The W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology

Alumni

Adewale, Heather Bateman


Chris AndersonAnderson, Christopher (Chris) M.

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Chris graduated in May from NCSU. The focus of his research was on the interaction of natural and sexual selection on both genital evolution and mating behaviors, and the consequences this has on speciation. Specifically, he analyzed a species of Bahamas mosquitofish, Gambusia hubbsi, investigating female genital evolution and how it may be correlated with known male evolution in various blue hole populations.


Julien AyrolesAyroles, Julien

Assistant Professor, Lewis-Sigler Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

I am interested in understanding the emergence of variation in co-regulated gene networks and how such variation gives rise to phenotypic variation. Ultimately, I want to understand how natural selection shapes genetic variation and reshapes genomic architecture to produce adaptive phenotypes.

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Melanie BatemanBateman, Melanie

Integrated Crop Management Advisor, CABI, Delemont, Switzerland

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Melanie joined the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI) in Delemont, Switzerland in 2012 as an Integrated Crop Management Advisor. Her job entails working with farmers, extension workers, researchers, government representatives and other plant protection stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable solutions to agricultural problems. She is trained as an entomologist, and over the course of her career she has carried out studies and supported capacity building activities for plant health in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Central Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Through previous jobs she also has experience supporting international cooperation to limit the spread and impact of plant pests, e.g., through information exchange and the implementation of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.


Nicole BendaBenda, Nicole

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Entomology & Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

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Nicole is working on plant parasitic nematodes, looking at the effect of heat on Mi-1 gene resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKN) in tomatoes and looking at the effect of prior RKN infection on nematode attraction or deterrence. Nicole has also been working to identify the oviposition cues of the blueberry gall midge.


Warren BoothBooth, Warren

Assistant Professor, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Dr. Booth is an integrative molecular ecologist, broadly interested in the evolutionary forces driving population differentiation and dynamics within mosaic landscapes. In particular, he is interested in the effects of ecological barriers in the absence of physical barriers and their subsequent effect on population genetic structure within both vertebrate and invertebrate systems (e.g., cockroaches and bed bugs).


Boroczky, Katalin

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

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Katalin works primarily in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University as a Lab Manager in the laboratory of Dr. Raguso supervising insect rearing, performing maintenance of the analytical instruments, etc. She also participates in various research projects as an analytical chemist. Additionally, she is also the Facility Manager of an HPLC-MS/MS laboratory in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, which is overseen by Dr. Agrawal. She routinely performs phytohormone analysis and develops HPLC-MS/MS methods for other applications.


Carlos_BoteroBotero, Carlos A.

Assistant Professor – Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

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Carlos is an evolutionary ecologist interested in how organisms can cope with environmental change and, in particular, in the potential for adaptation to a variable and uncertain world. He tries to address BIG picture questions through comparative studies (i.e., studies that include information on many different species), and to complement this work with theoretical models and selected experiments in the field and the lab.


Buellesbach, Jan

Scientific Manager, Jena School for Microbial Communication, Jena, Germany

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Jan currently holds the position as the Scientific Manager of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC), an Excellence Graduate School for a structured Ph.D. teaching program mainly funded by the German Resource Foundation and embedded into the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Our international Graduate School currently encompasses around 150 Ph.D. students from all over the globe who are educated in a structured, interdisciplinary training program based on top-level fundamental research. It conceptually combines different research areas to achieve our main goal, allowing for a holistic view on microbial communication. Jan is responsible for the conceptual, financial, structural, and scientific management of the Graduate School.


Carrillo-RolandCarrillo, Roland J.

Director of Sales and Business Development, BellBrook Labs

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The goal of Bellbrook Labs is to accelerate drug discovery and biological research by developing high throughput screening and profiling assays. These include enzymatic assays that cover thousands of different enzymes in several classes and phenotypic assays for cell models that more accurately reflect in vivo biology. Roland’s role is to oversee the global sales efforts and seek partnerships with academia, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies to further develop their technologies.


Brian CountermanCounterman, Brian

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS

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In the Counterman lab we are broadly interested in understanding the processes responsible for the origin of novel adaptive traits and new species in natural populations. In particular, we study the repeatability of evolution at the genomic level. The laboratory uses a combination of genetic mapping and population genomics with developmental, behavioral and field based ecological experiments to establish an integrative view of how organisms change over time in response to evolutionary pressures, using butterflies and other insects as our study organisms.


