Alumni

Jon Massey : EEB Graduate Student

Jon Massey

EEB Graduate Student

Jon studied Entomology as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received a B.S. with Highest Distinction in 2013. At Illinois, he completed a senior thesis project under the supervision of Dr. Gene Robinson that was focused on the effects of brain oxidative metabolism on aggression in the vinegar fly. Jon continued his research on fly aggression under the supervision of Dr. Marla Sokolowski at the University of Toronto with a focus on the effects of the foraging gene in modulating aggressive behaviors; he completed his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Toronto in 2014. In the Wittkopp Lab, Jon is interested in understanding the genetic basis of species differences in behavior and morphology. Jon successfully defended in May 2019 and will be starting his post-doc at Harvard University studying fly neurobiology. Hooray Jon!

jhmassey@umich.edu
Lisa Kim : Research Technician/Lab Manager

Lisa Kim

Research Technician/Lab Manager

Lisa graduated with her B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan in 2016. She hopes to continue her research in the lab to understand how noise in gene expression affects fitness in yeast, while also applying to veterinary schools.

ligiki@umich.edu
Alisha John : Research Technician/Lab Manager

Alisha John

Research Technician/Lab Manager

Alisha earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) in 2011. She then entered the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS) at the University of Michigan and joined the Wittkopp Lab in May 2012. Alisha is broadly interested in the relationships between changes in noncoding sequences of DNA, gene expression, and phenotypic evolution. Her PhD work explored these relationships using pigmentation differences between Drosophila species. Alisha completed her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology (MCDB) in May 2017. She is now a Research Scientist and Lab Manager for the Wittkopp Lab.

alishav@umich.edu
Andrea Hodgins-Davis : Post-doctoral Fellow

Andrea Hodgins-Davis

Post-doctoral Fellow

Andrea joined the lab in May 2014 after completing her PhD at Yale University, where she worked with Jeff Townsend in the Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology combining empirical and theoretical approaches to study the evolution of genome-wide gene expression in budding yeast across an environmental gradient. In the Wittkopp lab, Andrea will study the evolvability of gene expression in yeast.

andreahd@umich.edu
Rebecca Tarnopol : Undergraduate Researcher

Rebecca Tarnopol

Undergraduate Researcher

Rebecca joined the lab in May 2016. She is a sophomore in the LSA Honors Program with an intended major of Cellular and Molecular Biology. She is working with post-doc Jen Lachowiec on various projects involving gene regulation in different species of Drosophila.

tarnopol@umich.edu
Swara Sarvepalli : Undergraduate Researcher

Swara Sarvepalli

Undergraduate Researcher

Swara joined the lab in September 2017. She is a junior in LSA majoring in Evolutionary Anthropology and is working with Pétra on a project examining phenotypic diversity in relation to nucleosome occupancy in yeast.

smsarvep@umich.edu
Jun Li : Visiting PhD student

Jun Li

Visiting PhD student

Jun joined the lab in September 2017. Jun is a PhD candidate at the Central China Normal University, China. She is interested in exploring the genetic basis of sexual dimorphic traits. In the lab, she mainly focuses on the genetic regulation of wing spot trait in Drosophila elegans and D. gunungcola.

ptkyagof@umich.edu
Joe Walker : EEB Graduate Student

Joe Walker

EEB Graduate Student

Joe studied Neurology and Physiology along with Genetics as an undergraduate student at Purdue University and received his B.S in 2012. During that time, he worked in the labs of Dr. Michael Zanis, Dr. Nancy Emery and spent a summer in the lab of Dr. Antonia Monteiro, and completed his honors thesis on the evolution of mononucleotide repeats. Joe then completed his Masters degree in the lab of Dr. Nancy Emery and worked as a research tech at the bioinformatics core at Purdue University. He is currently co-advised by Dr. Trisha Wittkopp and Dr. Stephen Smith, and is interested in finding ways to study differential gene expression in a phylogenetic context.

