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Graduate student directory

Dan Ackerman
Jessica Burkhart
John Cossette
Danielle Drabeck
George Furey
Noah Gettle
Miriam Gieske
Nicholas Goldsmith
Amanda Gorton
Josie Griffin
Jacob Grossman

Saumya Gupta
Sarah Hammarlund 
Alexander Harkness
Virginia Heinen
Shanta Hejmadi

Andrew Honsey
Sarah Huebner
Tyler Imfeld

Siddharth Iyengar
Amy Kendig
Elihuruma "Wilson" Kimaro
Kaitlin Kimmel
Rachel King
Megan Kobiela
Mayank Kohli
Mounica Kota
Angela Les
Hongyu Li
Katherine Liu
Shelby Loberg
Marta Lyons
Anthony Massaro
Erin Mittag
Amanda Muehlbauer
Rachel Olzer
Rachel Pain
Meredith Palmer
 

Melissa Pastore
Cristy Portales-Reyes
Tom Radomski
Dakota Rowsey
Naomi Rushing
Craig See
Kia Seehafer
Alexander Shephard
Meredith Steck
Evelyn Strombom
Jessie Tanner
Jennifer Teshera-Levye
James Tumulty
Amy Waananen
Pu Wang
Monica Watson
Samuel Weaver
Lauren White
Laura Williams
Sarah Winikoff
Amod Zambre

   

Dan Ackerman (dackerma@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Jacques Finlay
Research Interests: Global change, ecosystems ecology, dendrochronology, biogeochemistry
Study System: Dwarf shrubs in Arctic tundra
Degree Held: B.A., Carleton College, 2013
Year of Entry in Program: 2014

Jessica Burkhart (burkh135@umn.edu) 
Advisor(s):  Craig Packer
Research Interests:  Comparative study of neural mechanisms underlying social and other behaviors in lion and large cats
Study System: 
Degree Held:  B.S., Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Arizona
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

John Cossette (cosse009@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mike Wilson
Research Interests: Sociality and cooperation, the evolution of multicellularity, and the relationship between individual behavior and group-level fitness
Study System: Soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus
Degree Held: B.A., Carleton College, 2011
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Danielle Drabeck (drabe004@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Sharon Jansa
Research Interests: Evolution of resistance to Venom in Mammals
Study System: South American marsupials/crotalids and African Carnivores, Viperids, and Elapids
Degrees Held: B.S., Tulane University, 2008; M.S., Tulane University, 2010
Year of Entry Into Program: 2012

George Furey (furey034@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): David Tilman
Research Interests: Biodiversity management in human-dominated landscapes, ecosystem services
Study System: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Degrees Held: B.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2011; M.S., University of British Columbia, 2014
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Noah Gettle (gettl008@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Michael Travisano
Research Interests: Evolution of phenotypic plasticity, evolution of developmental systems, eco-evo interactions
Study System: Brewers yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)
Degree Held: B.A., Earlham College, 2011
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Miriam Gieske (gies0107@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Linda Kinkel 
Research interests: Ecology and evolution of antagonistic competition
Study system: Streptomyces spp. (soil bacteria)
Degrees Held: B.A., Lawrence University, 2007; M.S., University of Minnesota, 2013
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Nicholas Goldsmith (golds306@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Ruth Shaw
Research Interests: Quantitative Genetics, adaptation, global change
Study System: Native Prairie Plants
Degree Held: B.S., Purdue University, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

Amanda Gorton (gorto019@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Peter Tiffin and David Moeller
Research interests: The scale of local adaptation, populations genetics, urban adaptation
Study system: Common ragweed
Degrees held: BSc, University of Toronto, 2009; MSc, University of Toronto, 2011
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Josie Griffin (griff804@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Michael Travisano
Research Interests:
Study System:
Degree Held: B.A., Reed College, 2009
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Jacob Grossman (gross679@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Jeannine Cavender-Bares
Research Interests: Effects of (phylo)genetic, species, and functional diversity on ecological function
Study System: Plant communities
Degrees Held: B.A., Oberlin College, 2008; M.F.R., University of Washington, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