Maria De LucaDe Luca, Maria

Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

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Maria De Luca, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL, USA. Dr. De Luca has a long standing interest in elucidating the contribution of genetics to complex traits. Her early work focused largely on the genetics of aging. Over the past ten years, she has expanded her research program to establish a Drosophila model for obesity and cardiometabolic syndrome. Although her work uses D. melanogaster as a key experimental tool, collaborative research efforts with other scientists at UAB and other institutions have successfully facilitated the translation of the findings in flies to humans. These studies have clearly shown that many components regulating Drosophila energy balance and metabolism are shared between flies and humans and established Drosophila as a powerful model to identify novel evolutionary conserved genetic pathways controlling variation in these traits.


Lauren_DembeckDembeck, Lauren M.

Postdoctoral Fellow – Ecology and Evolution Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan

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Lauren studies the quantitative genetics of intraspecific variation, trait divergence, and speciation.

Scott DobrinDobrin, Scott E.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Maine at Presque Isle

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Scott is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, an undergraduate-only institution. His primary responsibilities are teaching Anatomy and Physiology and Neurobiology to undergraduates. He also has a small undergraduate research laboratory in which he studies the role of structural plasticity using honey bees and bumble bees as model organisms.


Alexis EdwardsEdwards, Alexis C.

Assistant Professor, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

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Alexis’s research focuses on how genomic and environmental influences impact liability to psychiatric and substance use disorders. She is especially interested in how these factors – individually and through their interactions – influence the clinical heterogeneity of psychiatric disorders.


Eliyahu_DoritEliyahu, Dorit

Adjunct Biology Instructor, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ

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Dorit studies species interactions that range from mutualism (thrips as pollinators of manzanita) to antagonism (defense mechanisms of pipevine swallowtail caterpillars.


Miles EngellEngell, Miles D.

Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

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Miles teaches approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate students at NCSU each year in courses including Biology I for Science Majors, Animal Behavior, the Evolution of Human Behaviors, and The Physiology of Stress. She also serves as Academic Advisor for 60 students.


Fan_YongliangFan, Yongliang

Research Analyst, Duke University

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Fanara_Juan JoseFanara, Juan Jose

Professor, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Ganguly-Fitzgerald_IndraniGanguly-Fitzgerald, Indrani

Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, University of San Diego, San Diego, California

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Indrani is an Adjunct Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of San Diego. Dr. Ganguly-Fitzgerald has a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay University (Valedictorian), Bombay, India; and a Ph.D. in Genetics with a concentration in Behavioral Biology from the W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. At NCSU, Indrani was mentored by Drs. Trudy Mackay and Robert Anholt. As an independent researcher at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, CA, Dr. Ganguly-Fitzgerald studied the genetics of sleep and memory formation, and established a genetic model for the rapid identification of genes involved in socialization and sleep-dependent memory. She has an ongoing fascination with all things related to genes, behavior, and evolution. Indrani grew up in Mumbai, India, and currently lives in San Diego, CA with her husband James and their two young daughters, Sanjana Saoirse and Satyana Tullia.


Garlapow, Megan E.

Postdoctoral Fellow – Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

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Megan researches the genetic architecture of food intake using Drosophila melanogaster. Her work helps elucidate the genetic bases of variation in food intake.

Caesar GemenoGemeno, Cesar

Associate Professor, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain

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Gregory GibsonGibson, Gregory C.

Professor and Director of the Center for Integrative Genomics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

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The Gibson laboratory studies genomic approaches for human genetics; variability of gene expression; systems biology of disease; theory of canalization and biological robustness.


Astrid GrootGroot, Astrid

Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany

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Grozinger _ChristinaGrozinger, Christina M.

Associate Professor of Entomology and Director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

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Dr. Grozinger’s research focuses on genomic analysis of social behavior in honey bees and other social insect species.


Susan HarbisonHarbison, Susan

Earl Stadtman Investigator, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH

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Dr. Harbison uses systems biological approaches in Drosophila melanogaster to study genetic variation in complex traits, with an emphasis on sleep and circadian behavior.


Hotchkiss, Andrew

Researcher, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC

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Huang_Ming HuaHuang, Ming Hua

Research Scientist, Ecotoxicologist, Eurofins Agroscience Services, Inc., Prospect Hill, NC

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Ming does testing of the effects of insecticides and herbicides on non-target organisms, with a specialization in honey bees.


Katherine JordanJordan, Katherine (Katie)

Research Associate, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

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Kern, Elizabeth

Postdoctoral Fellow, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

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Elizabeth Kern is interested in animal morphology, behavior, and the impacts of human activities on evolutionary processes. Her previous work has addressed how urbanization influences the body shape of freshwater fish. Her current research focuses on using comparative genomics to understand evolution in marine mammals, nematodes, and mollusks.