jfwalker@umich.edu
Joseph Coolon : Assistant Research Scientist

Joseph Coolon

Assistant Research Scientist

Joseph earned his Ph.D. at Kansas State University, working with Dr. Michael Herman on ecological genomics ofmicrobes and nematodes in August 2008. He began his postdoctoral work in September 2008 and has been using next-generation sequencing to investigate patterns of regulatory evolution among Drosophila species. His work was supported by a National Institutes of Health NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship. Joe moved on to an Assistant Professor position in summer 2015 at Weslyan University. His expertise and humor are missed by all! Coolon lab Website

jcoolon@wesleyan.edu
Rich Lusk : Postdoctoral Fellow

Rich Lusk

Postdoctoral Fellow

Rich joined the lab in the summer of 2011 after completing his PhD at UC Berkeley, where he worked with Mike Eisen to dissect the spatial relationships between transcription factor binding sites in Drosophila enhancers and yeast promoters. In the Wittkopp lab he explored how genetic variation between closely related Drosophila species drives patterns of change in expression and transcription factor binding. His work was supported by an NIH NSRA postdoctoral fellowship. Spring 2015, Rich moved on to a McKinsey and Company Consulting position in Detroit, MI.

Fabien Duveau : Assistant Research Scientist

Fabien Duveau

Assistant Research Scientist

Fabien joined the lab in May 2012 after conducting doctoral studies on the evolution of a robust developmental system in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in Marie-Anne Félix’ team (University Paris 7). For his postdoctoral work, he is now interested in understanding how noise in gene expression can affect fitness and how past selection pressures on gene expression can influence future evolutionary trajectories using experimental evolution approaches in yeast. This work is supported by an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship.

fduveau@umich.edu
Jennifer Lachowiec : Post-doctoral Fellow

Jennifer Lachowiec

Post-doctoral Fellow

Jen joined the lab in October 2014 after completing her PhD under the guidance of Christine Queitsch at the University of Washington, Seattle, during which she studied molecular mechanisms that control robustness to genetic perturbations and noise. Her projects in the Wittkopp lab will examine the evolution of gene expression using flies as a model.

In November 2017, Jen joined the faculty at Montana State University as an Assistant Professor in the department of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology.
http://plantsciences.montana.edu/facultyorstaff/faculty/lachowiec/index.html

jennifer.lachowiec@montana.edu
Brian Metzger : EEB Graduate Student

Brian Metzger

EEB Graduate Student

Brian earned his B.S. in Genetics and Microbiology from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. During that time he worked for Dr. Carol Lee on the ecology and evolutionary biology of the invasive copepod Eurytemora affinis. His projects focused on determining the relationship between pleiotropy and fitness, and how pleiotropy can bias the set of mutations which are ultimately evolutionarily relevant. Brian was supported by a Rackham Merit Fellowship and the Genome Sciences Training Program. Brian moved on to a post-doctoral fellowship in the Thornton Lab at the University of Chicago in January 2016.

bpmetz@umich.edu
Kraig Stevenson : Bioinformatics Graduate Student

Kraig Stevenson

Bioinformatics Graduate Student

Kraig earned his B.S. in statistics from Michigan State University in 2007. Afterwards, he joined Sebastian Zoellner's group at the University of Michigan Department of Biostatistics, where he studied leveraging population structure in sibling genotype data and CNV detection from microarray data. After receiving his M.S. in biostatistics in 2009, he entered the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics as a PhD student. He officially joined the lab in January 2010 and worked to develop strategies to improve estimation of total and allele-specific gene expression measurements from RNA-seq to classify regulatory divergence between closely related species of Drosophila. Kraig took a job as a Data Scientist here in MI at Trinity Health in Summer 2014.

Bing Yang : MCDB Graduate Student

Bing Yang

MCDB Graduate Student

Bing earned his B.S. in Biology from Peking University. During that time he worked in Wensheng Wei's lab on interaction between pathogen and host. He joined the lab in December 2011, and is now working on using sequencing data to interpret regulation change in evolutionary history. He is also interested in integrating computational methods in understanding developmental mechanisms in flies.

