Graduate Students | Zoology program | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

Graduate Students

Ahmed Ahmed

Graduate Student


A population genetics study of Ethiopian termites in the genus Macrotermes.

Haitham Alnaqeb

Graduate Student


Reconstruction the phylogeny of Heligmosomidae (Nematoda, Trichostrongylina) in North America and redefining their taxonomy.

Sara Anzalone

Graduate Student


Investigation of pesticide transfer through trophic pathways to juvenile Chinook salmon of the San Francisco Bay Delta, California

Tiffanie Atherton

Graduate Student


Population genetic structure of Eastern Woodrats in the Shawnee National Forest: Effects of bottleneck and conservation reintroduction of a r-selective species.

Jared Bilak

Graduate Student


Common mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus) are large aquatic salamanders native to the Great Lakes region and were listed as threatened in Illinois in 2010.  I am funded by the Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research and am studying the natural history of mudpuppies. My specific objectives are to: (1) Assess individual movements, home range sizes, and habitat selection in response to seasonal changes in water temperatures; (2) Estimate population size, sex ratios, temperature dependent catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), and seasonal diet shifts; and (3) Determine the physiological mechanisms underlying seasonal activity patterns, particularly increased activities during the coldest months. My study will help inform the conservation and management of mudpuppies throughout the Great Lakes region.

Kelsey Bowe

Graduate Student


Studying adult frog communities and diets to assess the effects of stream restoration on aquatic to terrestrial food web subsidies. Research compares areas of restored sections (man made rock riffles) to non restored sections of the upper Cache River in Illinois.

Kennan Bruening

Graduate Student


Determining natal origins of White Bass using otilith microchemistry.

Alexander Catalano

Graduate Student


Alexander’s researching several species to determine a surrogate species for the Bigheaded Carps in the Illinois River comparing habitat use, dam passage, and movement using acoustic telemetry.

Zuyi Chen

Graduate Student


The effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honeybees.

Caleb Crawford

Graduate Student


Spatial and population ecology of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) in southern Illinois.

Jason Dallas

Graduate Student


Jason has conducted research on Ranavirus presence in amphibian communities in Missouri, the gastro-intestinal microbiome of snakes, and analyzing aspects of lizard physiology.

Andrew Derby

Graduate Student


Impacts of global warming on bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of permethrin in aquatic species.

Hudman Evans

Graduate Student


Comparison of resource use By invasive Black Carp and native fish Using isotopic niche analysis.

Joshua Ferguson

Graduate Student


An organismal biologist at heart, I'm interested broadly in the natural history, ecology, and conservation of neotropical amphibians

Ricky Flamio

Graduate Student


Genomic resource development for Scaphirhynchus sturgeons: Use of next-generation sequencing technologies to inform management decisions for two hybridizing species in the Missouri and Mississippi River Basins.

Tatiana Gettelman

Graduate Student


River otter ecology in southern Illinois: Survival rates and causes of mortality, rest site use, and natal den site selection.

Alexander Glass

Graduate Student


Grassland community responses to vegetation structure, patch size, and management actions.

Michael Glubzinski

Graduate Student


Progressing and utilizing hydroacoustics to assess spatial and temporal patterns of Bigheaded Carp habitat use (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) in the upper Illinois River.

Wilson Guillory

Graduate Student


Phylogenetics of dendrobatid frogs and phylogeographic methods development.

Carly Haywood

Graduate Student


Determining armadillo dispersal rates and corridor use along with testing armadillos for the presence of Trypanosoma cruzi and Mycobacterium leprae.

Katie Heiden

Graduate Student


Use of stable isotopes, fatty acid analyses, and immune function assays to assess stream and riparian food web connectivity along a hydrologically altered low gradient river.

Ben Hendrickson

Graduate Student


Distribution and abundance of breeding Mississippi Kites (Ictinia mississippiensis) in southern Illinois.

Lindsay Hseih

Graduate Student


The effects of hydrology and organic matter resources on macroinvertebrate community production in southeastern coastal wetlands.

Logan Kent

Graduate Student


Investigating the effects of climate change stressors, increasing salinity and temperature, on toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides to resistant Hyalella azteca.

Micah Miller

Graduate Student


Habitat use, nest-site selection, and nutrient sources of Arctic sea ducks in a rapidly changing world.

Giovanni Molinari

Graduate Student


Improving the intestinal health of fish fed a plant-based diet through traditional nutritional programming, broodstock programming, and dipeptide supplementation.

Omar Morales

Graduate Student


Examining the relationship between consumer physiology and behavior and vegetation communities.

Morgan Muell

Graduate Student


Elucidating phylogeny and phylogeographic patterns among Ranitomeya, the thumbnail poison frogs, through utilization of genomic tools and Bayesian phylogenetics.

John O'Connell

Graduate Student


Modeling patterns of wetland inundation in Illinois.

Sam Patula

Graduate Student


Nutritional programming and gut biome health of Danio rerio fed with high soybean meal diets.

Joshua Peters

Graduate Student


Filling out the phylogeny of freshwater mussels within the group Lampsilini: Using molecular data to improve understanding of the development of reproductive strategies in order to provide a possible source of data to guide conservation techniques.

Victoria Phillips

Graduate Student


The goal of Victoria’s project is to survey the ticks species found in the southern Illinois area and screen them for tick-borne diseases (TBDs) to create an up-to-date TBD risk map of Southern Illinois

Ayana Scott-Elliston

Graduate Student


Ayana’s researching the role of the gut microbiome on growth, development, pathogen resistance, and immune system education in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) using multiple molecular ecology techniques including next-generation sequencing.

Nolan Smith

Graduate Student


Gene expression profiling in heat-stressed Scaphirhynchus sturgeon.

Claire Snyder

Graduate Student


Microchemical analysis of native fish passage through Brandon Road Lock and Dam. Claire is examining signatures of river residency across life histories in different species of native fish using the technique of microchemistry to determine whether fish have passed upstream through Brandon Road Lock and Dam, a structure outside of Chicago that has been proposed for modification to prevent upstream movement of aquatic invasive species. Native fish species movement may also be impacted and has not been studied to this point.

Rachel Steiger

Graduate Student


Perceptions and valuation of Southern Illinois University Campus Lake as a recreation space and educational tool.

Nikki Walker

Graduate Student


Nikki’s project focuses on manipulating rodent physiological function and will use an automated tracking network to conduct an extensive study of individual movements on the landscape. Additionally, the project will use experimental stable isotope enrichment to close the loop between bottom-up and top-down forces in the Chihuahuan desert ecosystem of central New Mexico.