Graduate Student Profiles

Jeremy Abels

Credentials: PhD Student - Weber Lab

Address:
I am interested in how climate change is impacting gene expression and epigenetics in North American fishes.

Lab: https://weberlab.integrativebiology.wisc.edu/

Kaitlyn Abshire (She/her/hers)

Credentials: PhD Student - Sharma Lab

Address:
I study snails and slugs. I am specifically interested in embryogenesis, the development of their tentacles (eye stalks and olfactory stalks), and how pollution affects the development of snails and slugs.

Lab: http://www.sharmalabuw.org

Emily Adler (She/Her)

Credentials: PhD Student - Ives Lab

Address:
I am interested in how benthic and pelagic communities are linked and the effects of disturbance on those linkages.

Lab: https://ives.labs.wisc.edu/

Eldon Ager (He/him/his)

Credentials: PhD Student - Hite Lab

Address:
My research will focus on developing a general framework, informed by empirical data, to understand and predict how iron bioavailability affects key pathogen traits and population dynamics that drive transmission.

Lab: https://evolutionaryepidemiology.org/new-page-1

Nathan Anderson

Address:
I am interested in the genomic response to selection. My research focuses on developing Diffusion models for complex selective pressures such as quantitative traits in changing environments, and background selection.

Lab: https://apragsdale.github.io/

Katie Andresen

Credentials: PhD Student - Madison Lab

Address:
My lab studies genetic regulation of social behaviors in songbirds, particularly in Gouldian finches and zebra finches.

Lab: https://integrativebiology.wisc.edu/staff/madison-farrah/ 

Kally Arnzen

Credentials: MS Student - Hardin Lab

Address:
I study the molecular processes and roles of particular genes that control epithelial morphogenesis during the embryonic development of C. elegans.

Lab: https://worms.zoology.wisc.edu/

Ayken Askapuli

Credentials: PhD Student - Hawks Lab

Address:
I study human population genetics and anthropology. In particular, I am interested in understanding the evolutionary forces and events that have shaped the genomes of modern human populations in Central Asia and Siberia.

Angelica Bautista

Credentials: PhD Student - Damschen Lab

Address:
My dissertation research broadly seeks to determine how future climate change predictions, mainly extreme precipitation events, interact with fire and land use history to alter seed survival.

Lab: https://damschenlab.zoology.wisc.edu/

K. Riley Book

Credentials: PhD Student - Ives Lab

Address:
I am interested in processes that drive variation in the structure and function of ecological communities, as well as the influence that abiotic and biotic conditions have on the outcomes of these processes. At Lake Mývatn, Iceland, I pair observational surveys and experiments to investigate the influence of acute disturbances such as cyanobacterial blooms and wind events on benthic algal communities, with a focus on their role in shaping nutrient availability and biogeochemical cycling.
Lab: https://ives.labs.wisc.edu/

Kaylee Browder

Credentials: PhD Student - Newmark/Issigonis Lab

Address:
I study the mechanisms by which germ cells are regulated, and how localized niche cues and physiological/environmental signals regulate their proper differentiation.

Lab: https://morgridge.org/research/labs/newmark/research/

Roberto Carrera-Martinez

Credentials: PhD Student - Schoville Lab

Address:
I study earthworm evolution, systematics and taxonomy in the Caribbean Islands. My research focusses on evolution and genomics of large size earthworms in Puerto Rico and species diversity and taxonomy.
Lab: https://molecularecology.russell.wisc.edu/roberto-carrera-martinez/

Katherine Charton (She/hers)

Credentials: PhD Student - Damschen Lab

Address:
I broadly study plant ecology with a particular emphasis on community response to climate and disturbance. I use field experimentation to understand how communities will adapt to changing conditions and inform land management and conservation priorities.

Check out Katherine's Website: https://www.ktcharton.com/ 

Lab: https://damschenlab.zoology.wisc.edu/

Dahn-young Dong (He/him)

Credentials: PhD Student - Schoville Lab

Address:
I research on how populations persist across spatial scales and evolve over landscapes.
Lab: https://molecularecology.russell.wisc.edu/

Jacob Fredette-Roman

Credentials: PhD Student - Sharp Lab

Address:
My research is on a copepod species that has shown invasive potential from saltwater to freshwater environments. I’m interested in understanding the evolutionary mechanisms of these invasions to predict how this copepod species will fare in the face of climate change.