Bing completed his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology (MCDB) in May 2017. He is now completing a post-doc with Scott Rifkin at the University of California, San Diego.

ypauling@umich.edu
José Andrade López : MCDB Pathways Graduate Student

José Andrade López

MCDB Pathways Graduate Student

José earned his B.A. in Integrative Biology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies at UC Berkeley in May 2013 where he worked with Dr. Craig Moritz on a phylogeography project studying the diversification of an Australian gecko, Heteronotia binoei, and later with Dr. Nipam Patel investigating the regeneration of the germ line stem cell niche in Parhyale hawaiensis. He joined the lab in June 2013 and worked closely with Joseph Coolon on identifying mutations that provide Octanoic Acid resistance in Drosophila sechellia.José moved on to Stanford in Summer 2015 to pursue a Ph.D.

andradej@stanford.edu
Crisandra (Jade) Diaz : MCDB Graduate Student

Crisandra (Jade) Diaz

MCDB Graduate Student

Jade received her B.S. in Biology and Minor in Chemistry from New Mexico State University in 2015. Jade is a MARC Scholar (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) and began her undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Jiannong Xu using bioinformatics to assess the gut microbiome of mosquito larvae. In the summer of 2014, she received a summer internship and worked under Aurelie Rakotondrafara as a part of the Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program at UW-Madison. She is currently working on yeast projects that consist of mutating a transcription factor (GCR1) of a highly expressed promoter in yeast (TDH3) and observing the resulting gene expression. Jade is supported by the Rackham Merit Fellowship.

Jade received her Masters of Science from the University of Michigan in 2017.

cjaded@umich.edu
Elizabeth Walker : Lab manager/Technician

Elizabeth Walker

Lab manager/Technician

Elizabeth received her M.S. in Biology from Winthrop University in May of 2010. As a graduate student, Elizabeth spent two years researching evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the heart of the sea squirt, Ciona intestinalis. Elizabeth joined the lab in Fall 2010 as both a lab manger and research technician. She is currently assisting with various projects in the lab.

walkeliz@umich.edu
Stephen Tryban : Research Assistant

Stephen Tryban

Research Assistant

Stephen joined the lab in March 2013. He is a junior concentrating on Ecology and Evolutionary Biology here at UM, with an interest in medicine. He is currently working on several projects on the yeast team as well as assisting with general lab maintenance.

stephtho@umich.edu
Patty Simmer : Undergraduate Researcher

Patty Simmer

Undergraduate Researcher

Patty joined the lab in May 2013. In Fall of 2015 she’ll be a Junior enrolled in UofM’s LSA Honors program, as a Cellular and Molecular Biology major. She’s currently working on a project involving the use of CRISPR to generate a Drosophila mutant.

psimmer@umich.edu
Cassandra Kirkland : UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Cassandra Kirkland

UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Cassi initiated her research experience through UROP in the lab in September 2012. She was an LSA Honors student with an interest in Evolutionary and Ecology Biology. Cassi worked with post-doc Richard Lusk on a project examining the evolution of gene expression, between D. melanogaster and D. virilis.

Natasha Sood : UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Natasha Sood

UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Natasha began work in the lab in September 2012. She was an LSA Honors Student with an interest in Evolutionary Biology. She worked with graduate student Brian Metzger on a project investigating properties of mutations affecting gene expression in yeast.

