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Graduate Students

Note: we have a separate page listing recent graduates.

Robin Abraham
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Abdelkafar Alkishe
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Adviser: Town Peterson
Research interests: Ecological Niche Modeling (Disease Modeling)
Hometown: Tripoli, Libya

Katie Allen
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Emily Arsenault
Doctoral candidate
Higuchi Hall (Kansas Biological Survey)

Advisor name: James Thorp
Research Interests: Food webs, stable isotopes, macrosystem ecology
Hometown: Branford, CT

Kyle Atkins-Weltman
Master's student
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Richard Glor
Research Interests: Snake color and pattern genetics
Hometown: Milton, Massachusetts

 

Steve Baca
Doctoral candidate, Entomology
6028 Haworth

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

Naomi Betson
Doctoral aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Bryan Foster
Research Interest: Restoration ecology, phenology, global change, invasive species
Hometown: Nashville, Indiana

Tim Burnette
Doctoral aspirant, Self Fellow
5014 Haworth

Advisor: Joy Ward
Research Interests: Evolutionary plant physiology, climate change and plant responses, plant ecophysiology
Hometown: Bedford, VA

Haley Burrill
Master's student
16 Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Jim Bever
Research Interests: Plant-microbe ecology, mycorrhizal and pathogen influence on plant ecology and community dynamics
Hometown: Irivine, California

Master's student
8022 Haworth

Advisor: Joy Ward
Research Interest: Plant responses to past environments through the analysis of pack rat (Neotoma) middens 
Hometown: Navarre, Florida

Chovanec, Kevin
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Kayla Clouse
Master's Student
EEB, Haworth Hall

Advisor: Maggie Wagner
Research interests: plant-microbe interactions and sustainable agriculture
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Marlon E. Cobos
Doctoral aspirant
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research interests: Ecology, Biogeography, Evolution, Biodiversity informatics
Hometown: Loja, Ecuador

Pietro de Mello
Doctoral candidate

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

Thilina De Silva
Doctoral candidate
BI, 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

Lucas DeCicco
Doctoral aspirant

Advisor: Robert Moyle
Research interests: Avian phylogeography & taxonomy; museum collections growth, development, and use; avifauna of eastern Indonesia
Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska

Camille Delavaux
Doctoral candidate, Self Fellow

Advisor: Jim Bever
Research interests: Anthropogenic impacts on plant-microbe interactions, mycorrhizal ecology
Hometown: Pittstown, NJ

Devon DeRaad
Doctoral Aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rob Moyle
Research Interests: Systematics, hybrid zones, divergence, genomics
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
 

Taryn Dunivant
Master's student
7024 Haworth

Advisor: Lena Hileman
Research Interests: Paleobotany; Plant Evolution, Systematics, and Physiology
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Katie Eckhoff
Doctoral aspirant
EEB, Haworth Hall

Adviser: Sara Baer
Research Interests: Restoration Ecology, soils, ecosystem ecology, plant communities
Hometown: Tremont, IL

Sumudu Fernando
Doctoral candidate
BI, Dyche Hall

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

James Fischer
Doctoral candidate
Haworth Hall

Adviser: Joy Ward
Research interest: The impacts of rising carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources on leaf epidermal structures; from a whole leaf level to a molecular scale.
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, MO

Ben Freeman
Doctoral candidate
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research interest: My research interests include conservation biology, ornithology, systematic conservation planning, distributional ecology, ecological niche modeling, biodiversity informatics and climate change biology in West Africa.
Hometown: Greenville, Liberia

Soudeh Ghasemian
Doctoral aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Sharon Billings
Research Interest: The Effects of Anthropogenic Change and Climate Change on Terrestrial Ecosystems; in particular Plant Communities, Monitoring and Modeling, Drought Management, Water Resources Management.
Hometown: Mashhad, Iran

Girard, Matt
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Jennifer Giron
Doctoral candidate
6002 Haworth Hall

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Morphology, phylogeny, systematics, biodiversity and biogeography of Coleoptera
Hometown: Cali, Colombia
Website: https://sites.google.com/view/jcgiron/home

Paige Hansen
Master's student
Higuchi Hall, KBS

Advisor: Ben Sikes
Research interests: Soil microbial ecology
Hometown: Brookings, SD

