Amy Adams amy.e.adams at ou.edu

I am a Ph.D student co-advised by Dr. Ken Hobson and Dr. Michael Patten. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology, summa cum laude, with a concentration in conservation, with minors in sustainability studies and interdisciplinary studies, and with an international distinction. As an undergraduate, I became interested in what determines species distributions and abundances, which led to research and work experiences involving Great Barrier Reef dinoflagellates and invertebrates, Panamanian rainforests, New Mexican endangered species and forest-dwelling arthropods, and a Colorado grass-endophyte association. I plan to develop an ecological and entomological Ph.D. project that may include resource pulses and arthropod community and population responses to disturbance.

    Mehrnaz Afkhami Mehrnaz.Afkhami-1 at ou.edu

Rajen Bajgain rajen at ou.edu

My primary interest is exploring the relationship between micro-meteorological factors and vegetation feedback under changing climate using Eddy Covariance methods. Major research areas include canopy-atmosphere exchange processes, measurement of fluxes, analyzing and modeling remote sensing data of land surface processes and drought monitoring using remote sensing data.

Personal Website Lab Website

    Elizabeth Besozzi ebesozzi at ou.edu
    Steven Bittner Steven.M.Bittner-1 at ou.edu

Michelle Busch buschmh at ou.edu

Michelle graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014. As an undergraduate she worked primarily in the Cardinale Lab with algal communities that could best be converted to biofuels. Once she graduated, she worked with a non-profit in Uganda and as a lab technician at the University of Houston; focusing on plant-soil-feedback interactions in the Crawford Lab. She hopes to study how anthropogenic effects impact macroinvertebrate communities, hydrology, trophic level interactions, and food webs for her dissertation.

Lab Website


Karen Castillioni castilioniik at ou.edu Webpage

My name is Karen Castillioni. I am a PhD student advised by Dr. Lara Souza. I graduated from UNESP (Sao Paulo State University, Brazil) in 2009 with a B.S. in Biology. In 2015, I received my Master’s degree at the same university. As a Master’s student, I assessed the effects of management techniques to control African invasive grasses in a Cerrado Preserve. Currently, I am interested in the role of drought in shaping the structure and function of communities with a focus in grasslands. My main research interests are on biological conversation, climate change effects, biological invasions and restoration ecology.


    Quing Chang at ou.edu

Paula Cimprich paula.m.cimprich at ou.edu

I grew up in rural Ohio where I developed a love for the outdoors and then stoked an interest in conservation biology and land stewardship after travels to places brimming with biodiversity such as Australia, Thailand, and Kenya. After finishing my B.S. in Zoology and Environmental Science with honors at Miami University of Ohio, I worked primarily as an avian field technician. I’m now completing my M.S. in Dr. Jeff Kelly’s lab and continuing on towards a doctorate degree. My master’s thesis focuses on understanding the annual cycle of a migratory songbird breeding in Oklahoma, with emphasis on using radio telemetry to study movement in relation to breeding dispersal and habitat selection as birds are growing new feathers. For future research, I plan to integrate my interests in conservation biology, avian ecology, geographic information systems, and environmental education.


Luis E. Cueto Aparicio l.cueto at ou.edu

I am interested in exploring the molecular basis of species limits in communities of sister taxa or among populations within a species that have been isolated for a long time. I am a passionate filed ornithologist and before to come to OU I worked in the molecular biology lab at the UNTRM in Peru and I collaborated whit several conservationist NGOs in the Peruvian Amazon. I am co-advised by

Katharine Marske Lab Website

Jeremy Ross Lab Website

    Marcos d. da Cruz Marcos.D.Da.Cruz-1@ou.edu

Russell Doughty Russell.Doughty at ou dot edu

My interest in drought, climate, weather, and biogeochemical nutrient cycling performed by forested landscapes at large spatiotemporal scales is what brought me to OU to pursue a PhD. Using remote sensing technology under the guidance of Dr. Xiangming Xiao, I hope to model carbon and water fluxes over time for the Ouachita Highlands of southeast Oklahoma. I’m a 4th-generation Oklahoman from Talihina. After high school, I earned a BA at Grinnell College (2005) and a Master of Natural Resources from Oregon State University (2014). I returned to Oklahoma in 2013 to work for a non-profit that advocates for the scientific and sustainable management of Oklahoma’s water. I often describe myself as a three-legged stool. My eccentric background is very rich in computer, social, and natural sciences.