Emily Roberts : UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Emily Roberts

UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Emily started in the lab Fall 2013 and is working with Assistant Research Scientist, Joseph Coolon on a project titled "Behavioral response of D. sechellia to octanoic acid, the primary toxin in its host plant". She is a freshman LSA student with an interest in cellular and molecular biology.

emirob@umich.edu
Daayun Chung : UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Daayun Chung

UROP, Undergraduate researcher

Daayun started her research experience through UROP in the lab in September 2014. She is a sophomore LSA Honors student with an interest in Biochemistry. Daayun is currently working with post-doc Andrea Hodgins-Davis on a project examining environment-specific effects of new mutations in budding yeast.

daayun@umich.edu
Hannah Shuman : Undergraduate Researcher

Hannah Shuman

Undergraduate Researcher

Hannah joined the lab in May 2016. A rising Junior at UM, she is majoring in Biomolecular Science and German. She is currently studying the evolution of gene regulation across multiple species of flies.

hashuman@umich.edu
Kiran Ajani : Undergraduate Researcher

Kiran Ajani

Undergraduate Researcher

Kiran joined the lab in August 2016 as a lab assistant for general maintenance, as well as contributing to a project with Elizabeth Walker and Fabien Duveau to understand how noise in gene expression affects fitness in yeast. She is an honors LSA undergraduate with an interest in Neuroscience.

kajani@umich.edu
Ali Farhat : Undergraduate Researcher

Ali Farhat

Undergraduate Researcher

Ali joined the lab in May 2016. He joined the University of Michigan as a freshman in the Fall of 2015 enrolled in the LSA Honors Program. He anticipates majoring in Microbiology while following the pre-medical track. He is currently working with graduate student Alisha John to discover which genes are responsible for variation in pigmentation within Drosophila americana.

alifar@umich.edu
Emily Valice : Undergraduate researcher

Emily Valice

Undergraduate researcher

Emily started in the lab in August 2012. She is a senior concentrating in Evolutionary and Ecology Biology, with a minor in Spanish. She primarily worked with post-doc Richard Lusk on a project examining the evolution of gene expression, between D. melanogaster and D. virilis. Emily graduated in May 2014 and is pursuing graduate school applications.

David Yuan : MCDB Graduate Student

David Yuan

MCDB Graduate Student

Dave earned his B.A. in genetics and molecular biology from Northwestern University. He then worked as a research technician with Dr. David Jacobs at UCLA, recovering and studying expression of sensory organ genes in basal metazoans (jellyfish and anemone), and subsequently earned a M.S. degree with Dr. Charles Taylor at UCLA examining biostatistical analyses of seasonal incidence of malaria and other infectious diseases in Mali. Dave joined the lab in April 2009, working on several projects. He collected and analyzed mutations that affect the expression of a variety of genes in yeast. He gladly accepted a post-doctoral position at Stanford University in the Petrov Lab starting March 2014.

Tiffany Brooks : Visiting undergraduate researcher (ED2QUEST)

Tiffany Brooks

Visiting undergraduate researcher (ED2QUEST)

Tiffany Brooks started in the lab in May 2013. Tiffany is an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati focused on Food and Nutrition with Pre-Medicine concentration. While in the lab, she worked under the guidance of Fabien Duveau. Her project focused on investigating the functional consequences of cis-regulatory variation in the TDH3 gene in yeast.

Wesley McLaughlin : Undergraduate researcher, Honors Thesis

Wesley McLaughlin

Undergraduate researcher, Honors Thesis

Wesley began working in the lab as a junior in September 2010. He submitted an honors thesis in Spring 2012 on a project on cis/trans gene regulation throughout developmental time in D. americana and D. novamexicana, and is also contributing to a project looking at the geographic distribution of alleles of the genes tan and ebony, in D. americana across the United States. Wes started medical school at Rosalind Franklin in Chicago in Fall 2012.

Laura Sligar : Undergraduate researcher

Laura Sligar

Undergraduate researcher

Laura started working in the lab in June 2011. She worked under the guidance of Joe Coolon. The main project she is currently pursuing investigates gene expression differences underlying the resistance of D. sechellia and susceptibility of D. simulans to octanoic acid. Laura got her bachelors, concentrating in Evolutionary Anthropology and minoring in Biology in Spring 2013. She is currently applying to graduate schools and pursuing her interests in evolutionary genetics.

