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Personnel

Personnel


Faculty & Staff

Liz headshot with pink flowers in the background
Elizabeth Bergey

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Professor & Heritage Biologist

retired January 2024

Liz's research interests are in the ecology and conservation biology of land snails, freshwater macroinvertebrates and algae. 

Email: lbergey@ou.edu

Eli capturing the view of the moon
Eli Bridge

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Interim Director & Associate Professor

Eli's area of study is bird behavior and migration, and he often engages in the development of new methods and technologies to do so. 

Email: ebridge@ou.edu

Eli's Webpage

Amy with the rare Royal Catchfly
Amy Buthod

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Heritage Botanist

Amy surveys the state for rare and invasive plants.  She conducts floristic inventorys across Oklahoma including Registered Natural Areas, The Nature Conservancy preserves, State Wildlife Management Areas, and National Forests.  She is also the Collections Manager in the Bebb Herbarium.

Email: amybuthod@ou.edu

Kristin in front of the wingspand measurement at the hawk mountain sanctuary
Kristin Comolli

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Database Analyst

Kristin handles information and data requests for the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory.

Email: kcomolli@ou.edu

Priscilla on top of a mountain
Priscilla Crawford

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Conservation Biologist

Priscilla coordinates the Oklahoma Natural Areas Registry and works with landowners to protect biodiversity on their property.  She is currently studying native plant restoration and pollinator habitat improvements.

Email: prill@ou.edu

Priscilla's Webpage

headshot of Bruce
Bruce Hoagland

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Professor

Bruce's research interests are in plant conservation, biogeography, and vegetation classification. 

Email: bhoagland@ou.edu

James in the field
Keng-Lou James Hung

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Assistant Professor & Heritage Zoologist

James is a community ecologist studying pollinator diversity and conservation, with a focus on bees. He also studies pollination biology and climate change. 

Email: KLJHung@ou.edu

James' Webpage

Abigail with mountain range behind her
Abigail Moore

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Associate Professor

Curator, Bebb Herbarium

Abigail studies plant evolution using DNA sequence data, with a focus on how plants adapt to their current habitats and switch between habitats. She is also the herbarium curator and am interested in floristics and taxonomy.

Email: abigail.j.moore@ou.edu

 

Headshot of Jeremy
Jeremy Ross

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Associate Professor & Heritage Zoologist

Area of Study: Winter grassland bird movement ecology and conservation. Creating sustainable landscapes. Severe weather ecology

Email: rossjd@ou.edu

Jeremy's Webpage

headshot of lara
Lara Souza

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Associate Professor & Associate Director of the School of Biological Sciences

Lara's main focus of study is understanding how global changes, such as climatic change and invasive species, impact plant biodiversity and carbon dynamics. Locations for her lab's research questions are in temperate prairies, tropical cerrado, and montane meadows. 

Email: lara.souza@ou.edu

Headshot of Jessie
Jessie Tate

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Administrative and Financial Coordinator

Email: jtate@ou.edu

Headshot of Caryn
Caryn Vaughn

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

George Lynn Cross Research Professor & Presidential Professor

Caryn's research focuses on the ecology and conservation biology of streams, in particular the functional roles of freshwater mussels, and in quantifying the ecosystem services provided by stream organisms. 

Email: cvaughn@ou.edu

Caryn's Webpage

Postdocs

Justin Bain in a montane meadow
Justin Bain

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Postdoctoral Researcher

Justin's research focuses on understanding how food and nutrition structure species interactions, especially in the context of plant-pollinator interactions

Email: jbain@ou.edu


Graduate Students

Headshot of Elizabeth Besozzi
Elizabeth Besozzi

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Eli Bridge

Elizabeth studies the ecology and behavior of Neotropical highland birds using stable isotope analysis and Bayesian statistical methods. She is also a recent David L. Boren Fellow, studying Mandarin in Taipei, Taiwan.

Email: ebesozzi@ou.edu

Elizabeth's Webpage

bird in grass
Paula Cimprich

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Jeff Kelly

Paula studies animal movement in relation to the environment.

Email: paula.m.cimprich-1@ou.edu

Luis with bird
Luis Cuerto

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: Jeremy Ross

Luis is interested in the drivers of bird diversity patterns. He focuses his research on two regions, the tropical Andes and the system: American grassland and the Arctic tundra. He studies the genetic responses to climatic gradients and the phylogeographic path that led birds to their current distributions.

Email: l.cueto@ou.edu

headshot of Mariela
Mariela Encarnacion

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Lara Souza

Mariela's research focuses on the use of remote sensing and ecological methods to study how drought affects functional groups in a precipitation gradient in a praire.

Email: mariela.encarnacion@ou.edu

Mariela's Webpage

Alex with a layout of mussel species in the water
Alex Franzen

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: Caryn Vaughn

Alex is interested in the conservation of biological diversity and factors governing the ecology, evolution, and distribution of riverine communities. His research uses freshwater mussles as a model to test hypotheses of dispersal and speciation. Specifically, he uses innovative genomic and 3D morphometric mehtods to study diversification and shell morphology evolution to a group of mussels that contain endangered species and cryptic diversity.

Email: ajfranzen@ou.edu

Alex's Webpage

mangroves
Aiyesha Ghani

Pronouns: She/They

PI: Bruce Hoagland

Aiyesha's interests are in Applied Geospatial Technologies, Land Change/Land Use, Hydroclimate/Hydrometerologic impacts on vegetation, and Tropical Ecosystems.

