Alumnidae

Former postdoctoral researchers


Zachary W. Culumber (2014-2017)

Zach was a postdoctoral researcher in our lab. He investigated the interplay between ecology, physiology, and sexual selection during the diversification of poeciliid fishes. Zach is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Kim Hughes and Joe Travis at Florida State University.

 

 


Former graduate student


Maura Palacios Mejia (2010-2017)

Maura was a Ph.D. student co-advised with Gary Voelker. She investigated the phylogenetic relationships among species in the subgenus Mollienesia and contributed to our understanding of phylogeographic patterns and mechanisms of speciation. Maura is currently a lecturer at California State University Los Angeles.

Dissertation: “Phylogenetics and diversification of sailfin and shortfin mollies (Mollienesia, Poecilia, Poeciliidae)”


Courtney Passow (2011-2016)

Courtney was a Ph.D. student in our lab. She investigated how life in extreme environments affects energy physiology. In addition, she is  used RNA sequencing to explore variation in gene expression across divergent populations and different organs to identify physiological modifications mediating adaptation. Courtney is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Suzanne McGaugh’s lab at the University of Minnesota.

Dissertation: “Physiological and transcriptomic aspects of adaptation to extreme environments”


Garrett Hopper (2013-2015)

Garrett was a Master’s student in our lab, and his research focused on the ecology of darter in Oklahoma. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Keith Gido’s group at Kansas State University.

Thesis: “Ecological and morphological variation of darters among assemblages in Oklahoma streams”

 


Danielle Alba (2011-2015)

Danielle was a Master’s student co-advised with Puni Jeyasingh. Her research tested for intraspecific variation in elemental composition in Poecilia mexicana and its effects on ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. Danielle is currently an adjunct faculty member at College of Western Idaho.

Thesis: “Life in the extreme: The evolutionary stoichiometry of Poecilia mexicana

 


Tess Doumas (2012-2014)

Tess was a Master’s studenten in our lab, and her research focused on the interplay between metabolic physiology and behavior in extremophile fishes. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Diane Wiernasz’ group at the University of Houston.

Thesis: “How plastic are behaviors and underlying physiological mechanisms in a system of locally adapted populations?”


Reid Morehouse (2010-2014)

Reid was a Ph.D. student, and his dissertation focused on the ecology and evolution of North American crayfish. He is currently a assistant professor at Ivy Tech Community College.

Dissertation: “Species distributions and trait-environment correlations: Implications for the evolutionary ecology of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae)”


Kristin Scharnweber (2009-2010)

Kristin was a Master’s student co-advised with Martin Plath. She was visiting from the University of Potsdam and worked on trophic niche differentiation in sympatric asexual and sexual fish species. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Thesis: “Trophic niche segregation between sexual and asexual species of the genus Poecilia


Former undergraduate students


Alexander Okamoto (2016)

Alexander is a Biology major at the University of Chicago. He was a participant in KSU’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. His project focused on understanding the variation in genital morphology within and between populations of Poecilia mexicana to test hypotheses of convergent evolution and lock-and-key mechanisms.


Courtney Saylor (2014-2015)

Courtney was a Biology major at Kansas State University and was interested in population genetics, animal behavior, and evolution.


Shannon Drexler (2015)

Shannon was a Biology major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and worked on an NSF funded summer REU project. She is primarily interested in animal behavior, conservation biology, and ecology.


Zeke Gonzalez (2015)

Zeke Gonzalez was a Biology and Psychology major at the University of Maryland. He was a participant in KSU’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The goal of his research project was to explore how the thermal tolerances of fish native to the Konza prairie vary based on habitat temperature.


Mattie Bieberly (2014-2015)

Mattie was a Biological Sciences major at Kansas State University. She was primarily interested in genetics and evolution and worked on projects related to the ecological and physiological mechanisms maintaining genetic variation in livebearers.


Cierra Keith (2012-2014)

Cierra was a Biological Sciences major at Oklahoma State University. She was interested in ecology and evolution and investigated how genetic and plastic sources of variation shape physiological traits in fish populations from non-sulfidic and sulfidic habitats.


Josh Garner (2013-2014)

Josh was a Biological Sciences major at Oklahoma State University. He was interested in animal behavior and genetics.


Shelby Burridge (2013)

Shelby was a Zoology major at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. She worked on a project that investigates morphological variation in Sunburst darters between the sexes and across populations in different drainages.


Daylon Edwards (2013)

Daylon was a Secondary Education major wanting to teach high school biology and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. She was interested in population genetics, cell function, and animal behavior.


Emily Laurel (2011-2013)

Emily was a Zoology major at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. She was an invaluable help on a variety of projects in the labs and is generally interested in animal behavior, ecology, and evolution of aquatic organisms.


Brandon Bassett (2013)

Brandon received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from George Mason University. He joined the lab through the Center of Veterinary Health Sciences Summer Research Training Program and studied the effects of hydrogen sulfide on gene expression patterns in sulfidic and non-sulfidic populations of P. mexicana. He is now a practicing veterinarian.


Tony Balda (2012-2013)

Tony was a Biological Sciences major at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. His interests included evolutionary ecology and molecular genetics. He contributed to our studies of elemental variation across P. mexicana populations living in different environments.


Jennifer Gaither (2012-2013)

Jennifer was studying microbiology and zoology at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. Jennifer studied body shape variation in shiners and is currently taking time off to take care of her two young children.


Sarah Ball (2012-2013)

Sarah is a Zoology major at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. She worked on body shape variation in cichlids and is generally interested in ichthyology, herpetology, and paleozoology.


Drew Miller (2011-2012)

Drew was a Biology major at Oklahoma State University and worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher. He primarily worked on our fish and crayfish projects in northeastern Oklahoma. He now works for MedTronics.


Isabelle Gemmer (2011)

Isabelle was a visiting intern in our lab in summer 2011 and is currently a student at the University of Landau (Germany). Her internship in our lab was made possible by a RISE scholarship of the German Exchange Service. Isabelle was involved in various projects, including a study of geographic variation in fishes of the genus Heterandria.