Gizem Kalay : Postdoctoral Fellow

Gizem Kalay

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gizem earned her B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2005 from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey). She also spent a summer studying evolution and development with Dr. Matthias Gerberding at the Max Planck Institute (Tuebingen, Germany). Gizem officially joined the Wittkopp lab in April 2006, with a primary focus on studying the effects of new mutations on gene expression in yeast. She is also creating transgenic Drosophila to study regulatory divergence in flies. Gizem graduated in Winter 2012, stayed on as a post-doctoral fellow until Fall 2012. She has moved on to a post-doctoral position in the Lott Lab at UCSD.

gizemkly@gmail.com
Lisa (Arnold) Sramkoski : MCDB Graduate Student

Lisa (Arnold) Sramkoski

MCDB Graduate Student

Lisa earned her B.A. in Biology from Case Western Reserve university in 2006 and joined the lab officially in April 2007. Lisa had diverse interests that ranged from the physiological effects of pigmentation to the developmental genetic control of pigmentation patterning. She also pursued a Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Post-Secondary Science Education. After her defense, Lisa moved with her family to Colorado and is pursuing a career in teaching.

Katya Mack : Undergraduate researcher

Katya Mack

Undergraduate researcher

Katya began working in the lab as a senior in May 2011 with Dr. Jonathan Gruber on mapping a collection of mutations in baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She was an Anthropology Major and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Minor. Katya started her Ph.D. program in EEB Department at the University of Arizona in Fall 2012.

Brad Lankowsky : Undergraduate researcher

Brad Lankowsky

Undergraduate researcher

Brad began his career here in the lab July 2011. He worked with Arielle Cooley on creating chimeric alleles of the tan gene to identify the genotypic variation betweenD. novamenxicana and D. americana that causes the phenotype divergence in the two species. Brad graduated witha degree in Economics and minori in Biochemistry, and started medical school at Case Western in Fall 2012.

Mackenzie Dome : Undergraduate researcher

Mackenzie Dome

Undergraduate researcher

Mackenzie started working in the lab May 2011. She worked under the guidance of Gizem Kalay, helping to create transgenic Drosophila in order to study regulatory divergence in flies. Mackenzie started a masters program in Public Health at Notre Dame in Fall 2012.

Robert Dikeman : Undergraduate researcher

Robert Dikeman

Undergraduate researcher

Robert began working in the lab as a senior during the spring of 2012. He worked with Arielle Cooley on a project investigating the genetic control of pigmentation patterning in D. americana and D. novamexicana. He graduated in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry and is currently applying to medical schools.

Hussein Al-Asadi : Undergraduate researcher

Hussein Al-Asadi

Undergraduate researcher

Hussein began working in the lab as of May 2011. Working with several members of the lab, Hussein is attempting to understand the spectrum of mutations that affect the TDH3 gene in yeast. By modeling the regulatory interactions of TDH3 as a directed graph, he hopes to provide further insight into how mutations affecting gene activity are distributed within a regulatory network. Hussein received his B.S. in Math with a minor in computer science. Hussein is pursuing his interest in analyzing evolutionary change at the molecular or population level as a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago - Illinois.

Arielle Cooley : Postdoctoral Fellow

Arielle Cooley

Postdoctoral Fellow

After completing her Ph.D. research on the evolution of floral color patterning in monkeyflowers, with Dr. John Willis at Duke University, Arielle switched kingdoms to study the evolution of body color in Drosophila americana and D. novamexicana when she joined the Wittkopp lab in March 2009. She used transgenic flies to identify specific nucleotide variants, in the tan gene that contribute to color differences. In Fall 2012, Arielle left the Wittkopp Lab to join the faculty of Biology at Whitman College in Walla, Walla WA.

Alejandra Torres Morrero : Visiting undergraduate researcher (ED2QUEST)

Alejandra Torres Morrero

Visiting undergraduate researcher (ED2QUEST)

Alejandra visited the Wittkopp Lab summer of 2012 from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. She worked primarily on the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution in close proximity with Gizem Kalay. She was one of the youngest students we have ever had in the lab and was exceptionally bright and friendly.

