Guin Wogan, Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor (read more here).
Neil Balchan (Doctoral student, start date -Fall 2022). Neil is interested in using integrated-omics tools (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and antivenomics) to understand patterns of diversification and venom variation in snakes, with a particular interest in medically-important taxa. Neil is also broadly interested in reptile ecology, natural history, and field biology.
Sneha Dharwadkar (Doctoral student, start date – Fall 2021 – read more here). Sneha is interested in looking at phylogeography of softshell turtles of Nilssonia spp across different riverine ecosystems of India. She intends to study patterns of dispersal and diversification within the species in light of their large geographical range, albeit patchy and rapid human modification of their habitats.
Katarina Mapes (Master’s student, start date -Fall 2022). Katarina will be continuing WEEOLab research on amphibian microbiomes as a response to the global amphibian panzootic caused by the chyrtrid fungus. Her thesis will focus on buffalo fish genomics in collaboration with the ODWC efforts to protect these intriguing and complex animals, who have been discovered to live over 100 years.
Calvin Schaefer (Doctoral student, start date – Fall 2021). Calvin is broadly interested in integrative approaches to answering questions in the fields of ecology, evolution, and conservation using reptiles and amphibians as model organisms. In the WEEOLab, his research focuses on the ecology and evolution of complex phenotypes in venomous snakes. His current project uses micro/diceCT scanning for comparative volumetrics of snake venom glands. His dissertation research is focused on the ecological and evolutionary implications of the Moroccan refugium for a suite of African venomous snake species. Outside of research, he enjoys rock climbing, skateboarding, and traveling!
Desi Wilson (Doctoral student, start date – Fall 2021). Desi is interested in spatial ecology and genetic approaches to understand how species adapt to novel environmental conditions. She is specifically interested in using invasive species as model organisms for this process. While in the WEEOLab, Desi is focused on the invasion of the Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) across the United States. She intends to study genetic adaptations in these populations as they expand farther northward. She is also interested in the potential impacts that these species have through parasite spillover and spillback while completing her dissertation at OSU.
Connor Downs is pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Spanish. Connor plans to pursue a career in evolutionary biology. In his downtime, Connor loves spending time with family (and his 3 dogs) and reading. Connor is working on morphology and ecology of venomous snakes using microCT scanning.
Erika Graham is pursuing a B.S. in Biology. ” I plan to become a research scientist in the future. In my free time I enjoy playing the violin in the OSU symphony orchestra and playing basketball” Erika is working on turtle morphometrics using high resolution imaging techniques.
Kendall Hays is a junior pursuing a degree in natural resources ecology management. Her goal is to be a specialist in rangeland ecosystems and to help producers conserve native habitats. She is interested in the different aspects of regenerative agriculture such as proper grazing management, prescribed burning, and soil health.”Helping in the genetics lab has not only allowed me to grow in my knowledge of research and lab procedures, but it has also helped me grow in my ability to teach others about science.”
Brice Hembree is a freshman from Moore Oklahoma majoring in pre-vet zoology. “I’ve known for just about my whole life I wanted to attend OSU and its vet program. I have a particular interest in orthopedics, and my favorite animals are dogs and hedgehogs. Outside of animal related activities, I love the outdoors and exploring it with loved ones- whether it be hiking or just a scenic drive”. Brett is researching tropical lizard malaria using microscopy.
Job McKee is a sophomore undergraduate planning to pursue an MS in chemistry. He is especially interested in microwave and nuclear chemistry. His free time is spent reading, woodworking and frisbee golfing. Job is working with DNA barcoding of Asian frogs and putting his chemistry skills to work in the genetics lab. He is also embarking on a proteomics project focused on snake venom.
Carson Rainbolt is a senior working on a B.S. in Biology with minors in Zoology and Entrepreneurship. He plans to pursue a career in optometry upon graduation. Carson is interested in studying visual opsin evolution in species of lizards with different brightly colored abdominal patches for his Honor’s College thesis project.
T’ariah Sprouls is a junior majoring in Zoology with a minor in Womens studies. She wants to get involved in conservation work after graduating. In her free time she enjoys traveling and reading. T’ariah is working on characterizing lizard microbiomes to understand if shared environment or shared life history drives microbiome composition.
Samuel Ross Wilson is a sophomore working on a B.S. in Zoology with a focus on conservation and ecology. He plans to pursue a career in herpetological research. Sam is interested in gaining laboratory and field experience while studying the effects of artificial light on invasive species (Hemidactylus turcicus) populations.