Graduate Students

Thumbnail Photo of Guadalupe Aguirre
Guadalupe Aguirre
Advisor: Dr. Marinus Pilon
Copper is an essential component of the plant cell. It is used in several plant functions, including photosynthesis. The lack or excess of copper can have detrimental effects on the health of the plant. This ...

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Mohammed Albaqami
Advisor: A.S.N. Reddy
My research interest is to investigate “how are plants respond to abiotic stresses at post-transcriptional levels” especially alternative splicing (AS). Alternative splicing is a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism that is linked to several developmental processes and ...

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Charlotte Alster
Advisor: Joe von Fischer
I am interested in how soil microbial communities cycle nutrients through ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the heterogeneity of these microbial communities, both spatially and temporally. My goal is to be able to apply ...

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Paul Brewer
Advisor: Joe von Fischer
I study the connections between soil microbial communities, greenhouse gas dynamics, nutrient cycles, and agricultural practices.  I am especially interested in the ways small-scale soil structures mediate biogeochemical dynamics and how different agricultural practices affect ...

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E Dale Broder
Advisor: Lisa Angeloni
I am investigating the role that behavioral plasticity plays in initial response and subsequent evolution as animals adapt to new and changing environments.

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Michael A Caballero
Advisor: Graham Peers
The promise of sustainable biofuel relies on efficient recycling of atmospheric CO2 into energy dense metabolites. Lipids are an excellent target in algae because of their role in energy storage, high areal productivities, and accumulation ...

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Michael Cantrell
Advisor: Graham Peers
I'm interested in understanding how photosynthesis is regulated in order to improve crops for food and fuel.  In most plants and algae, less than 5% of the light energy absorbed is used for growth. The other ...

Thumbnail Photo of Charles (Jeff) Carroll
Charles (Jeff) Carroll
Advisor: Alan Knapp and Patrick Martin
Broadly speaking, I am interested in the drought ecophysiology of conifers in montane and subalpine environments. I am investigating potential future range distributions of the five most common Rocky Mountain conifers based on their ecophysiological ...

Thumbnail Photo of Francis Chaves
Francis Chaves
Advisor: Melinda Smith
In a broad way, my  interest is the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function, and how important ecological drivers like climate change, can affect this relationsip. In the Smith Lab I am carrying out my ...

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James Craven
Advisor: ASN Reddy
I am interested in integrating diverse fields of study into plant synthetic biology, particularly for the creation of novel, agriculturally beneficial mutualisms between plants and microbes. 

Thumbnail Photo of Cory Culligan
Cory Culligan
Advisor: Dr. Reddy
My project centers on the role of RNA alternative splicing and its affect on drought tolerance in the C4 grass cereal crop Sorghum bicolor. 

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Elsie Denton
Advisor: Alan Knapp
I'm a second year Master's student working with Dr. Alan Knapp on issues relating to climate change in the Great Plains of the United States. One of our major projects is called the Extreme Drought ...

Thumbnail Photo of Michelle Desrosiers
Michelle Desrosiers
Advisor: Drs Lisa Angeloni and Cameron Ghalambor
I am broadly interested in the study of animal life histories, with a focus on behavior.  For my master's degree I have been studying the mating system of the Island Scrub-Jay, a species of conservation ...

Thumbnail Photo of Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Advisor: Joe von Fischer
I am a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist interested in the production, consumption, and transport of methane.  My work takes place in Alpine and Arctic environments and I often use stable isotope tracers to answer questions. ...

Thumbnail Photo of David A. Eads
David A. Eads
Advisor: Dean E. Biggins & Michael F. Antolin
My research currently focuses on the implications of disease and behavioral ecology for wildlife conservation and ecosystem restoration.  We are investigating factors that influence the abundance and distribution of fleas (vectors of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis) and variables ...

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Eva K Fischer
Advisor: Kim L. Hoke
I am interested in the neural, developmental, and genetic mechanisms of behavior and their evolution. My dissertation research links behavioral differences to variation in hormone levels and gene expression in the brain to understand how genetics ...

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Sarah Fitzpatrick
Advisor: Chris Funk
I am interested in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology.My research aims to understand the fitness consequences of gene flow on adaptation and demography. I address this question using both evolutionary and conservation perspectives. I implement ...

Thumbnail Photo of Margaret Fleming
Margaret Fleming
Advisor: Pat Bedinger
I am studying how to make it easier to covert plant cell walls into biofuel. My approach is to look at structural proteins found in the plant cell wall (extensins) to see whether their presence ...

