Will Pearse – Assistant professor
I study how the evolutionary history of species affects, and is affected by, species’ ecological interactions. I tend to enjoy talking about anything involving a phylogeny and/or bio-statistics. I completed my PhD in Andy Purvis’ lab, a post-doc with Jeannine Cavender-Bares, and then another post-doc with Jonathan Davies and Pedro Peres-Neto.
Katie Weglarz – Post-doc
I am an entomologist who is broadly interested in interplay between species interactions, biodiversity, and evolution. I conducted my PhD on adelgid endosymbiont genome evolution and my MS research was on systematics of planthoppers. I am also interested in issues related to broadening participation in STEM and higher education.
Elizabeth Simpson – PhD student
I want to investigate the ecological and evolutionary dynamics between and within species across physical gradients, like elevation, and in response to changing climate patterns. Running, drawing moss and mountains, and working to help people use observation and informed discussion daily, fuel my desire to learn and teach.
Michael Stemkovski – PhD student
I am interested in pollination ecology, modeling phenology and population dynamics, and predicting the effects of climate change using computational methods. My research at North Carolina State University and the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab has included Daphnia population modeling and solitary bee phenology monitoring.
Austin Koontz – MSc student
I received my B.S. in Neuroscience from University of Nevada, Reno in 2014. After graduation, I worked as an Applications Specialist for Hamilton Robotics, a laboratory automation company based in Reno, until May of 2018. My research interests include evolutionary biology, spatial ecology, and using genomic data to guide conservation efforts.
Bodie Weedop – research assistant
Bodie recently graduated from USU with a degree in biology, and has been working on a number of bioinformatic projects in the lab. He recently developed a novel hierarchical DNA sequence alignment algorithm (released in the program Splinter), and is currently working to improve phylogenetic conservation prioritisation in the face of uncertainty and missing data.
Mark Sneddon – undergraduate student
Mark is an electrical engineering major who’s interested in applying his mathematical skills to understand how populations of animals and plants are threatened across the globe.
Jake Stachewicz – undergraduate student
Jakes is majoring in Wildlife Ecology and Fisheries. He is currently working on a project measuring the morphology of wasps, and hopes to find a correlation between morphological evolution, clade diversification rate, and spatial distribution.