Personal webpage.


Samuel Eliades sjeliades at ou.edu

I am a PhD student working with Dr. Cam Siler at the Sam Noble Museum. I received a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University in 2017. As an undergraduate, I completed independent research projects on the systematics of Cyrtodactylus, Gekko, and Hemiphyllodactylus in Laos. It was through these projects that I developed an interest in Southeast Asian herpetology. As a PhD student in the Siler Lab, I am primarily focused on phylogenetics, biogeography, and conservation of Southeast Asian reptiles and amphibians.

Lab webpage.


Elyse Freitas efreitas at ou.edu

    Laura Gatch Laura.Gatch-1 at ou.edu

Aintzane Santaquiteria Gil Aintzane.Santaquiteria.Gil-1 at ou.edu

I am a PhD student in Dr. Ricardo Betancur's Lab. I received a B.S. degree in Biology and Marine Biology from the University of Navarra (Spain) in 2014 and an M.S. degree in Biology from UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in 2016. During my master’s, I worked with phylogenetics of the oldest known living vertebrate, the Greenland shark. I am interested in addressing macroevolutionary questions using phylogenomics and comparative analyses using fish as a study system. Lab Webpage

  Katherine Goodenough kgoodenough at ou.edu

II completed my undergraduate at Humboldt State University (California), and I received my MS in ecology from San Diego State University (California) in 2014. There is evidence that some landbird species are likely to complement changes in migratory strategy with changes in key migratory traits which are important for flight efficiency, but relatively few research projects have tested whether this morphological plasticity occurs in seabirds. My aim at OU is to use a seabird model, the Black Skimmer, to assess whether coastal nesting seabirds are also able to complement changes in migration strategy with changes in key migratory traits. My research interests aside from seabirds and migration are predator-prey dynamics (intraguild predation fascinates me), parasitism and its value in the coastal beach system, and ecological applications of stable isotopes. I also like to tinker and develop new field techniques combining old methods with newer applications such as combining radio telemetry and stable isotopes to better understand seasonal variation in diet and movements
    Edward Higgins Edward.D.Higgins-1 at ou.edu

Katherine Hooker khooker at ou.edu

I earned my B.S. in Biology from Baylor University in 2014, after which I worked as a field technician in the King Aquatic Ecology lab studying the effects of phosphorus loads on stream ecosystems in Oklahoma and Arkansas. I am currently pursuing a PhD with Dr. K.D. Hambright. My research interests include cyanobacteria and harmful algae blooms (HABs): specifically, their ecology, detection strategies, and management practices. I am developing effective ways to detect these blooms using a combination of remote sensing and qPCR, and am also interested in the microbial communities associated with HABs.

Lab Webpage


Emily Kiehnau emily.l.kiehnau at ou.edu

I earned a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University in 2015. I am currently a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Larry Weider and I am interested in the fields of aquatic and evolutionary ecology. I am particularly interested in exploring the effect that sediment egg banks have on the ecology and evolution of Daphnia populations.I am working in the lab of Dr. Larry Weider.

Lab Website

    Darin Kopp darin.kopp-1 at ou.edu

Du Ling lingdu at ou.edu

I have background of remote sensing and geographic information system in forests. My research experiences mainly include forest carbon estimation and urban heat island effect monitoring under global warming. In my doctoral study, my research interests may concentrate on ecosystem modelling and forest ecosystem responses to global climate change.

Lab Webpage


Jonathan Lopez Jonathan.W.Lopez at ou.edu

I am an ecologist focusing on freshwater mussels. I am interested in how mussels impact the biological communities and ecosystems around them through nutrient cycles like calcium, carbon, and nitrogen.

