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LAB Members

EVOLUTION & FIREFLY RESEARCH

For Science Education Research please click here

 

Kathrin

Kathrin Stanger-Hall:  PI. Kathrin started at UGA in the Summer of 2006. Her research centers on the evolution of communication systems. She uses molecular phylogenies to study signal evolution in fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) including signal production, signal perception and environmental influences. 

 

Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yelena Pacheco. Graduate Student. Yelena started as an Interdisciplinary Life Sciences graduate student at UGA in Fall 2018, and joined the Stanger-Hall lab in 2019. Yelena's website and her research video.

Margot Popecki. Graduate Student. Margot started as an Interdisciplinary Life Sciences graduate student at UGA in Fall 2017. She initially worked on sex evolution in asparagus before joining the Stanger-Hall lab in 2019.

 

Undergraduate Research Students

 

Ethan Mann: Undergraduate Student. Ethan joined the lab in Fall 2022. He is working with Yelena on the evolution of eye and antenna size in fireflies on the worldwide phylogeny.

 

Lab Alumni 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luiz Silveira: Former Postdoctoral Researcher. Luiz earned his PhD in 2018 at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. He works on the taxonomy of South American fireflies and on global biogeography of the Lampyridae. He joined the lab from April 2018 to April 2019 as a postdoc and is now an Assistant Professor at Western North Carolina University. He continues to be a collaborator.

Sarah

Sarah Sander Lower: Former graduate Student (with Dave Hall). Sarah started as an Interdisciplinary Life Sciences graduate student before joining the Genetics Department.  She defended her thesis in summer 2015, worked as a postdoc at Cornell University 2015-2018, and started as an Assistant Professor at Bucknell University in July 2018. She continues to be a collaborator.

Nicole Steel (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Nicole joined the lab in Fall 2020. She analyzed a subset of gene sequences for information at different time scales. She assisted Margot in a bioinformatics project on the evolution of pigment genes in insects and wrote an Honors thesis on firefly populations and their conservation status.

Autumn Sturhan (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Autumn joined the lab in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. She analyzed a subset of gene sequences for information at different time scales and assisted Yelena in sorting and barcoding firefly morphotypes from Costa Rica.

Miguel Delgado (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Miguel joined the lab in Fall 2019 (until Spring 2021) and was working on the morphological analysis of eyes and antennae. He also assisted Yelena in sorting and barcoding firefly morphotypes from Costa Rica.

Vraj Patel (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Vraj joined the lab for Spring and Fall 2020. He worked on PCR and sequencing of Central American fireflies.

Ram Miniyar (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Ram joined the lab in Fall 2020. He analyzed a subset of gene sequences for information at different time scales.

Grace Won (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Grace joined the lab in Spring 2020 and participated in a trip to the Arthropod Museum at Louisiana State University to sort through Malaise trips from Costa Rica. 

Daniel Dolinski: Undergraduate Student. Daniel joined the lab in Spring 2018 and was working on gene expression analysis in P. australis fireflies. He continued his research in Fall 2018 with support of a CURO stipend. He continued this project until Spring 2020, culminating into a manuscript and graduated in May 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Yi: Undergraduate Student. Jessica joined the lab in Summer 2018 and was part of the firefly fieldwork team in Vietnam in the summer of 2018. She worked on species delineation of Vietnamese fireflies, and mentored new undergraduate student researchers in the lab. She graduated in May 2020.

Jenny Mai: Undergraduate Student. Jenny joined the lab in Fall 2019/Spring 2020 and worked on barcoding fireflies from Gabon. She graduated in May 2020.

Austin Barefield: Undergraduate Student. Austin participated in fieldwork during summer 2019 and worked on barcoding North American fireflies during Fall 2019/Spring 2020. He graduated in May 2020.

Isha Kataria: Undergraduate Student. Isha joined the lab in Fall 2019 and worked on barcoding North American fireflies until Spring 2020. She graduated in May 2020.

Frank Ko: Undergraduate Student. Frank worked in the lab in Fall 2019 on barcoding fireflies.

Jaser Doja: Undergraduate Student. Jaser participated in fieldwork during summer 2019 and helped barcoding fireflies from field work during Fall 2019.

Allison

Allison McCabe: Undergraduate Student. Allison joined the lab in Fall 2017, working on the sequencing genes for a phylogeny of European fireflies. She graduated in May 2019 with an Honors thesis on the relationships of North American Phausis and European Lamprohiza fireflies. She is now working at the CDC and applying to graduate school.

Richard Hull: Undergraduate Student. Richard joined the lab for Summer 2018 and conducted firefly surveys in North Georgia, at the ecologically important intersection of three vegetation regions. He plans to go to graduate school.

Caitlin

Caitlin Hobbs: Undergraduate Technician. Caitlin was in charge of the KSH Firefly collection at UGA in Fall 2017 and kept us organized.

Ashley Madsen (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Ashley joined the lab in Fall 2018, and worked with Luiz on firefly morphology.

Brandon

Brandon Davis: Undergraduate Student. Brandon joined the lab in Spring and Fall 2017 and worked on the biogeography of Photinus fireflies in North America.

