Ecology & Evolution
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Graduate Student Directory

Penelope Ales

Penelope Ales

Rachael Best

Rachael Best

William Booker

William Booker

Randi Bowman

Randi Bowman

My interests lie broadly in studying how depth affects coral ecology. Particularly, I aim to assess relationships between depth and corals in terms of coral-zooxanthella symbioses and community structure. Much of the mesophotic and deep sea remains understudied because of the difficulty associated with accessing such remote ecosystems, but their ecological importance merits continued study. I hope to use my research to add to the existing body of work done in these systems.

Ethan Cissell

Ethan Cissell

I am interested in predator-prey interactions between bacteriophages and bacteria in aquatic microbial communities. My research focuses on disruptions to these interactions from changing environmental conditions, and the consequences of disruption on bacterial population dynamics.

Mysia Dye

Mysia Dye

Schyler Ellsworth

Schyler Ellsworth

Abigail Engleman

Abigail Engleman

Natasza Fontaine

Natasza Fontaine

Jasmin Graham

Jasmin Graham

Alexa Guerrera

Alexa Guerrera

I am interested in social behavior and how interactions among conspecifics can drive evolutionary processes. Currently, I am studying the effects of male-male competition and female preference on the maintenance of genetic diversity in Trinidadian guppies. Pronouns: she/her/hers

Blake Hamilton

Blake Hamilton

My research interests lie in the field of fisheries ecology, more specifically with respect to elasmobranchs and their interactions with other fishes. As part of my masters research, I will be coordinating fishery-independent gillnet and longline surveys in the Florida Big Bend to continue the long-term monitoring of shark and teleost communities in this area, and use this data to investigate temporal and spatial variation in trophic interactions with the help of stable isotope analysis.

Kate Hill

Kate Hill

(she/her/hers) I study sponges and their associated mesofauna to examine the ecology and evolution of mutualisms. I am currently exploring how habitat and sponge host influence the diversity and abundance of associated symbionts using field manipulations in the Florida Keys and Panama.

Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan

Chace Holzheuser

Chace Holzheuser

Alexandra Hooks

Alexandra Hooks

I study the cost and benefits of promiscuity in a marine gastropod. I use a variety of field methods, laboratory mating designs, and molecular techniques to explore this question.

Joseph Horacek

Joseph Horacek

Eve Humphrey

Eve Humphrey

My research focuses on the ecological costs of predation risk and how the long-term effect of non-lethal predation influences reproduction, behavior and response of the molecular stress network. I am interested in how animals may or may not acclimate to predators over time and how natural selection may modify endocrine/behavioral responses to stress.

Tyler Hunt

Tyler Hunt

Johanna Imhoff

Johanna Imhoff

I am interested in many aspects of the ecology of marine fishes. My dissertation research focuses on community ecology of six species of deepwater sharks, particularly on differences in trophic ecology and competition based on taxonomy and depth habitat. I am also studying the effect of trophic ecology on toxicology by studying methylmercury contamination in shark muscle tissue.

Luke Jones

Luke Jones

In the Houle lab, I use experimental evolution/artificial selection and whole-genome resequencing, to research parallel genetic evolution between evolved populations of D. melanogaster and D. simulans. These two closely related species offer the ability to evaluate the predictability of genetic evolution in response to an identical selection pressure.

Sarah Kettelkamp

Sarah Kettelkamp

I am interested in evolutionary genetics, specifically in the context of sexual conflict. My dissertation is focused on understanding the genetics of female resistance to male harm in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Pronouns: she/her

Meredith Kuzel

Meredith Kuzel

Elizabeth Lange

Elizabeth Lange

I am generally interested in animal behavior, evolution and genetics. Currently I am investigating how variation in social environment may explain the maintenance of phenotypic variation. My dissertation work focuses on how genes, social environment and gene by social environment interactions influence the development of male behavioral and life history traits in sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna). I am also addressing how males with different life histories vary in fitness across social contexts.

Kylie Lawrence

Kylie Lawrence

Joshua Manning

Joshua Manning

I am broadly interested in community ecology and the effects of anthropogenic stressors on organismal physiology and ecology. To date, my research has focused on ecological interactions of organisms on coral reefs and the effects of ocean acidification on algal ecology and physiology. My current PhD dissertation research focuses on the role of parrotfish behavior in driving spatial variation in benthic community structure and bioerosion on the fringing coral reefs of Bonaire, Netherlands.

Melanie Medina

Melanie Medina

Scott Miller

Scott Miller

Brian  Moe

Brian Moe

Jessie Mutz

Jessie Mutz

I am broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of interacting populations. In particular, my research addresses how intraspecific variation and spatial scale mediate species interactions and scale up to influence population-level outcomes. My dissertation work links the effects of conspecific density on individuals and the effects of density on populations using mathematical models and experiments with the leaf beetle, Leptinotarsa juncta.