Lab Webpage

    Jessica McLaughlin Jessica.F.Mclaughlin-1 at ou.edu
    Rosie Moon-Escamilla Rosa.M.MoonEscamilla-1 at ou.edu

John Muller JmullerS1 at ou.edu

I am a PhD student in Dr. Jeremy Ross’s Lab. I graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology in 2012 and an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Texas State University in 2015. I have worked for various agencies and institutions including USFWS, NPS, Tucson Audubon Society, University of Illinois, and a few others. My main research revolves around the winter ecology of grassland birds. For most grassland birds their ecology on the breeding grounds is well known, but their migratory and wintering life histories are lacking or completely unknown. For effective conservation of species, it is crucial to look at their entire life cycle, the majority of which is during non-breeding seasons (migration or winter). While here at OU I will be researching habitat associations, seasonal movement and factors affecting winter survival of Longspurs in the Southern Plains. Website

    Meelyn Pandit meelyn.pandit at ou.edu
    Nu Perera nuperera at ou.edu
  Traci Popejoy tracypopejoy at ou dot edu

I earned my MS in applied geography from the University of orth Texas. For my master's thesis, I compared freshwater mussel shells from two archaeological sites to a contemporary survey and discussed the conservation implications. I am interested in biogeography and community ecology in freshwater systems. Currently, I am in Dr. Caryn Vaughn’s lab researching nutrient cycling in Oklahoma streams. .

Rebecca Prather rebeccaprather at ou dot edu

Rebecca is from Boerne, Texas. She graduated with a BS in Biology with honors from George Washington University. While there she studied mechanisms of coexistence within Temnothorax by looking at niche partitioning as well as inter- and intraspecific competition. Rebecca is working in the lab of Dr. Michael Kaspari. Her current interests include tropical ecology and the effects of habitat complexity on arthropod performance and distribution.

Lab Website


Emanuell Duarte Ribeiro Emanuell.Ribeiro at ou.edu

PhD student with Dr. Ricardo Betancur; MS National Institute of Amazonian Research – Brazil; Research interests include understanding the evolutionary mechanisms that drove parallel radiations in marine fish clades using phylogenetic comparative approaches.

    Golya Schahrokhi Golya.Shahrokhi at ou.edu

Sierra Smith SierraSmith at ou.edu

I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2019 with my B.S. in Biology. I am now a PhD student working with Dr. Cameron Siler. During my undergraduate, my research focused on reptile and amphibian disease prevalence in Oklahoma and the Philippines. Currently, I am interested in understanding how a host's habitat, diet, phylogenetic relatedness, and ecology influences the diversity and function of its microbiome, particularly in Philippine reptiles and amphibians.


Montral Spikes spikesm at ou.edu


Giovanni Tolentino giovannitolentino at ou.edu

I am a PhD student working under Hayley Lanier at the Sam Noble Museum. I received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Oklahoma in 2017.  I am interested in conservation, biodiversity, evolutionary ecology, and ethology. During my undergraduate, I conducted a study on the eradication of Mus musculus through bait palatability on the islands of Hawaii. My current research is on the phylogenetics of alpine mammals.


Kai Wang Kai.Wang-2 at ou.edu

Kai Wang obtained his B.S. from Washington State University in General Zoology in 2014, and he went to University of Oklahoma for his Master and PhD degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, working with Dr. Cameron Siler. Kai’s
research interests include taxonomy, systematics, and evolution of reptiles and amphibians from Indochina and Himalaya.

Personal Website Lab Website


Matthew Wersebe matthew.wersebe at ou.edu

I graduated in 2018 with my BS in Biology from SUNY Binghamton University. I am currently a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Larry Weider here at OU. I am interested in using daphnia resting eggs to understand how populations persist and evolve in the face of rapid anthropogenic environmental change. In the past, I have worked on understanding how diverse environmental stressors (e.g. contaminants, rearing temperatures) impacts amphibian susceptibility to parasitism.

Personal Website


Xiaocui Wu xiaocui.wu at ou.edu

I received my B.S. in GIS and M.S. in Environmental Remote Sensing from Nanjing University, China. My interests mainly centers on the responses and feedbacks of ecosystems to human disturbances and global climate change. Specifically, my research employs a combined toolset (ecological models, eddy-covariance, remote sensing, spatial analysis and so on) to explore the carbon, water and energy cycle between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, and examine the responses of ecosystems to disturbances and climate change. My advisor is Professor Xiangming Xiao.

Lab Website

    Zhenhua Zou zhua.zou at ou.edu