Sarah KocherKocher, Sarah

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

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Sarah is studying the genetic and ecological mechanisms underlying social evolution in halictid bees.


Kopanic, Robert

Senior Research Scientist, S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

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Jeff LeipsLeips, Jeff

Associate Professor, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Maryland

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Losa-Ward, Sandra


Margaret LowmanLowman, Margaret (Meg) A.

Chief of Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences

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Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the Treetops” by the Wall Street Journal, Meg Lowman pioneered the science of canopy ecology. She came to North Carolina as Director of the Nature Research Center for the Museum of Natural Science and now serves as Chief of Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences at San Francisco. For over 30 years, “Canopymeg” has solved mysteries of insect pests and ecosystem health in the highest layer of the world’s forests, designing the tools of the trade—hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration—as she went. Her personal mantra is “no child left indoors.”


Luo Clayton_AliceLuo Clayton, Alice

Assistant Director for Research, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

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Michael MagwireMagwire, Michael M.

Association Geneticist, Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC

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Mike does quantitative genetics on agricultural crops such as maize, soy, and sugar cane, mostly association mapping and genomic selection.


mcdowell_kelliMcDowell, Kelli

Ph.D. student, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

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menke_seanMenke, Sean

Assistant Professor, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL

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moehring_amandaMoehring, Amanda J.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

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The Moehring lab studies the genetic basis of species isolation. The two primary areas of research in the lab are to identify and characterize individual loci underlying a female’s discrimination against heterospecific males, and to identify the genetic basis of interspecific hybrid sterility. These research goals have led to additional projects that fall within the more general fields of mate choice and spermatogenesis.


morgan_theodoreMorgan, Theodore (Ted) J.

Associate Professor, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

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nuzhdin_sergeyNuzhdin, Sergey

Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

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sara_oppenheimOppenheim, Sara

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics/American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

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Gisele Passador GurgelPassador-Gurgel, Gisele

Teaching Assistant Professor, Biomanufacturing Training Education Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

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Dr. Passador-Gurgel, a teaching assistant professor with the Biomanufacturing Training Education Center (BTEC), is a specialist in functional genomics and molecular biology applied to biomanufacturing. She has designed and is the primary instructor for three BTEC hands-on courses on Foundations of Recombinant Microorganisms in Biomanufacturing, Expression Systems in Biomanufacturing, and Insect Cells Protein Expression. She also serves as instructor on fermentation and industrial microbiology courses at NCSU and was the coordinator for the introductory course on Drug Development and Careers in Biomanufacturing for many years. Her primary research interests involve genomic analysis of animal and microbial behavior and development of expression systems for proteins of industrial applications. Her work has wide application in biotechnology, contemporary chemical engineering, evolutionary genetics, and the pharmaceutical industry.


patch_harlandPatch, Harland

Research Scientist, Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

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Roger PowellPowell, Roger A.

Emeritus Professor of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

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puente_molliePuente, Mollie

Grants Management Specialist, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC

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Qi, Lingjiao

Clinical Statistical Programmer, Research Point Global, Austin, TX

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Managing clinical data base, processing, analyzing, and reporting clinical trial data (Phase 1 to Phase IV), and assisting the submission of clinical reports to FDA.


rangel_julianaRangel, Juliana

Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX<

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Redding, Kellie


laura reedReed, Laura

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

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Laura Reed’s research interests lie at the intersection of quantitative genetics and population genetics, where she explores the evolution of complex traits such as metabolic disease that are the result of multiple genetic effects and the environment.


richard_freddie-jeaneRichard, Freddie-Jeanne

Maître de Conférences (Lecturer), Department of Ecology, Evolution and Symbiosis, University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France

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Freddie-Jeanne is currently studying the role of chemical communication in intraspecific interactions and different factors (immune system activation, environment . . . ) that alter behavioral responses, specifically in invertebrates (social insects and terrestrial isopods).


Rollmann, Stephanie M.

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

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Romero, Alvaro

Assistant Professor of Urban Entomology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

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Elizabeth RuediRuedi, Elizabeth (Beth)

Director of Education and Professional Development, Genetics Society of America, Bethesda, MD

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ryan_bryceRyan, Bryce C.

Associate Professor of Biology, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA

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Ryan uses mouse behavior to further understand human health. His current projects are investigating autistic-like behavior as well as endocrine disruption. I am also investigating potential masculinization in newborn infants.