Jonathan Gruber : Postdoctoral Fellow

Jonathan Gruber

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jonathan earned his Ph.D. in December 2007 from the UC-Irvine, where he worked with Dr. Anthony Long on quantitative genetics in Drosophila. In his postdoctoral work, he explored fundamental characteristics of gene expression evolution and biology using the brewer's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Jonathan is now a Bioinformatics Scientist for Monsanto in Davis, CA.

gruberjd@gmail.com
Zhixiu Yang : Visiting undergraduate researcher

Zhixiu Yang

Visiting undergraduate researcher

Zhixiu visited the Wittkopp Lab the summer of 2010 from Tsinghua University, China. She worked with several lab members on expression of Drosophila pigmentation genes.

Emma Stewart : Undergraduate researcher (UROP, REU), Lab manager

Emma Stewart

Undergraduate researcher (UROP, REU), Lab manager

Emma joined the lab as a freshman at UM in September 2005. She studies the genetic basis of pigmentation differences between D. americana and D. novamexicana using a combination of genetic, transgenic, and molecular genetic techniques. Although Emma transferred to Oakland University, she continued to work in the lab, serving a year as our Lab manager/Techincan. In Fall 2010, she began an accelerated graduate program in K-12 education at the University of Georgia.

Kevin Abernethy : Lab manager/Technician

Kevin Abernethy

Lab manager/Technician

Kevin received his B.S. in Public Health from Utah State University in May of 2008. As an undergraduate Kevin spent two years researching ion channel mutations and the role they may play in human disease. Although Kevin was a Masters student in the school of Public Health, he was able to utilize his molecular cloning background in the research being done in our lab.

Laura Shefner : Undergraduate Researcher (Honors thesis)

Laura Shefner

Undergraduate Researcher (Honors thesis)

Laura began working in the lab as a junior in January 2008. She is concentrating in both Biology and Math, and plans to submit an honors thesis in 2009, which will focus on the pupal development of D. americana and D. novamexicana. In Fall 2009, she began medical school at the University of Toledo.

Kara Vogel : Post-Baccalaureate Researcher

Kara Vogel

Post-Baccalaureate Researcher

Kara began working in the lab in October 2009. She worked closely with Jonathan Gruber to characterize a novel collection of regulatory mutations in yeast. In Fall 2010, she joined the Biology Ph.D. program at Michigan Technological University.

Ulises Rosas : Visiting Postdocotral Researcher

Ulises Rosas

Visiting Postdocotral Researcher

Ulises spent 3 months in the lab investigating Drosophila pigmentation evolution during 2009, funded by a Darwin Award from British Council. He adapted morphometric tools developed during his graduate training for studying pigmentation and characterized tan and ebony expression in D. novamexicana and D. americana. Upon leaving the lab, he began a postdoctoral position with Michael Purugganan at New York University.

Xiaowei Heng : Undergraduate Researcher (UROP, Honors thesis)

Xiaowei Heng

Undergraduate Researcher (UROP, Honors thesis)

Xiaowei joined the lab during her first year at the University of Michigan (Oct 2007). Her first project in the lab examined reproductive isolation between D. novamexicanaand D. americana as well as within D. americana. She then contributed to the construction of various transgenes, and in Jan 2009 began studies for her Neurobiology Honors thesis which focuses on the role of the yellow gene in courtship behavior. In Fall 2010, she began medical school at Duke-NUS (Singapore).

Adam Neidert : Technician/Lab manager

Adam Neidert

Technician/Lab manager

With a master's degree from U. Rochester (2003), Adam joined the lab in July 2006 with a strong background in molecular biology. During his time in the lab, Adam played an instrumental role in our studies of pigmentation evolution, constructing introgression lines, orchestrating a large fine-scale mapping project, and constructing transgnes. He left the lab in 2008 to pursue a new career overseeing clinical trials.

