown: Nepal

Laura Breitkreuz
Doctoral aspirant, EEB

Advisor: Michael Engel
Research Interest: phylogeny, reclassification and revision of Chrysopidae
Hometown: Berlin, Germany

Taylor Broadhead

Adviser: Rafe Brown
Research interests: Bioacoustics of anurans
Hometown:

Keely Brown
Doctoral aspirant
Haworth 4015

Advisor: John Kelly
Research Interests: Metagenomics in artificially selected microbial communities; Epigenetic inheritance mechanisms; Mimulus transformation
Hometown: Spokane, WA

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research Interests: Modeling spatial distributions of disease hosts, vectors, and reservoirs
Hometown: MI

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research Interests: Systematics, phylogeography, Southeast Asian amphibians and reptiles
Hometown: Malaysia

Sally Chang
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Paulyn Cartwright
Research Interests: Invertebrate phylogenetics and evolution, evolutionary developmental biology
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

Master's student
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Justin Blumenstiel
Research Interests: Evolutionary genetics and molecular evolution
Hometown: Hefei, China

Chovanec, Kevin
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Adviser: Rich Glor
Research interests: Squamate systematics and biogeography; vertebrate paleontology
Hometown: Houston, TX

Kerry Cobb
Master's Student
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown

Research Interest: Using genetic tools to investigate Reptile and Amphibian diversity, local and regional biogeography, and speciation

Hometown: Shawnee, Kansas

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Lena Hileman
Research Interests: Plant epigenetics
Hometown: Cranford, NJ

Kaila Colyott
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Jennifer Gleason
Research Interests: Insect Behavior, Entomology, Sexual Selection
Hometown: Rockford, IL

Pietro de Mello
Doctoral aspirant EEB

Adviser: Richard Glor
Research interests: Biogeography, ecological speciation, ecology, phylogeography, phylogenetics
Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Thilina De Silva
Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research Interests: Museum and genomics approaches to understand the basis of avian diversity, evolution and behavior. Mechanisms for slowing /preventing the loss of biodiversity (in Sri Lankan ecosystems). Study of bird guilds as ecological indicators.
Hometown: Kandy, Sri  Lanka

Camille Delavaux
Doctoral aspirant

Advisor: Jim Bever
Research interests: Tropical Ecology; Mycorrhizal, Plant, and Soil Ecology
Hometown: Pittstown, NJ

Kathy Roccaforte
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Bryan Foster
Research Interests: Plant community ecology, plant-pollinator interactions, evolutionary ecology, tallgrass prairie conservation
Hometown:

Taro Eldredge
Doctoral candidate, EEB

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Systematics, evolution, and behavior of the beetle family Staphylinidae
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Alex Erwin
Doctoral candidate, EEB

Advisor: Justin Blumenstiel
Research interests: Epigenetic mechanisms
Hometown: Springfield, MO

Sumudu Fernando
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research Interests: Biogeography, Phylogenetics and Speciation
Hometown: Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Doctoral aspirant EEB
Haworth Hall

Adviser: Joy Ward
Research interest: Carbon dioxide and plant relationships, plant genetic material within rat middens
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, MO

Jeremy Forsythe
Master's student
Kansas Biological Survey - Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Bryan Foster
Research interests: Plant Community Ecology; Succession; Stochastic and Deterministic Processes; The Importance of Spatial Components in Ecological Analysis
Hometown: Endicott, NY

Ben Freeman
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall–KU Biodiversity Institute

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research interest: Biodiversity informatics, distribution  ecology, ecological niche modeling
Hometown: Greenville, Liberia

 

Girard, Matt
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Leo Smith
Research Interests: The anatomical and molecular evolution of carangiform fishes
Hometown: Miami, FL

Jennifer Girón Duque
Doctoral aspirant
6002 Haworth

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Morphology, phylogeny, systematics, biodiversity and biogeography of Coleoptera
Hometown: Cali, Colombia

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research Interests: Phylogeny, biogeography, Herpetology
Hometown: CA

Guyer, Rachel.
Master's Student
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Kirsten Jensen
Research Interest: Taxonomy, systematics, and diversity of elasmobranch cestodes
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Bryan Foster
Research Interests: Ecology, prairie restoration
Hometown: USA

Ted Harris
Doctoral candidate, EEB / Self Graduate Fellow
Haworth

Advisor: Val Smith, Jerry deNoyelles, and Jennifer Graham (USGS)
Research Interests: Harmful algal bloom distribution, abundance, toxicity, and prediction.
Hometown: Greenville, IL

Doctoral Aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Sharon Billings
Research interest: Biogeochemistry, soil ecology, nitrogen cycling
Hometown: Athens, Ohio

Liam Heins
Master's student
Dyche Hall

Advisors: Bruce Lieberman and Mark Holder
Research Interests: Phylogenetics, paleontology, arthropod systematics and evolution
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Lucas Hemmer
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth

Advisor: Justin Blumenstiel
Research Interests: Molecular Evolution, Meiotic Recombination
Hometown: Lindsay, NE

Henderson, Aleah
Doctoral aspirant EEB
Haworth

Adviser: Joy Ward
Research interests: Effects of global change factors e.g. rising carbon dioxide on plant development
Hometown: Homer, Louisiana

Chris Hensz
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Jorge Soberón
Research Interests: Biomathematics, biogeography, ecological niche modeling
Hometown: anywhere, USA