Gunnar Nystrom

Gunnar Nystrom

Kevin Olsen

Kevin Olsen

In general I'm interested in the reproduction and recruitment of marine benthic invertebrates. Currently my research is focused on how heterogeneity within colonial corals may contribute to genetic diversity and coral reef resiliency.

Jared Osland

Jared Osland

Monica Paniagua Montoya

Monica Paniagua Montoya

Cheston Peterson

Cheston Peterson

I�m generally interested in the community ecology of marine fishes, with particular focus on elasmobranchs. For my dissertation I am investigating the effects of a seasonal migration of Blacktip sharks, Carcharhinus limbatus, on coastal seagrass communities in the Florida Big Bend, and I am using this system to evaluate evidence for either top-down control from a single predator species or diffuse predation through several species occupying similar trophic levels.

Fritz Pichardo

Fritz Pichardo

Benjamin Pluer

Benjamin Pluer

I am broadly interested in better understanding the evolution and ecology of microbial symbionts in the digestive system of fish. In particular, I'm interested in identifying the role of digestive system microbial symbionts in alleviating the nutrient loading stress in local freshwater systems, using metagenomic and metaproteomic analysis of key microbial species, to determine contribution to adaptation.

Jackson Powell

Jackson Powell

My research focuses on the potential for evolutionary rescue in marine invertebrates with complex life cycles. I take a quantitative genetics approach to estimate additive genetic variance in, and genetic correlations between, traits in larval and adult life stages. To estimate these variances and correlations, I conduct breeding designs and environmental manipulations using Molgula occidentalis and Bugula neritina, two invertebrates found in nearby shallow subtidal waters.

Natali Ramirez-Bullon

Natali Ramirez-Bullon

Rare species are rare for different reasons and in different ways, and understanding the causes of rarity will help refine predictions for the consequences of biodiversity loss. I am interested in understanding what makes a species rare and how some are able to persist at a stable size while others are threatened with imminent extinction. I will conduct field demographic studies to compare rare and common sister taxa, and complement these with manipulations of factors that can promote rarity to identify features that differentiate rare species that are stable from rare species that are threatened by extinction.

Bobbie Renfro

Bobbie Renfro

Aaron Ridall

Aaron Ridall

I am broadly interested in understanding how anthropogenic pollution is affecting marine environments. I am particularly interested in how the presence of microplastics changes nutrient availability in subtidal sediments. My current research focuses on quantifying the effects of microplastics on marine biogeochemistry, specifically carbon and nitrogen cycling, in the subtidal sediments of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Pearl Rivers

Pearl Rivers

Carl Saltzberg

Carl Saltzberg

Brendan Scherer

Brendan Scherer

My research has two primary directions. The first uses 16s rRNA sequencing to describe endophytic bacterial diversity in mangrove trees, especially Rhizophora mangle. The second direction uses RADseq methods to investigate the ongoing range expansion of R. mangle into the Florida Panhandle and aims to determine the relative importance of long and short-distance dispersal.

Matthew Schumm

Matthew Schumm

My interests include population dynamics, distributions and evolution of (mostly marine and aquatic) organisms, along with development of new quantitative modeling approaches. A current focus of research is eco-evolutionary impacts of harvest on populations.

Allison Snyder

Allison Snyder

I am interested in how fire affects plant-pollinator communities. In particular, I aim to look at how fire mosaics and fire intensity can affect pollinator survival and plant reproduction in Southeastern pine savanna communities.

Nathan Spindel

Nathan Spindel

My goal is to advance our understanding of how trophic dynamics and environmental change affect the metabolic ecology of size-structured populations. I currently study marine invertebrates in temperate kelp forest ecosystems as model organisms for understanding these dynamics. In the past, I have also studied the physiological ecology of tropical corals and calcifying algae under environmental pressure from ocean acidification.

Alexander Strawhand

Alexander Strawhand

Kathleen Torrence

Kathleen Torrence

Jennifer Valvo

Jennifer Valvo

I am interested in how phenotypic and genetic variation are maintained in ecologically relevant traits that are under strong natural selection. I examine this by looking at the behavioral and genomic mechanisms underlying female mate preference and the maintenance of polymorphism in Trinidad guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and their close relatives, Poecilia picta.

Margaret Vogel

Margaret Vogel

I am interested in ecological processes and community dynamics that occur on a micro-scale. My current work examines the composition and structure of microbial communities that live on seagrass blades and the relationship these communities have with their seagrass host.

Niall Whalen

Niall Whalen

Courtney Whitcher

Courtney Whitcher

I am broadly interested in the evolution of visual and auditory signals in anuran communication and sexual selection. My current project focuses on examining the role of biofluorescence in mate choice and predation of frogs.

Molly Wiebush

Molly Wiebush

King
Mailcode: 4370

April Wooten

April Wooten