Beth Thompson : Undergraduate researcher

Beth Thompson

Undergraduate researcher

Beth officially joined the lab in January 2007, although she spent much of December 2006 learning her way around the lab. She has contributed to a wide-variety of projects during her first year, becoming a "jack-of-all-trades". Her contributions include cytological tests for chromosomal inversions, the development of genotyping assays, a population survey of candidate gene sequences within D. americana, diverse cloning projects, and measuring desiccation resistance. In Sept 2008, Beth began the Ph.D. program in molecular biology at Duke University.

Yainna Hernaiz-Hernandez : Undergraduate Researcher (SROP)

Yainna Hernaiz-Hernandez

Undergraduate Researcher (SROP)

Yainna worked with us during the summer of 2008 as a visiting student from Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico. She spent her time in the lab analyzing expression of the tan gene in D. americana and D. novamexicana using in situ hybridization. She gave an outstanding oral presentation on her work at the SROP symposium and presented a poster at the CIC SROP meeting at Michigan State University. Yainna was awarded the most outstanding student prize for the 2008 SROP group at U. Michigan.

Elliott Howell : EEB Graduate Student

Elliott Howell

EEB Graduate Student

Elliott earned his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee in 2007, where worked research with Dr. Chris Boake studying the genetics of female sexual receptivity in Nasonia. Elliott began his graduate studies in September 2007, but decided to leave the program in April 2008 to pursue other opportunities.

Gabriel Smith-Winberry : Undergraduate researcher

Gabriel Smith-Winberry

Undergraduate researcher

Gabe worked in the lab from Janurary 2006 until he left for medical school in Virginia during July 2007. He investigated the molecular evolution of pigmentation genes in D. americana and D. novamexicana, and characterized pigmentation in isofemale lines of these species. Ultimately, he showed that variation in D. americana is consistent with local adaptation.

Marisa Weisel : Undergraduate Researcher

Marisa Weisel

Undergraduate Researcher

Marisa joined the lab after taking Dr. Wittkopp's course in Evolution and Development. She spent the summer of 2007 working on sequencing the ebonygene from D. novamexicana and D. americana, developing high-throughput protocols, and contributing to a variety of molecular cloning projects.

Saleh Akhras : Undergraduate Researcher (SROP)

Saleh Akhras

Undergraduate Researcher (SROP)

Saleh worked with us during the summer of 2007 as a visiting student from Northeastern Illinois University. He contributed greatly to fine-scale genetic mapping of interspecific pigmentation differences between Drosophila species. He also gave an excellent presentation on his work at the SROP symposium and at a the CIC SROP meeting at Purdue University.

Erin Shellman : Biostatistics Masters Student

Erin Shellman

Biostatistics Masters Student

Erin worked in the lab from July - Sept 2006. She has a diverse background in Evolutionary Biology, Economics, and Mathematics from Case Western Reserve University (B.S. 2006) and spent a summer at the National Institutes of Health, Division of Computational Bioscience. In September 2006, she bagan the biostatistics master's degree program at the University of Michigan and in 2008 continued on to the Ph.D. program.

Belinda Haerum : Technician/Lab Manager

Belinda Haerum

Technician/Lab Manager

After earning her B.S. in Biology from Cornell, Belinda became the founding member of the Wittkopp Lab (August 2005). She was instrumental in setting up the lab and getting all projects up and running. Her expertise, organization, and personality are sorely missed! In August 2006, Belinda moved to George Washington University to pursue her master's degree in Public Health.

Alekhya Ratnala : Undergraduate Researcher (UROP)

Alekhya Ratnala

Undergraduate Researcher (UROP)

Alekhya worked in the lab during her freshman year (2005-2006) as a participant in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). She analyzed the genetic basis of pigmentation differences between D. americana and D. novamexicana using interspecific crossses. Currently, Alekhya is focusing on her engineering studies, working toward her bachelor's degree.

Monica Woll : Undergraduate Researcher

Monica Woll

Undergraduate Researcher

Monica joined the lab in September 2005 as a history major with a renewed interest in biology. In December 2005, she left to study abroad in Paris, where she is continuing to do biological research. While in the lab, Monica helped characterize pigmentation in D. americana.