College of Science and Health > Academics > Biological Sciences > Graduate Programs > Current Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students

Jon Allen

Jonathan Gifford Allen

University of Evansville
BS, Biological Sciences, BA, Physics

My research interests are in evolutionary biology as well as paleontology. As an undergraduate student I researched parasite load in green treefrogs as a method to understand range expansion and competition between local frog populations. As a graduate student, I am currently examining marine fossil vertebrates within a singular ‘bonebed’ as a proxy to study the ecology within the Western Interior Seaway by making comparisons with the known record.  (Advisor: Dr. Shimada )

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Zlata Bogin

Capital University
BS, Biology

My research interests are in reproductive biology and endocrinology. As a woman in science, I recognize how medical professions have only recently acknowledged the different ways that sex and gender impact health and illnesses. Because medical research has historically left women out, we still know less about the ways in which many diseases affect women or how to prevent, diagnose, and treat them. My thesis research focuses on how vitamin A deficiency affects fertility and ovarian development in mice.  (Advisor: Dr. Kipp)

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Ed Eshoo

University of Dayton
BS, Biological Sciences

As a graduate student, I work with the opportunistic, Gram-negative pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. My interests are in bacterial and phage biology, with an emphasis on understanding the mechanisms of bacterial antibiotic resistance and phage infection. My research has focused on the ongoing development of phage therapy as an alternative to traditional antibiotics. I’ve sought to further the primary scientific research regarding the isolation and characterization of bacteriophages against S. maltophilia. Using microbiological and biotechnological techniques, I have isolated phage from environmental samples, determined the size of genomic DNA, and characterized the biological activity of phage in vitro. (Advisor: Dr. Brooke)

Joe Forberg

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

I am interested in the evolutionary patterns of organisms and how evolution can impact the interaction between species and their environment. I am studying how changes in environmental temperature affect the development of bone in the axial skeleton of the Mexican tetra Astyanax mexicanus. (Advisor: Dr. Aguirre)

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César Estuardo Fuentes

Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
BS, Biological Sciences

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of vertebrates, especially where these two areas complement each other and can be used to aid conservation efforts. More specifically, I’m interested in studying how ecological processes influence the evolution of different animals, particularly fish. I’m currently studying two species of Neotropical freshwater fish from the genus Rocio (Teleostei: Cichlidae) in Guatemala. I’m using field based environmental characteristics and geometric morphometrics to describe the degree of ecological niche overlap between the two species. My thesis aims to use trait-based ecology within an evolutionary framework. (Advisor: Dr. Aguirre)

Mark Gudger

DePaul University
Biological Sciences

Cancer Biology (Advisor: Dr. Rajah)

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David Hohl

Kenyon College
BA, Biology

David is pursuing a Master's degree in urban ecology. He previously worked in sageland ecosystems of the American West, performing habitat research. His Master's research explores the habitat interactions of tree cavities and cavity nesting birds across a range of human-dominated landscapes. He hopes to use this research to improve the interactions between human landscape use and wildlife habitat, and to improve the quality of natural spaces in towns and cities. (Advisor: Dr. LaMontagne)

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Mary Jones

University of Mount Olive
Biological Sciences

My research involves looking at the physiological effects of ocean acidification in Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica). I am particularly interested in their ability to sequester lead [Pb] in their calcium carbonate shells in acidified water, which is an important ecosystem service oysters provide in estuarine environments. Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase ocean acidification and pose a great threat to most shelled marine invertebrates, so it is important to understand the implications on some of the ocean's most vulnerable inhabitants - oysters. (Advisor: Dr. Bystriansky)

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John Juranek

Loyola University Chicago
BS, Biology

I have always been interested in paleontology and evolution. As an undergrad I studied ornithology and ichthyology, and my current research is exploring the organisms that existed during the first marine incursion of the Western Interior Seaway into North America during the Cretaceous period. (Advisor: Dr. Shimada)

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Alexandra Krak

DePaul University
BS, Biological Sciences

My research interests are in fish physiology and evolution. I studied the prehistoric shark, Megachasma applegatei, during my undergrad with Dr. Shimada and worked to reconstruct the dentition of this extinct shark. For my graduate studies, I am working on assessing the salinity tolerance of the swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri, to better understand how this fish may have been able to cross over bodies of saltwater to enter new freshwater habitats. (Advisor: Dr. Bystriansky)

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Olivia LaMore

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
BS, Animal Science

I am interested in exploring how changes in seawater pH affect the physiology of sea urchins (Lytechinus variegatus). (Advisor: Dr. Bystriansky)

Sarah Mashburn

Kennesaw State University

Genetics (Advisor: Dr. Gilliland)

Hilvin Molina

DePaul University
Biological Sciences

Microbiology (Advisor: Dr. Brooke)

Robin Redline

Albion College
BA, Biology

Advisor: Dr. Rajah

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Simone Teresa Rhodes

DePaul University
BS, Biological Sciences

My research interests are focused on the effects of environmental contaminants on the developing neural, endocrine and immune systems. My thesis project is looking at the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on affective behavior as well as ethanol and saccharine consumption in adolescent rats. I am particularly interested in health outcomes in children and adolescents and hope to carry-on related research in the future. (Advisor: Dr. Bell)

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Teddy Stoycheva

Loyola University Chicago
BS, Biology w/ Ecology emphasis

Everything is connected through an intricate and unseen "web". Every organism is a "cell" that functions individually and in imperfect harmony with others around it. My interests revolve around understanding how each individual part functions to create a harmonious whole. My current research focuses on examining the effects of climate change on conifer reproduction, specifically regarding seed quality and viability. With a strong passion for the beauty of nature and its conservation, I hope to one day use the knowledge and experience I gain through my research to help make a difference in the little rock we call our home. (Advisor: Dr. LaMontagne)

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Konrad Taube

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BS, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Phylogenomics and speciation, bioinformatics (Advisor: Dr. Aguirre)

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Myles Walsh

Trinity College, Hartford CT
BS, Environmental Science

My research interests are in paleobiology and the skeletal anatomy of extant and extinct fauna. My M.S. thesis research project explores the torso morphology of extant amniote taxa with the goal of identifying patterns that can be applied to extinct, fossil taxa. (Advisor: Dr. Shimada)

Duane Yu

DePaul University
Biological Sciences

My research interest focuses on long-term effects of repeat concussion on neurogenesis within the region of hippocampal dentate gyrus. This includes observing protein expression due to concussion on the stages of neurogenesis: proliferation, migration, differentiation and maturation of neural stem cells into mature, functional neurons. (Advisor: Dr. Kozlowski)