Lab:  https://sharp.genetics.wisc.edu/

Mark Fuka (he/him)

Credentials: PhD Student - Orrock Lab

Address:
My research focuses on the effects that invasive plants can have on the activity of small mammals, leading to increased vegetative cover resulting in elevated levels of seed removal. I seek to understand how the seasonal leaf phenology of the invasive shrub common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) can impact rodent seed removal across all four seasons.
Lab: https://orrocklab.zoology.wisc.edu/

Chrissy Grebe (she/her/hers)

Credentials: PhD Student - Strier Lab

Address:
I study the thermal physiology of chacma baboons by combining field data and biophysical modeling to investigate the species' plasticity amid changing environmental conditions.

Lab: https://strierlab.anthropology.wisc.edu/

Ian Hart

Credentials: PhD Student - Ives Lab

Address:
I study how species interactions change in shifting environmental conditions and the resulting effects on ecosystem processes.
Lab: https://ives.labs.wisc.edu/

Michelle Homann (she/they)

Credentials: PhD Student - Damschen Lab

Address:
I am interested in studying plant community and climate change ecology in fire-maintained grasslands with a specific emphasis on restoration outcomes. Throughout my dissertation work, I plan to investigate the roles of fire timing, community assembly, and the overarching implications of a changing climate as drivers of plant community composition.
Lab: https://damschenlab.zoology.wisc.edu/

Carson Keller

Credentials: PhD Student - Orrock lab

Address:
I am looking to explore how different types of invasive species alter small mammal risk mitigating behaviors, trophic interactions, and community structure. Invasive species have been demonstrated to dramatically alter ecosystems and trophic interactions through the displacement of native species and creation of novel habitat. Investigating the behavioral and trophic consequences of these changes on small mammals may help us to understand the full impact that invasions have on ecosystems. If small mammals respond with predictable suites of behaviors across different types of biological invasions, it may help us to better determine how ecosystems and the organisms within them may respond to future invasions.

Lab: https://orrocklab.zoology.wisc.edu/ 

Timon Keller

Credentials: PhD Student - Turner Lab

Address:
I study how climate change and disturbance regimes impact ecosystem processes and structure in forests of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Lab: http://landscape.zoology.wisc.edu/index.html

Emily Kerns (she/her)

Credentials: PhD Student - Weber Lab

Address:
I study the role epigenetics plays in evolution of natural populations. I am especially interested in how heritable epigenetics may influence species (mal)adaptive responses to rapid environmental fluctuations as climate change advances.
Lab:  https://weberlab.integrativebiology.wisc.edu/

Nathan Kiel (he/him/his)

Credentials: PhD Student - Turner Lab

Address:
I study the effects of fire on forests and plant communities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to understand how changing climate and increasingly frequent, more severe fire may impact forest ecosystems across the western US. I am also developing a teaching module that I will implement in undergraduate classrooms on biogeochemical cycling in the context of forest fires and climate change.
Lab:  http://landscape.zoology.wisc.edu/

Lloyd Kirk

Credentials: PhD Student - Ragsdale Lab

Address:
I am a computer enthusiast and an avid learner of statistical and population genetics theory, with particular interests in structural variation and its fitness effects. I’m currently working on methods for computing two-locus statistics from tree sequences.

Lab: https://apragsdale.github.io/

Benjamin Klementz

Credentials: PhD Student - Sharma Lab

Address:
I'm broadly interested in the mechanisms underlying the diversification of arachnids, including whole genome duplication and subsequent rates of gene retention, as well as genetic drivers of body plan patterning as they relate to novel structures. I use a mix of phylogenomic and functional genetic approaches, with daddy longlegs and vinegaroons as my main systems.

Lab: http://www.sharmalabuw.org/

Alli Kneisel

Credentials: PhD Student - Turner Lab

Address:
My research focuses on the function of freshwater ecosystems, particularly ponds and wetlands in urban settings. I am interested in how these systems provide ecosystem services and the role that they play in the larger urban landscape.

Lab: https://turnerlab.ibio.wisc.edu/

Garrett Knowlton (he/him)

Credentials: MS Student - Turner Lab

Address:
My research will focus on modeling future forest landscapes under divergent climate and disturbance scenarios. I will explore the implications of future landscape trajectories for conservation and biodiversity.