Pearl

Pearl Shah: Undergraduate Student. Pearl joined the lab in Fall 2016 and was working on the biogeography of Pyractomena fireflies in North America. She graduated in Fall 2017 and earned a Masters of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown in 2019.

Garrett

Garrett Volino: Undergraduate Student. Garrett joined the lab in Fall 2016. He conducted ambient light measurements in different habitats and is contributing to the biogeography project. In Spring 2017 Garrett started working on the phylogeny of Pyractomena fireflies. He graduated in Spring 2018.

Gemma Rappaport (no picture): Undergraduate Student. Gemma joined the lab in Spring 2017 and collaborated on the biogeography of Photinus fireflies in North America.

Talia

Talia Williams: Clarke Central High School Student and Young Dawg Researcher. Talia worked on a firefly research project during Fall 2015.

Ayesha

Ayesha Khan: Clarke Central High School student and Young Dawg Researcher. Ayesha worked on the molecular identification of international firefly specimen during Summer 2014. Ayesha returned to the lab in Summer 2018 as an undergraduate student, working on the phylogenetic analysis of fireflies from Honduras.

Jenna

Jenna Pallansch: Undergraduate student (with Dave Hall). Jenna worked on several Independent Research projects (2012-2014), including the light emission spectra of fireflies (published in 2016). She is now attending Medical School.

Katharine

Katharine Korunes: Undergraduate researcher (with Dave Hall). Among other projects Katharine worked with Sarah on genome size in fireflies. She presented a poster at Evolution 2014. She is now a graduate student at Duke University.

Seth

Seth Garner: Undergraduate researcher (with Dave Hall): Seth joined the Hall ab in the Summer 2011. He worked on a firefly project.

Andrew

Andrew Hopkins: Undergraduate researcher (with Dave Hall). Andrew was working on an Independent Research project with fireflies (Spring-Fall 2011). He is attending graduate school.

Lauri

Lauri Lindbergh: Undergraduate researcher (with Dave Hall). Lauri worked in the lab on various firefly projects from Fall 2009 through Summer 2010. After graduating, Lauri worked at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta and after going to Emory Medical school is now a PA anesthetist at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. 

Kris Richards (no picture): Undergraduate researcher. Kris worked in the lab at the end of her Junior year (Summer 2008).  She worked on firefly communities throughout Georgia.  She planned to go to graduate school in marine biology after graduation.

 

Ben

Ben Judd: Undergraduate researcher (with Dave Hall). Ben worked in the lab from Spring 2007 through Spring 2008.  Ben worked primarily on the  molecular evolution project in fireflies.  Ben went to the Medical College of Georgia and is now an Anesthesiologist in Pinehurst, NC.

Will

Will Fisher: Undergraduate researcher. Will worked in the lab during Summer 2007.  His primary project involved characterizing firefly communities in and around Athens.  

 

II. University of Texas at Austin (1997-2005): Undergraduate Researchers

  • Erine Budi
  • Rhiannon Dodge
  • Ozhan Jafri
  • Joyce Kao
  • Wen-Ya Ko
  • Jeanne Lee
  • Dawn Lin
  • Meredith McClure
  • Janelle Ortiz
  • Laura Reinhard
  • Gurpreet Singh
  • Karen Piotrowski
  • Madhu Ragupathi
  • Frieda Wiley
  • Samar Yusuf
  • Simeen Zubairy

 

III. Wake Forest University (1995-1997): Undergraduate and Graduate Researchers

Derek A Zelmer (graduate student collaborator), now Associate Professor at University of South Carolina, Aiken, SC. 

Stephanie Burns (undergraduate researcher in Behavioral Ecology class).

Christine Bergren (undergraduate researcher in Behavioral Ecology class).

 

Current and Past Collaborators

Jim Lloyd, University of Florida

Dave Hall, University of Georgia

Sarah Sander Lower, Bucknell University

Luiz Silveira, Western North Carolina University

David Hillis, University of Texas at Austin

Alan Lemmon, Florida State University

Emily Moriarty-Lemmon, Florida State University

Jeremy Brown, Louisiana State University

Jim Leebens-Mack, University of Georgia

Joe McHugh, University of Georgia

Karolina Heyduk, University of Hawaii

Parastoo Azadi, University of Georgia

Stephanie Archer-Hartmann, University of Georgia

Lynn Faust, Emory River Land Company

Raphael DeCock, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Shyh-Chiang Shen, Georgia Tech

Tim Fallon, MIT

Sara Lewis, Tufts University

Adam South, Harvard University

Fred Vencl, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Christopher Cratsley, Fitchburgh State College

Seth Bybee, Brigham Young University

Gavin Martin, Brigham Young University

Mark Branham, University of Florida

Xueyan Li, China

Gonçalo Figueira, Portugal

Giuseppe Camerini, Italy

Stéphanie Vaz, Brazil

Viviane Nunes, Brazil and Portugal

 

 

Our research would not have been possible without our collaborators and funding agencies:

I. Evolution and Behavior:

  • NSF POWRE 
  • NSF REU
  • NSF DEB 
  • UGA Research Foundation
  • UGA ICE 
  • UGA Grants on Edge
  • UGA Study in a Second Discipline

II. Science Education:

  • NSF DUE
  • NSF REU
  • UGA ICE
  • UGA STEM