Doctoral candidate
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Dr. Sharon Billings
Research interest: Ecosystems ecology, rooting systems, nutrient and carbon cycling
Hometown: Athens, Ohio

Henderson, Aleah
Doctoral candidate
Haworth

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

Mark Herr
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research interests: Biogeography and Evolutionary Ecology of Southeast Asian Herpetofauna.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Kaylee Herzog
Doctoral candidate
Haworth Hall 5024

Advisor: Kirsten Jensen
Research Interests: Taxonomy and systematics of elasmobranch tapeworms; host-parasite cophylogeny
Hometown: Delmar, NY

Jesse Holmes
Master's Student
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rob Moyle
Research interests: Ornithology, Biogeography, Evolution, Systematics
Hometown: Rolla, MO

Hopkins, Jacob
Doctoral candidate
Kansas Biological Survey, Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Benjamin A. Sikes
Research interest: Community Ecology, Fire Ecology, Mycology, Nutrient Cycling
Hometown: Kokomo, Indiana

Kate Ingenloff
Doctoral candidate
KU Biodiversity Institute

Adviser: Town Peterson
Research Interests: Distributional ecology, Biodiversity conservation, Development of open-access biodiversity informatics resources
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Laura Jimenez
Doctoral candidate

Adviser: Jorge Soberon
Research Interests: Ecological niche modeling, species distribution modeling, biodiversity, and statistical ecology.
Hometown: Guanajuato, Mexico

Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Chris Beard
Research interests: Bat paleontology and evolution; Mammal evolution and paleobiogeography
Hometown: Wichita, KS

Amanda Katzer
Doctoral aspirant
7022 Haworth Hall

Advisor: Lena Hileman
Research interests: Nectar development and nectar production
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas

Ben Kerbs
Master's student
8004 Haworth

Advisors: Mark Mort and Dan Crawford
Research Interests: Plant systematics, biogeography, and population genetics
Hometown: Emporia, KS

 Ali Khalighifar
Doctoral candidate

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

Lukas Klicka
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Anna Klompen
Doctoral candidate
Haworth Hall

Advisor: Paulyn Cartwright
Research Interest: Cnidarian venom and stinging cell evolution
Hometown: Worthington, Ohio
 

Doctoral aspirant
EEB, Haworth Hall

Advisor: Maggie Wagner
Research interests:
Hometown: Houston, TX

Jackob Lutchen
Master's student /Doctoral Aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Jim Thorp
Research interests: Macroinvertebrates, aquatic ecology, food webs
Hometown: Rogers, MN

Fernando Machado Stredel
Doctoral aspirant
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Town Peterson
Research interests: Ornithology, Systematics, Biogeography, Evolution
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Rene Martin
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Wm. Leo Smith
Research interests: Ichthyology, systematics, evolutionary biology, and phylogenetics/phylogenomics
Hometown: Vadnais Heights, MN

Spencer Mattingly
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall, 318C

Adviser: Chris Beard
Research interests: The Great Old World Biotic Interchange: mammalian faunal exchange between Africa and Asia at the Oligocene – Miocene boundary; fossil primate systematics; Afrothere systematics
Hometown: Richmond, Kentucky

Theo Michaels
Doctoral candidate
Higuchi Hall

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

Kristen Miller
Master's Student
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Chris Beard
Research Interests: early primate evolution and diversification during the Eocene Epoch.
Hometown: Littleton, CO

Master's Student
EEB, Haworth Hall

Advisor: Lena Hileman
Research interests:
Hometown: Kansas City, MO

 

Rachel Neff
Master's Student
EEB, Haworth Hall

Advisor: Andrew Short
Research Interests: Ecological, Molecular, and Morphological Evolution, Entomology, Systematics, Biogeography, Population and Quantitative Genetics, Biodiversity Conservation
Hometown: Batavia, IL

Claudia Nunez
Doctoral Aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor name: Jorge Soberon
Research Interests: Ecology and conservation of Lepidoptera. Ecological Niche Modeling. Biogeography, Biodiversity informatics.
Hometown: Havana, Cuba

Master's Student
5012 Haworth

Adviser: Fola Agusto and Maria Orive
Research Interests: Mathematical Biology - using mathematical modeling approach to gain insight into the epidemiology of some emerging and re-emerging diseases
Hometown: Ibadan, Nigeria