Saumya Gupta (gupta333@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mark Bee
Research Interests: The evolution and mechanisms of animal communication and the relationship between the processing of signals in the nervous system to the changes in the behavior of animals. 
Degrees Held: B.S., M.S., Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Mohali, India, 2016 
Year of Entry into Program: 2016 

Sarah Hammarlund (hamma111@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): William Harcombe 
Research Interests: Interactions in microbial communities and the evolution of cross-feeding and other forms of cooperation. 
Study System:  Communities of bacteria
Degree Held: B.S., University of Washington, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Alexander Harkness (harkn042@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Emma Goldberg
Research Interests: Population genetics
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.S., University of Washington, 2012
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Virginia Heinen (heine142@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Dave Stephens
Research Interests: Learning, cognition, signaling, and social information
Study System: Blue jays
Degree Held:  B.S., Michigan State University, 2011
Year of Entry into Program: 2011

Shanta Hejmadi (hejma002@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  Keith Barker
Research Interests:  Evolutionary biology, phylogeny, biogeography, diversificatin and community assembly
Study System:
Degree Held: B.A. Lawrence University
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Andrew Honsey (honse018@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Paul Venturelli
Research Interests: Fisheries Ecology, Fisheries Management
Study System: Great Lakes region fish populations
Degrees Held: B.S., Hillsdale College, 2012; M.S., Purdue University, 2014
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Sarah Huebner (huebn090@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Craig Packer 
Research Interests:  Predator-prey-vegetation dynamics, trophic interactions, restoration ecology
Study System: Fenced game reserves in South Africa that have reintroduced African lions and elephants
Degree Held: B.A., University of Northern Iowa, 2016
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Tyler Imfeld (imfel001@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Keith Barker
Research Interests: Macroevolutionary patterns of species diversification and morphological trait evolution within and among lineages
Study System: New World songbirds
Degree Held: B.S., Xavier University, 2013
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Siddharth Iyengar (iyeng029@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Elizabeth Borer and Eric Seabloom
Research Interests: Grassland community sensitivity to drought and fertilization, Resource limitation in plant communities, Science education and social justice
Study System: Nutrient Network and long term grassland fertilization experiments
Degrees Held: B.S., M.S., Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Pune, India, 2013
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Amy Kendig (kend0110@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Eric Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer
Research Interests: Dynamics of multihost pathogen systems, spatially-explicit community interactions
Study System: Barley/cereal yellow dwarf virus and the grasslands it infects
Degree Held: B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2007
Year of Entry into Program:  2011

Elihuruma Wilson Kimaro (kimar001@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  Mike Wilson
Research Interest:  Human-chimpanzee interactions re: use of medicinal plants and feeding behavior in relation to the value of those plants
Study System: 
Degree Held:  B.S., Wildlife Management, Sokoine University of Ag;  M.S., Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Nelson Mandela African Institution
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Kaitlin Kimmel (kimme099@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Forest Isbell and David Tilman 
Research Interests: Effects of environment and plant physiology on community structure
Study System: Grasslands, Cedar Creek LTER 
Degrees Held:  B.S., Albright College, 2013; M.S., St. Joseph's University, 2015
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Rachel King (king0708@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Peter Reich and Sarah Hobbie
Research Interests: Forest Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, global change biology
Study System: Boreal Forest
Degrees Held: B.A., Scripps College, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Megan Kobiela (kobie003@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Emilie Snell-Rood
Research Interests: Evolution, behavior, anthropogenic change, toxins
Study System: Butterflies
Degrees Held:  B.S., University of Virginia, 2010; M.S., College of William & Mary, 2013
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Mayank Kohli (kohli027@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Eric Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer
Research Interests: Effects of global changes on plant communities
Study System:
Degrees Held: M.Sc., National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India 2012; B.E., Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India 2009
Year of Entry into Program:  2014

