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Colby Behrens
(Advisor - Alison Bell)
Samantha Capel
(Advisor - Ken Paige)
Hannah Darcy
(Advisor - Phil Anderson)
Kim Drager

I am interested in the nest architecture of soil dwelling ants (both ancient and modern) and how nest structure varies between ant species and geological environments.  Most of my work utilizes ant nest casts using molten metal, plaster, or acrylic as a medium. I use three-dimensional scans of nest casts to measure geometric properties of ant nest architecture, which can be used as references for identifying ant nests preserved in the fossil record. Three-dimensional scans are also used as inputs for modeling ant nest effects on physical, chemical, and hydrological properties of the surrounding soil. (Advisor: Andy Suarez)

Michael Grispo
It is of no doubt how sight is important in the fitness of organisms from aquatic to terrestrial. The lens plays an essential role in refracting light onto the retina to produce clear images, requiring lens proteins (crystallins) to be densely packed together while maintaining transparency. Proteins, especially closely related proteins, at very high concentrations tend to aggregate, falling out of solution. Lens crystallins evolved not only to refract light, but to also maintain solubility extremely crowded conditions. While mammalian lenses are quite dense, teleost fish lenses are substantially more dense and are far more tolerant of cold temperatures -- resisting cold cataracts well below freezing conditions. I aim to address how the teleost fish crystallins have evolved to maintain solubility at very high concentrations while also resisting cold cataracts at extremely cold temperatures. (Advisor: Chris Cheng)
Christopher Holmes
My research focuses on the role of zooplankton dispersal and subsequent colonization on community assemblages in aquatic ecosystems. Studying these metacommunity dynamics will help us understand how zooplankton populations will respond to habitat alteration and how overall ecosystem biodiversity will be affected. (Advisor: Carla Caceres)
Cody Jones
(Advisor: Ken Paige)
Shelby Lawson
Behavioral ecology, breeding strategies, mate choice, vocal communication/perception in birds (Advisor: Mark Hauber)
Alec Luro
Behavioral & cognitive ecology, evolution, avian brood parasitism and species recognition in birds (Advisor: Mark Hauber)
Joshua (Miles) Mesa
My research focuses on plant-animal interactions with an emphasis on the plant compensatory response following herbivory. Currently, I am testing whether plant compensation and resistance are molecularly interdependent and therefore positively correlated with one another. This is in contrast with the classic view that plant compensation and resistance are redundant strategies for defense against herbivory and should be mutually exclusive. (Advisor: Ken Paige)
Niraj Rayamajhi
(Advisor: Julian Catchen)
Angel Rivera-Colón
Research Interests: Genomics, genome evolution. (Advisor: Julian Catchen)
Bradley Scott
(Advisor: Phil Anderson)
Lynette Strickland
I am interested in molecular and genomic evolution, essentially, the changes within the genome and/or accompanying proteins, that facilitate the phenotypic and morphological adaptations of an individual, population, or species to their environment. Currently, I am studying the genetic and developmental mechanisms of color variation in Cassidine beetles, it's ecological significance and how color polymorphisms are maintained in populations. (Advisor: Carla Caceres)
Andrew Wszalek
(Advisor: Ken Paige)
Veronica Yoon
I am currently studying the evolutionary biology and physiology of the most derived species of Antarctic fishes (Notothenioidei: Channichthyidae) through the analysis of genetic data. (Advisor: Chris Cheng)