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Michael Friedman
Advisor: Dr. Daniel R. Bush
Hey! I am currently involved in plant molecular biology research with the Bush Lab. My primary focus is on analysis of rice mutants that could potentially impact the field of bioenergy technology. :)

Thumbnail Photo of Nathan Galloway
Nathan Galloway
Advisor: Antolin
As a PhD student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology program, I will apply my background in molecular biology and genetics to questions of wildlife populations and disease.

Thumbnail Photo of Maybellene P Gamboa
Maybellene P Gamboa
Advisor: Cameron Ghalambor, Chris Funk
I am interested in understanding the mechanisms that underlie adaptive variation in natural populations. Specifically, I am looking at how gene flow and environmental heterogeneity influence local adaptation in populations of Song Sparrows in the ...

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Teresa Garcia
Advisor: Shane Kanatous
I am interested in diving mammal skeletal muscle physiology and veterinary pathology.  

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Brian Gill
Advisor: W. Chris Funk
I am a PhD student studying the systematics and distributions of aquatic insects in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the Ecuadorian Andes as part of the EVOTRAC project (  The goal of my research is ...

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Jesse Gray
Advisor: Melinda Smith
I am interested in the interaction of genotypic diversity and species diversity. To explore this, I am working with two dominant C4 grasses of the Great Plains, Andropogon gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans. Using genetic markers, ...

Thumbnail Photo of Carolina Gutierrez
Carolina Gutierrez
Advisor: N. LeRoy Poff
I am a Biologist from Colombia doing my PhD in the GDPE Program at CSU in the Stream Ecology Lab with Dr. LeRoy Poff.  I am interested in studying  ecological traits in stream communities, particularly ...

Thumbnail Photo of Corey Handelsman
Corey Handelsman
Advisor: Cameron Ghalambor

Thumbnail Photo of Laura Hantzis
Laura Hantzis
Advisor: Dr. Pilon
I completed my bachelor degree at CSU in May 2011.  During my final year as an undergraduate I worked in Dr. Pilon-Smits’ lab as part of the undergraduate research program.  The main focus was to ...

Thumbnail Photo of Elizabeth Harp
Elizabeth Harp
Advisor: Michael Antolin
I am broadly interested in wildlife disease ecology as it relates to biological conservation. I am currently investigating genetic diversity in an immune-system gene, MHC-DRB1, in black-tailed prairie dogs.

Thumbnail Photo of Rachel Harrington
Rachel Harrington
Advisor: LeRoy Poff
 I am broadly interested in the structure and function of riverine communities and understanding the role of local and regional scale dynamics that govern these systems.  Currently, my research is focused on examining patterns of ...

Thumbnail Photo of jilin he
jilin he
Advisor: Donald Mykles
I am working with crabs. 

Thumbnail Photo of Ashley Heim
Ashley Heim
Advisor: Greg Florant
Broadly, I am interested in the physiological mechanisms that influence certain processes and behaviors in mammals as well as in the conservation of these animals. My research focuses on trying to discover exactly what mechanisms ...

Thumbnail Photo of Ava Hoffman
Ava Hoffman
Advisor: Melinda Smith
My current research goal is to answer the question, “how does genetic diversity within species contribute to stress resistance and ecosystem function?” Most recently, my interests have taken me to the tallgrass prairies of eastern ...

Thumbnail Photo of Keziah Katz
Keziah Katz
Advisor: Dhruba Naug
My general research focus is behavioral ecology. I use experimental manipulations to understand underling concepts of behavior. Currently, I'm studying the effects of nutritional stress on the foraging behavior of honey bees on the individual ...

Thumbnail Photo of Annie Kellner
Annie Kellner
Advisor: Michael F. Antolin
I am a student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology; my research interests include population genetics and genomics, and the ecology of infectious diseases.  My Master's research concerns cross-species pathogen transmission between domestic and ...

Thumbnail Photo of John Kronenberger
John Kronenberger
Advisor: Drs. Lisa Angeloni and Chris Funk
My interests revolve around a common theme of evolutionary ecology and conservation genetics. I am currently studying the effects of gene flow between divergent populations of Trinidadian guppies on local adaptation, fitness, and population dynamics. ...

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Clinton Leach
Advisor: Colleen Webb
I am broadly interested in ecological networks and their application in the study of both food webs and the spread of disease. In both of these contexts, I am interested in developing mechanistic models that ...

Thumbnail Photo of Alejandro Lopez-Ceron
Alejandro Lopez-Ceron
Advisor: Dr. Donald Mykles
I am a Marine Biologist from Colombia studying my PhD in Zoology and working with Dr. Donald Mykles at Crab Lab. I have acquired a significant knowledge about zooplankton of lotic ecosystems and marine zooplankton ...