 Mounica Kota ( )
Advisor(s):  Marlene Zuk
Research Interests:  Interface between behavior and conservation; sexual selection, ornamentation, and conditions inducing role reversal in birds and insects
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.A., Oglethorpe University
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Angela Les (lesxx002@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): James Forester
Research Intersts: Species ecological responses to anthropogenic changes
Study Sysem:  Moose
Degree Held:  B.S., University of Connecticut, 2013
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Hongyu Li (lixx4913@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mark Bee
Research Interests: Neuroethology; animal behaviors in natural environments and the neural mechanisms behind them. 
Study System: Tree frogs
Degree Held: B.S., Sichuan University, 2016
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Katherine Liu (liuxx971@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mike Travisano and Alan Love (Philosophy)
Research Interests: Evolution of complexity; modularity, evolution and development, history and philosophy of biology, cancer biology, translational research, biology and society
Study System: Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Degrees Held: B.S., University of California, Davis, 2007; M.S., Arizona State University, 2010
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

Shelby Loberg (will1366@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Clarence Lehman
Research Interests: Disease ecology; Ecology education
Study System: Ticks and mathematical models
Degree Held: B.S., University of Minnesota, 2006
Year of Entry into Program: 2011

Marta Lyons (lyons179@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Ken Kozak
Research Interests: Evolutionary ecology of geographic range limits
Study System: Montane salamanders
Degree Held: B.A., Carleton College, 2010
Year of Entry into Program: 2011

Anthony Massaro (massa060@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Michael Wilson 
Research Interests: Dynamics of cooperation and competition; how variation in cooperative behaviors affects fitness
Study System:  Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes); Gombe National Park, Tanzania
Degree Held: B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, 2016
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Erin Mittag (mitta062@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Sarah Hobbie, Jacques Finlay
Research Interests: Land use and water quality interactions, urban ecology, biogeochemical processes, and science communication. 
Study System: 
Degree Held: B.A., St. Olaf College, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Amanda Muehlbauer (muehl038@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Ran Blekhman
Research Interests: How host genetics interact with the microbiome and how these interactions influence human evolution. 
Study System:  Primate Gut Microbiomes
Degree Held: B.S., University of Minnesota, 2013
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Rachel Olzer
Advisor(s): Marlene Zuk (olzer001@umn.edu)
Research Interests: How novel traits are maintained and the role of behavior in evolution
Study System: Pacific field cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus)
Degree Held:  B.S., Arizona State Unviersity-Tempe, 2014
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Rachel Pain (repain@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  Jessica Hellmann
Research Interests:  Biodiversity and adaptation in changing landscapes, particularly with respect to climate change
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.A., Biology, St. Olaf College
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Meredith Palmer (palme516@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Craig Packer
Research Interests: Predator-prey interactions, anti-predator behaviors, landscapes of fear, optimizing foraging trade-offs, heterospecific communication
Study System: Large terrestrial mammalians in savanna ecosystems
Degree Held: B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, 2011
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Melissa Pastore (mpastore@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Sarah Hobbie and Peter Reich
Research Intersts: Ecosystem ecology and global change
Study System: Tall grass prairie, BioCON at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Degrees Held:  B.A., Pennsylvania State University-Univ Park, 2013; M.S., Villanova University, 2015
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Cristy Portales-Reyes (porta020@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Forest Isbell
Research Interests:
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.S., University of Texas, Austin, 2014
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Tom Radomski (radom017@umn.edu)
Advisor:  Ken Kozak
Research Interests: Biogeography and community assembly
Study System:  Salamanders
Degree Held:  B.S., Missouri State University; M.S., Ohio University 
Year of Entry into Program: 2017

Dakota Rowsey (rowse006@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Sharon Jansa
Research Interests: Morphological Radiation and Speciation
Study System: Philippine Murines
Degree Held: B.S., Pacific Lutheran University, 2014
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Naomi Rushing (rushi013@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Ruth Shaw
Research Interests: The consequences of translocating plant populations during prairie restoration efforts and the scale of local adaptation of native prairie plant species. 
Study System: 
Degree Held: B.A., Grinnell College, 2002
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Craig See (crsee@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Sarah Hobbie and Peter Kennedy
Research Interests: The direct and indirect controls of mychorrhizal fungi over forest carbon and nitrogen cycling, and what they mean for sequestration.
Study System: 
Degree Held: B.A., Hamline University, 2009; M.S., SUNY College of Environmental Science, 2013
Year of Entry into Program: 2016

