I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Perú. As an undergraduate, I was involved in several herpetological research projects in the Peruvian rainforest. My undergraduate research focused on the phylogeny of a false coral snake genus based on morphological data. For my Master’s thesis, I plan to study how historical climatic and ecological conditions influenced the current distribution of species of this mimetic snakes group, under the advisement of Dr. James Watling.
Noemi Becza, Saporito Lab
I graduated from John Carroll University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate, I worked in the Saporito Lab, taking care of the lab animals and working with frog alkaloids under JCU’s S.U.R.F. program. I will continue to work with Dr. Saporito for my thesis to study the potential of alkaloids to inhibit growth of chytrid fungus.
Bryant Brumbill, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology from Georgia Southern University in 2017. As an undergraduate I was involved in two projects including investigation of potential horizontal transfer of Wolbachia (endosymbiotic bacteria) between species of widow spider and an eggsac parasitoid wasp and freshwater invertebrate monitoring/leaf pack decomposition study. I also partook in an REU in Puerto Rico where my mentors and I worked to quantify metrics of orb weaving spider webs using imageJ and compare between species. I will be joining the Anthony/Hickerson lab this fall researching polymorphism in Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) though I am still in the process of defining my specific thesis topic.
Joseph DeMarchi, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College in 2016. As an undergraduate, I completed research on the behavior, resistance and polymorphic differences of amphibian hosts when infected with the skin-infecting fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. I am working in the Anthony/Hickerson lab to understand the stress physiology of the Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) under different ecological factors.
Cory Gargas, Johansen Lab
I received my B.S. in Conservation Biology from Kent State University in 2013. During the interim between then and now I have worked as a field and lab technician on projects such as the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Biofilm project and the periphyton portion of the 2013 USEPA National River and Streams Assessment. I am currently working in Dr. Johansen’s lab. My current research is focused on improving our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships of aerophilic diatom taxa, specifically the genus Orthoseira, through the use of molecular and taxonomic data.
Václava (Vendi) Hazuková, Johansen Lab
I graduated in 2016 from the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Czech Republic and worked in Dr. Kaštovský´s phycology lab. In my thesis, I focused on the species composition and ecology of algae in Czech fishponds. Currently, in Dr. Johansen’s lab, I focus on diatoms as a tool for water quality assessment.
Zachary Lange, Watling Lab
I received my B.A. in Environmental Science from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2012. For my undergraduate thesis I studied the relationship of occupancy and abundance to breeding site matrix permeability for Taricha granulosa in western Oregon. Since then I have conducted fieldwork across the U.S. and South America, further refining my research interests along the way. As a member of the Watling Lab, I plan to study landscape ecology and thermal biology as they relate to neotropical amphibians.
Julia Laterza Barbosa, Watling Lab
I graduated in 2012 from Universidade de São Paulo, in Brazil, obtaining a B.S in biology. From 2013 to 2015 I worked in a faunal rescue program in the construction of an hydroelectric dam in the Amazon forest; that experience got me interested in studying animal translocations. For my master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Watling, I am investigating the effects of translocations in reptiles and amphibians in the Amazon Forest.
Jose Alberto Martinez-Yerena, Johansen Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2016. Through my time as an undergrad i worked on projects focused in the description of the cyanoprokariotes’ diversity in marine intertidal environments at Dr. Hilda Leon’s marine phycology lab. Currently i am working under the tutelage Dr. Johansen to support in the construction of the phylogeny of the marine Rivulariaceae.
I received my B.S. in biology in 2014 from California State University, Stanislaus. Since then, I have worked as an organic chemistry intern for Novartis and, more recently, I worked as a biological science technician for USGS monitoring Western pond turtle populations in San Diego. I am currently working in the Saporito Lab and I am interested in the selectivity, efficiency, and the mechanism by which alkaloid defenses are sequestered from diet in neotropical poison frogs.
Reina Nielsen, Drenovsky Lab
I received my B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2016. At my undergraduate institute, I conducted research on the effects of inbreeding on the physiological and functional traits of Echinacea angustifolia, as well as research on the longevity of different anatomical features of the Botrychium species. My masters thesis is investigating whole plant level effects of climate change and nutrient deposition on native California chaparral shrubs.
Nelson Rivera, Saporito Lab
I graduated in 2016 from Siena College with a B.S. in biology. During my time as an undergraduate student, I got the opportunity to work with glassfrogs in Costa Rica and map out their community structure at a landscape scale. I will be working under Dr. Ralph Saporito, studying poison frog gland development and resource allocation in response to alkaloid acquisition.
Derek Thiry, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I graduated with a B.S. in Organismal Biology from Kent State University in 2015. After graduating I interned with Dr. Timothy Matson at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and assisted with his research on mudpuppies. For my M.S. I am going to be researching the behaviors of erythristic P. cinereus in the Anthony/Hickerson lab.