Lab: https://turnerlab.ibio.wisc.edu/

Jade Kochanski (she/her)

Credentials: PhD student - Gratton Lab

Address:
My research is at the intersection of population genetics, restoration- , conservation- , landscape - ecology. I use a population genetics approach to understand whether prairie restorations sustain and increase pollinator populations. In other words, the source-sink dynamics of bumble bees and the success of prairie restoration as a conservation tool.

Lab: https://gratton.entomology.wisc.edu/

Jacob Kraus

Credentials: PhD Student - Strier Lab

Address:
My research focuses on seasonal grooming markets in black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti).
Lab: https://strierlab.anthropology.wisc.edu/ 

Arielle Link (she/her)

Credentials: PhD - Turner Lab

Address:
I study how changing forest disturbance regimes impact ecosystem function and nutrient cycling across spatial and temporal scales in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As wildfire increases in frequency and severity throughout the west, it is increasingly important to understand how converging drivers of change will affect post-fire regeneration and forest resilience. I am also passionate about advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of ecology.

Lab: https://turnerlab.ibio.wisc.edu/

Elizabeth Locke (She/her/hers)

Credentials: MS Student - Orrock Lab

Address:
I am studying the effects of invasive plants on tick populations. Specifically, I am interested in the impact of common buckthorn on the prevalence of Lyme disease and how that corresponds to disease risk in humans.

Lab: https://orrocklab.zoology.wisc.edu

Robert Melde (He/him)

Credentials: PhD Student - Sharp Lab

Address:
I am interested in studying what affects the rate and spectrum of mutations using mutation accumulation.
Lab:  https://sharp.genetics.wisc.edu/

Gigi Melone

Credentials: PhD Student - Crall Lab

Address:
I study the effects of wildfire ash and smoke on plant-insect interactions and the effects of heatwaves on bee biology.

Lab: https://www.crall-lab.com/

Nick Milicic (he/him/his)

Credentials: PhD Student - Ehrlich Lab

Address:
I study the development of motor coordination and adaptation in larval zebrafish.

Lab: neuro.fish

Teresa Popp

Credentials: PhD Student - Lee Lab

Address:
The goal of my research is to gain fundamental insights into the physiological and evolutionary mechanisms of freshwater adaptation by invasive speciecs.

Lab: https://carollee.labs.wisc.edu/Lee.html

Trey Sasser (he/him)

Credentials: PhD Student - Weber Lab

Address:
I study questions related to the evolution of immune defenses in threespine stickleback. I’m particularly interested in how costs shape the evolution of immune defenses and how climate change will alter host-parasite dynamics.

Lab: https://adaptationmatters.wixsite.com/home

Ipsita Srinivas (She/her/hers)

Credentials: PhD Student - Hite Lab

Address:
My research focuses on understanding the epidemiological and ecological drivers of spatio-temporal variation in helminth transmission. My work combines geospatial modeling, lab experiments, and field patterns of ongoing epidemics.
Lab: https://evolutionaryepidemiology.org/ 

Jinhui Wang

Credentials: PhD Student - Lee Lab

Address:
My research will focus on molecular mechanisms involved in copepod adaptations to climate change.

Lab: https://carollee.labs.wisc.edu/Lee.html

Anne Weerda

Credentials: PhD Student - Ehrlich Lab

Address:
I am using data from the lab and field to get a better understanding of how early neurological and physiological development interact with ecological factors to influence survival in larval fish.

Lab: https://www.neuro.fish/

Changyue (Kirsty) Yu

Credentials: PhD Student - Weber Lab

Address:
I am interested in using genomic and genetics tools to study the evolution of tapeworm in threespine stickleback.

Lab: https://weberlab.integrativebiology.wisc.edu/

Ruiling Zhong

Credentials: PhD Student - Claire Richardson's Lab

Address:
I'm working on characterizing the endolysosomal homeostasis behavior in C.elegans neurons, and looking for upstream regulators of this process.

Lab: https://therichardsonlab.org

Patricia Zito

Credentials: PhD Student - Lee Lab

Address:
I will working on finding signature of selection and structural changes in copepods adapted under different salinity levels. While I don't have a thesis yet, I'm excited to work more with bioinformatics, molecular evolution and evolutionary genomics.

Lab: https://carollee.labs.wisc.edu/Lee.html