Thumbnail Photo of Clifton McKee
Clifton McKee
Advisor: Colleen Webb
I seek to understand how host and vector ecology drive infection dynamics and pathogen diversification. More generally, I am interested in the characteristics that make a species a good reservoir host for zoonoses. I am ...

Thumbnail Photo of Ryan McShane
Ryan McShane
Advisor: LeRoy Poff
I am a PhD candidate whose research focuses on modeling species distribution and community dynamics in rivers. I seek to predict how changes in climate, land use and water management will affect hydrogeomorphic regimes, which ...

Thumbnail Photo of Ryan S. Miller
Ryan S. Miller
Advisor: Colleen Webb
I am a senior analyst and ecologist with United States Department of Agriculture Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health. I am broadly interested in landscape ecology, with special interests in disease ecology and conservation biology. ...

Thumbnail Photo of Erik Mohlhenrich
Erik Mohlhenrich
Advisor: Rachel Mueller
I am a first year master's student in the lab of Rachel Mueller studying genome evolution in salamanders. My current research focuses on long-term population dynamics and their effect on genome evolution in amphibians.

Thumbnail Photo of Megan Mudron
Megan Mudron
Advisor: Donald L. Mykles
I am working on the gene regulation over the course of the molt cycle in Gecarcinus lateralis (the blackback land crab) and Carcinus maenas (the green shore crab). Specifically, I am interesting in learning about how ...

Thumbnail Photo of Natalie Pitts
Natalie Pitts
Advisor: Donald L. Mykles
I am interesting in understanding the molecular mechanisms that control molting in decapod crustaceans.  Molting in decapod crustaceans is negatively regulated by a neuropeptide, molt inhibiting hormone (MIH).  MIH is synthesized and released by a ...

Thumbnail Photo of Keith Post
Keith Post
Advisor: Diana Wall
My research investigates the effects of grasshopper herbivory and drought on soil animal communities in the shortgrass prairie. 

Thumbnail Photo of Matthew Pyne
Matthew Pyne
Advisor: LeRoy Poff
My research interests lie in understanding the relationship between stream biota and the structure, climate, and hydrology of stream systems.  The distribution of aquatic organisms exhibit strong relationships with environmental conditions in aquatic systems and ...

Thumbnail Photo of Mónica Páez
Mónica Páez
Advisor: Chris Funk
I aim to elucidate the processes that promote and maintain the exceptional biodiversity of tropical mountains. I focus on the effects of ecological differences along elevational gradients on evolutionary processes in natural populations of amphibians. ...

Thumbnail Photo of Alisha Shah
Alisha Shah
Advisor: Cameron Ghalambor (co-advisor: Chris Funk)
   I am interested in how physiological limits affect the distribution of organisms, constrain their function, and mediate their response to a changing environment. Specifically, I study the thermal physiology of aquatic insects along elevation (mountains) ...

Thumbnail Photo of E. Ashley Shaw
E. Ashley Shaw
Advisor: Diana Wall

Thumbnail Photo of Paige Shilling
Paige Shilling
Advisor: Janice Moore
I am examining the gastro-intestinal parasites of wild turkeys in Colorado in order to better understand the parasite community structure within Colorado wild turkeys. I am also comparing the results to previous data on the ...

Thumbnail Photo of Luke Tembrock
Luke Tembrock
Advisor: Mark P. Simmons
I am interested in the evolution of plants that are cultivated by humans, and in particular the genetic changes that take place in these plants as humans move them from their wild centers of origin. ...

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Andrew Thran
Advisor: Cris Argueso and Daniel Bush

Thumbnail Photo of Jiameng Wang
Jiameng Wang
Advisor: Elizabeth Pilon-Smits

Thumbnail Photo of Kevin Wilcox
Kevin Wilcox
Advisor: Alan Knapp
As a PhD student in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University, I am studying the effects of global change on vegetative growth in a wide range of different grassland ecosystems. Part of my ...

Thumbnail Photo of Molly Womack
Molly Womack
Advisor: Kim Hoke
I am interested in the evolution of similar traits evolving in different organisms for reasons besides shared ancestry (homoplasy). The variation that is available for selection to act on has long thought to be "biased" ...

Thumbnail Photo of Matt Youngblood
Matt Youngblood
Advisor: Graham Peers
Photosynthetic microbes like cyanobacteria and algae have emerged as a promising class of organisms to sustainably convert sunlight into biofuels. When photosynthetic microbes are grown in dense industrial cultures, an individual cell will experience rapid fluctuations ...

Thumbnail Photo of Molly Zeller
Molly Zeller
Advisor: Deborah Garrity