Saenz, Virna


Sambandan_DeepaSambandan, Deepa

Postdoctoral fellow, NIEHS

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Amy SavageSavage, Amy

Assistant Professor – Department of Biology, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

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Semsar_KatharineSemsar, Katharine

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

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sheck_amySheck, Amy

Dean of Science and Instructor of Biology, NC School of Science and Math, Durham, NC

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John_ShorterShorter, John R.

Postdoctoral Fellow – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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John is interested in understanding how genetics and environment influence behavior. One way to approach this topic is to study chemical perception. Odorant binding proteins (Obps) are important in learning, mating, aggression, and a number of other behaviors. Recently, we have found that suppression of expression of a particular Obp dramatically reduces aggression and increases mating frequency. I am using controlled crosses, RNA-seq, and working with collaborators on single-unit recordings of the sensilla to determine the function and pathway of this Obp. Another project seeks to confirm alleles associated with high aggression by creating an outbred “flyland” population using founder lines that represent extremes in aggressive behavior. Finally, I am testing the effects of royalactin (the protein in royal jelly that is believed to cause queen differentiation in honey bees) using Drosophila. Royalactin is believed to cause changes in fertility and lifespan; fruit flies are a great model to test these claims.

simons_andrewSimons, Andrew

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Steele, Christopher

Lt. Cmr. U.S. Navy Submarine Medicine Research Laboratory

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Sullivan, Alana W.

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Alana studied sociosexual behavior disruption and how developmental exposure to estrogenic EDC’s disrupts sexual differentiation of brain and behaviors crucial to rodent reproductive fitness.


Swarup_ShilpaSwarup, Shilpa

Research Scientist, Monsanto

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Emerging Leaders of Science Program


Threadgill_DavidThreadgill, David W.

Director, Whole Systems Genomics Initiative, Texas A&M University

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Research in the Threadgill laboratory focuses on using the mouse as an experimental genetic model to investigate factors that contribute to inter-individual differences in health and disease. Current work is focused on (1) cancer genetics; (2) functional genomics of the epidermal growth factor and ERBB receptors in behavior and disease; (3) genetics of environmental response; and (4) system genetics using the Collaborative Cross.


Adrienn UzsakUzsak, Adrienn (Ada)

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Ada studied social facilitation of sexual maturation and reproduction in the German cockroach.


vargo_edwardVargo, Edward L.

Professor of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

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Behavioral Ecology

Research in the Vargo laboratory focuses on using molecular genetic tools, primarily microsatellite markers and mtDNA sequence data, to conduct basic and applied studies of termites and other insect pests of human structures. Our work on termites encompasses the breeding structure of colonies, colony and population genetic structure, invasion biology, foraging areas, colony densities, and population dynamics. Research on other structural pests, mainly ants, cockroaches, and bedbugs, focuses on population genetic structure, invasion biology, and dispersal.


Vasquez_GissellaVasquez, Gissella

Deputy Director, Department of Entomology, US Naval Medical Research Unit-6, Bellavista, Peru

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Ping WangWang, Ping

Research Scholar, Department of Pathology, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University, Durham, NC

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Currently, Ping is a research scholar in the Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, studying the role of histone modification genes in cerebellar development and medulloblastoma genesis using a mouse as a model system. Ping is involved with designing and performing the experiments, as well as data analyses. Prior to postdoctoral training in the pathology department, Ping was a postdoctoral associate working in the lab of Dr. Fan Wang in the Department of Neurobiology. She developed a split-intein based split-Cre system that can be used to intersect the expression patterns of two genes or promoters to restrict full-length Cre reconstitution in their overlapping domains. Intein based method is simpler to implement compared with other strategies for generating highly restricted intersectional Cre drivers to study complex tissues, such as the nervous system.


ward_catherineWard, Catherine

California Institute of Technology

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wayne_martaWayne, Marta L.

Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

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Marta works on host-parasite coevolution, particularly on the evolution of virulence, using Drosophila melanogaster and its viruses as a model system.


wekesa_kennedyWekesa, Kennedy S.

Dean and Professor of Biology, College of Science, Mathematics and Technology, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL

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ryan wongWong, Ryan

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska

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Behavioral neuroscience/genomics

Research interest: Broadly interested in understanding the molecular and neural basis of animal behavior. Current research utilizes zebrafish to understand the genomic basis of anxiety-related behaviors .Research in the Wong Lab takes an integrative approach to understanding behavioral variation. More specifically we are interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying stress coping styles and related behaviors.


zivkovic_boraZivkovic, Bora


zurek_ludekZurek, Ludek

Associate Professor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

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