Kia Seehafer (seeha014@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  David Stephens
Research Interests: Evolution of social behavior, social structures, communication, and decision-making in vertebrates
Study System: Starlings
Degree Held: B.A., B.S., California State University, Sacramento
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Alexander Shephard (sheph095@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  Emilie Snell-Rood
Research Interests:  Life-history evolution, behavior, phenotypic plasticity, adaptationism
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.S., McMaster University; M.S., McMaster University
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Meredith Steck (steck047@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Emilie Snell-Rood
Research Interests: Search behavior and foraging, ecological specialization, causes and consequences of interindividual differences
Study System: Cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae)
Degree Held: B.A., Bowdoin College, 2009
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

Evelyn Strombom (strom522@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Allison Shaw
Research Interests: Collective animal behavior
Study System:
Degree Held:  B.A., Swarthmore College, 2012
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Jessie Tanner (tanne123@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mark Bee and Marlene Zuk
Research Interests: Behavioral ecology, mating systems, female choice and intra-individual variation in female preferences
Study System: Acoustic communication, multicomponent signals, sexual selection, behavioral plasticity
Degrees Held: B.S./B.A., University of Oklahoma, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

Jennifer Teshera-Levye (levye001@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Jeannine Cavender-Bares
Research Interests: Plant hydraulics and leaf venation architecture
Study System: American Oaks
Degree Held: B.A., Harvard University, 2011
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

James Tumulty (tumul001@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Mark Bee
Research Interests: Animal communication, social recognition, behavioral plasticity and evolution
Study System: Frogs
Degrees Held: B.S., Siena College, 2007; M.S., East Carolina University, 2012
Year of Entry into Program: 2012

 Amy Waananen (waana001@umn.edu)
Advisor(s):  Diane Larson, Dan Cariveau
Research Interests:  Consequences of habitat fragmentation, esp. for pollination dynamics; plant population evolution and ecology; landscape connectivity
Study System:  Tallgrass prairie
Degree Held:  B.A., St. Olaf College
Year of Entry into Program:  2017

Pu Wang (wang5922@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Michael Travisano
Research Interests: Microbial experimental evolution on multicellularity
Study System:  Yeast, Ciliate
Degrees Held: B.S., Ocean University, 2012; M.S., Ocean University, 2015
Year of Entry into Program:  2015

Monica Watson (watso541@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Georgiana May
Research Interests: Evolution of Virulence in Multihost systems
Study Systems: Fungi, plant, insect
Degree Held: B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 2013
Year of Entry in Program:   2014

Samuel Weaver (weave271@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Kenneth Kozak and Suzanne McGaugh
Research Interests: Genetic basis of phenotypic adaptation, hybridization and differential gene introgression across species boundaries.
Study System:  Cavefish
Degree Held: B.A., St. Olaf College, 2016
Year of Entry into Program:  2016

Lauren White (whit1951@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Meggan Craft and James Forester
Research Interests: Disease ecology, contact networks and individual variability in disease transmission
Study System: Theoretical host-pathogen modeling 
Degree Held:  B.S., University of Virginia, 2012
Year of Entry into Program:  2013

Laura Williams (will3972@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Jeannine Cavender-Bares and Peter Reich
Research Interests: Plant community ecology 
Study System: Tree diversity experiments 
Degrees Held: B.A./B.S., Monash University, 2007
Year of Entry into Program: 2011

Sarah Winikoff (wini0019@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Jacques Finlay
Research Interests:  Ecosystem Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, Nutrient Remediation, Management-Based Science
Study System: Geographically Isolated Wetlands, Prairie Pothole Wetlands, Flow-Through Wetlands
Degrees Held: B.A., University of Minnesota-Morris, 2010;  M.S., University of Notre Dame, 2014
Year of Entry into Program: 2014

Amod Zambre (zambr043@umn.edu)
Advisor(s): Emilie Snell-Rood 
Research Interests: Evolution of sexual signals. 
Study System:   Butterflies and lizards
Degree Held: BSc, University of Pune, 2010; MSc, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, 2013
Year of Entry into Program: 2016