Master's student
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Kirsten Jensen
Research Interests: The host-parasite ecology and taxonomy & systematics of elasmobranch cestodes
Hometown: Delmar, NY

Ho, Che-Ling
Master's student
Haworth Hall

Adviser: Craig Martin
Reseach interests:
Plant ecophysiology, Plant taxonomy, Ecology
Howetown: Taipei, Taiwan

Hopkins, Jacob
Doctoral aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Benjamin A. Sikes
Research interest: Population Biology, Restoration Ecology, Mycology, Fire Regimes, Plant-Soil Feedbacks
Hometown: Kokomo, Indiana

Johnathan Hruska
Master's student
Dyche Hall

Adviser: Rob Moyle
Research interests: Avian phylogenetics, biogeography, and evolution
Hometown: Managua, Nicaragua

Carl Hutter
Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisors: Rafe Brown and Rich Glor
Research Interests: Biogeography, speciation, community assembly, systematics, macroevolution
Hometown: Shawano, Wisconsin

Kate Ingenloff
Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Dyche Hall–KU Biodiversity Institute

Adviser: Town Peterson
Research Interests: Biogeography and conservation biology of apex predators, development of open-access biodiversity informatics resources
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Laura Jimenez
Doctoral aspirant

Adviser: Jorge Soberon
Research Interests: Statistical and ecological niche modeling, biodiversity, biogeography and Statistical Ecology
Hometown: Guanajuato, Mexico

 Ali Khalighifar
Doctoral aspirant EEB

Adviser: Town Peterson
Research interests: Ecological Niche Modeling
Hometown: Isfahan, Iran
 

Lukas Klicka
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rob Moyle
Research Interesets: Phylogeography and population genetics
Hometown: Cambridge, MN

 

Az Klymiuk
Doctoral candidate, EEB
785-864-4338
Takeru Higuchi Hall, KBS

Advisor: Benjamin A Sikes
Research Interests: mycology, microbial ecology, taphonomy, paleobotany, paleomycology, comparative plant anatomy
Hometown: Alberta, Canada

Kayla Marie Kolis
Master's student, EEB
Dyche Hall

Adviser: Bruce Lieberman
Research interests: Paleoecology, Mass Extinction & Speciation Events
Hometown: Carbondale, IL
 

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: John Kelly
Research Interests: Bioinformatics
Hometown: Athens, Greece

Terra Lubin
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth

Advisor: Helen Alexander
Research interest: Community ecology and conservation
Hometown: Lawrence, KS

 

Doctoral candidate, EEB

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Systematics, evolution, beetles
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ

Postdoctoral Associate, New York University, Abu Dhabi

Advisor: Robert Moyle
Research Interests: Speciation and Biodiversity
Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI

Courtney Masterson
Master's student, EEB
Haworth

Advisor: Helen Alexander
Research Interests: Community ecology, Plant-animal interactions, herbivory, tallgrass prairie conservation
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Spencer Mattingly
Doctoral aspirant, EEB

Adviser: Chris Beard
Research interests: Macroevolution of mammalian faunas within the Eocene
Hometown: Richmond, Kentucky

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth

Advisor: Deborah Smith
Research Interests: Bee conservation; Foraging; Parasitism
Hometown: Hartford, KS

Theo Michaels
Doctoral aspirant EEB
Higuchi Hall

Adviser name: Ben Sikes
Research interests: Restoration ecology, grassland ecology and conservation, plant-soil interactions, microbial ecology
Home town: Santa Rosa, CA

Doctoral candidate, EEB
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Sharon Billings
Research Interests: Biogeochemistry, soil, carbon
Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Andrew Mongue
Doctoral aspirant
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Jamie Walters
Research Interests: sexual selection, cryptic female choice, sperm competition
Hometown: Jonesboro, GA

Postdoctoral Researcher at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, United Kingdom

Advisor: John Kelly
Research Interests: Evolutionary quantitative genetics
Hometown: Cashmere, WA

Karen Olson
Master's student, EEB; Doctoral aspirant, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research Interests: Phylogeography, population genetics and conservation of mammals
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida

Ryan Ridder
Master's student
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Chris Beard
Research interests: I study what mammals were doing in the first ten million years after the extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs.
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Doctoral candidate
6016 Haworth Hall

Advisor: Jennifer Gleason
Research Interests: Courtship behavior, communication, signaling, sensory ecology, sexual selection
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Aniket Sengupta
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Lena Hileman
Research Interests:

  • Understanding the origin and repeated recruitment of the CYCLOIDEA-dependent pathway in floral and fructal evolution.
  • History of botany.

Hometown: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Marianna Simões
Doctoral candidate, EEB

Advisor: Andrew Short and Andrew T. Peterson
Research Interests: Systematics and evolution of insects, molecular and morphological phylogeny and biogeography of Coleoptera
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Michael Thai
Master's student
Higuchi Hall (Kansas Biological Survey)

Adviser: Jim Thorp
Research interests: Aquatic food web interactions focused around fish
Hometown: Blaine, MN

Scott Travers
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research Interest: Herpetological evolutionary biology, Phylogenetics, Biogeography, Lineage diversification,
Community assemblage.
Hometown:

Michael Walker
Doctoral candidate, EEB
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Joy Ward
Research Interests: Effects of climate change of flower development in Arabadopsis
Hometown:

Tashitso
Master's student, EEB
Dyche Hall

Advisors: Rafe Brown, Town Peterson
Research Interests: Diversity of vertebrates in the Himalayas
Hometown: Tibet


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