Email: aiyesha.ghani@ou.edu

Christina holding a bird
Christina Kolbmann

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Jeff Kelly

Christina's research interests include animal behavior, ornithology, sexual selection, and conservation management.

Email: christinak@ou.edu

Christina's Webpage

bee on flower
Leann Monaghan

Pronouns: She/They

PI: Abigail Moore

Leann likes to look at macroevolution and taxonomy in plants. They work with both genetic and morphological data. 

Email: leann.e.monaghan-1@ou.edu

headshot of Sam
Sam O'Dell

Pronouns : He/Him/His

PI: James Hung

Sam is an ecologist who enjoys working with plants, pollinators, and interactions between these two fascinating groups! He has worked for a variety of government institutions on the ecology and management of various insect taxa. He recently completed his MSc degree at San Diego Sate University, where he studied seasonal patterns of plant-pollinator interaction networks. 

Email: sodell@ou.edu

Headshot of Lauren
Lauren Rosenfelt

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Lara Souza & James Hung

Lauren Rosenfelt is a freelance natural science illustrator and Plant Biology graduate student. She graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2014 with a BFA and minor in Liberal Arts. Her art and research focuses on sharing the importance of native wildlife and plant species to ecosystem functions.

Email: laurenmrosenfelt@ou.edu

Lauren's Webpage

bird with tree on oklahoma outline
Alva Strand

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Jeff Kelly

Alva studies the effects of climate change on the timing of avian migration. Specifically, she is using North American aerial insectivores as a system to investigate how functional traits shape sensitivity of migration timing to climate change. 

Email: alvastrand@ou.edu

Marisa outside in the field with tall grass behind her
Marisa Szubryt

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Abigail Moore

Marisa's current doctoral work is on the phylogenomics and taxonomy of Heterotheca (Asteraceae: Astereae) while her Masters work is focused on the Euthamia (Asteraceae: Astereae) and broader North American Astereae relationships as a whole.

Email: marisabszubryt@ou.edu

Abigail holding a bird
Abigail Triemstra

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Eli Bridge

Abigail studies the subtle effects that heavy metal pollution can have on cognition and other health biomarkers in birds.  Her research interests are ecotoxicology, ornithology, and behavioral ecology.

Email: triemstra@ou.edu

Headshot of Ben Turnley
Ben Turnley

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: James Hung

Ben is interested in native bee community ecology and conservation biology. His current research focuses on the influence of grazingland management on pollinator diversity.

Email: benturnley@ou.edu

Zoe Hiking
Zoe Wall

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Lara Souza

Zoe is involved in ongoing studies investigating the role of precipitation gradients on functional diversity of plant communities in temperate grassland.

Email: zwall@ou.edu

Headshot of Jackson Wingert
Jackson Wingert

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: James Hung

Jackson is interested in insect conservation in general, and is particularly intrigued by ant biogeography and parasites/parasitoids of solitary bees. His research focuses on arthropods of Oklahoma's sand dunes.

Email: jackson.t.wingert-1@ou.edu


Other Professional Staff

Izzy holding an insect net
Izzy Gonzales

Field Biologist

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: James Hung

Izzy is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. At OBS, she surveys bumble bees and native pollinators throughout our state.

Email: isabelle.s.gonzales-1@ou.edu


Undergraduate Students

selfie of Ben in a lab
Benjamin Conard

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: Abigail Moore

Email: benjamin.r.conard-1@ou.edu

Elisabeth hodling a mussel
Elisabeth Moore

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Caryn Vaughn

Email: elisabeth.a.moore-1@ou.edu

Emily headshot
Emily Nguyen

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Priscilla Crawford & Lara Souza

Email: emily.u.nguyen-1@ou.edu

Headshot of Samantha Huff
Samantha Huff

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Abigail Moore

Email: samanthah815@ou.edu

Heidi holding a flower
Heidi Askeland

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: Abigail Moore

Email: heidi.l.askeland-1@ou.edu

Headshot of Jayden Thomas
Jayden Thomas

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: Lara Souza

Email: jayden.a.thomas-1@ou.edu

Israel holding an insect net
Israel Lugo

Pronouns: He/Him/His

PI: Lara Souza

Email: israel.t.lugo-1@ou.edu

Headshot of Izzy Encapera
Izzy Encapera

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

PI: James Hung

Email: isabella.m.encapera-1@ou.edu


Alumni

Headshot of Teraye
Teraye Gillum-Morrissette

MS 2023; PI: Abigail Moore

Teraye studied the comparison of microbiomes of herbarium and silica-dried leaves of Grindelia ciliata.

Teraye's Webpage

Will at Bird Observatory
William Oakley

PhD 2023; PI: Eli Bridge

William studied ecology and conservation of salt marsh birds; wintering ecology of birds; migration ecology; behavioral landscape ecology.

Meelyn holding a bird
Meelyn Pandit

PhD 2023; PI: Jeremy Ross & Eli Bridge

Meelyn studied how noise and climate change affect avian behavior. Currently, Meelyn is working as a Cloud Developer for Cellular Tracking Technologies developing the Terra, a smart-automated recording device to identify bird songs in people's backyards. 

Meelyn's Webpage

Nu holding a bird
Nu Perera

PhD 2023; PI: Jeremy Ross

Nu studied behavioral ecology of wintering grassland birds.

Nu's Webpage