Karen Olson
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

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

Emily Ostrow
Doctoral Aspirant

Advisor: Rob Moyle
Research Interests: Avian phylogenomics, avian parasites, biogeography
Hometown: Ambler, PA

Master's Student
EEB, Haworth Hall room 5024

Advisor: Kirsten Jensen
Research interests: Systematics, Macroevolution
Hometown: Webster, TX

Laura Podzikowski
Doctoral candidate
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Amy Burgin
Research interests: Biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, aquatic ecology, aquatic-terrestrial interactions, and climate change
Hometown: Ferndale / Detroit, MI

Robert Ramos
Doctoral aspirant
Higuchi Hall

Advisor: James Bever
Research interests: Evolution and persistence of symbiotic relationships; Mycorrhizal fungi; Plant and soil ecology
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Nikki Dyanne Realubit

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research interests: Herpetology, species/landscape ecology and conservation, science education
Hometown: Ozamiz, Philippines


 

Daniel Romero-Alvarez
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor:  A. Townsend Peterson
Research interests: Parasitic diseases- Mapping the risk of infectious diseases- Ecological niche modeling applied to Public Health- Spatial epidemiology of vectors of infectious diseases
Hometown: Ecuador

Kathleen Rust
Doctoral aspirant, Self Fellow
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Chris Beard
Research Interests: Primate origins and evolution, phylogenetics, evolutionary morphology
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Chenchen Shen
Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Chris Beard
Research interests: Evolution of fishes
Hometown: Beijing China

Ligia Souza
Doctoral candidate
Higuchi Hall

Advisor name: Sharon Billings
Research Interests: Soils; biogeochemistry; erosion
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Tang, Keana
Master's Student
EEB, Haworth Hall

Advisor: Brian Atkinson
Research interests: Paleobotany and plant evolution
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Walter Paulin Tapondjou
Master's student/ Doctoral aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research interests: Phylogeography, Cameroon volcanic line, Amphibians, Reptiles, Congo Basin
Hometown: Douala, Cameroon

Julie Taylor
Master's student
Dyche Hall

Advisor name: Bruce Lieberman
Research Interests: Invertebrate paleontology, macroevolution, phylogenetics, biogeography
Hometown: Chesapeake, Virginia

Master's Student
KBS, Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Ben Sikes
Research interests:
Hometown: Lawrence, KS

Javier Torres
Doctoral Aspirant
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Richard Glor
Research interests: Evolution of Postmating Reproductive Isolation, Herpetology
Hometown: Havana, Cuba

Matthew Travert
Doctoral Aspirant
7022 Haworth

Advisor: Paulyn Cartwright
Research Interests: Evolutionary and developmental biology of medusozoans
Hometown: Paris, France

Doctoral aspirant
5014 Haworth Hall

Advisor: John Kelly
Research Interests: Population genomics of Cryptomonas; Quantitative genetics and genomics of mimulus.
Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Kaera Utsumi
Master's Student
BI, Dyche Hall

Advisor: Jorge Soberon
Research Interests: Animal Behavior, Movement and Spatial Ecology, Herpetology
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Rebekah Wagner
Master's student
5012 Haworth Hall

Advisor: Jim Bever
Research Interests: theoretical ecology, plant community ecology, plant-soil feedbacks, prairie conservation
Hometown: Washington, IL

Master's Student
KBS, Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Amy Burgin
Research interests:
Hometown: Leavenworth, KS

Nathaniel Weickert
Master's Student
Higuchi Hall, KBS

Adviser: Sara Baer
Research Interests: Tallgrass prairie restoration, Conservation, Plant-Soil Interactions, Effects of Land Management Techniques
Hometown: Rockford, IL

Jeffrey Weinell
Doctoral candidate
Dyche Hall

Advisor: Rafe Brown
Research interests: systematics, phylogenetics, herpetology, biogeography
Hometown: Gonzales, LA

Jessica Wilhelm
Doctoral aspirant
KBS, Higuchi Hall

Advisor: Amy Burgin
Research interests: Biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, aquatic chemistry, water quality
Hometown: Oxford, OH

Ashley Wojciechowski
Doctoral aspirant
EEB, Haworth Hall

Adviser: Sara Baer
Research interests: Soil ecology, plant-soil-microbe interactions, nutrient dynamics, prairie restoration and conservation
Hometown: Downers Grove, IL


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