Patricia (Trisha) Wittkopp
Dr. Wittkopp's studies of evolution and development in Drosophila started during her undergraduate research with Dr. Greg Gibson at the University of Michigan (B.S. 1997), and continued during her doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin with Dr. Sean Carroll (Ph.D. 2002). From 2002-2005, Dr. Wittkopp studied the evolution of gene expression as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Andy Clark at Cornell University. Coming full circle, the Wittkopp lab was officially founded at U. Michigan in August 2005.
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.
Mark joined the Wittkopp Lab in November 2017 following the completion of his PhD at University College London, where, along with Dr Max Reuter, he characterised the genetic basis of sexual antagonism in Drosophila melanogaster, using a combination of experimental and computational approaches. In the Wittkopp lab, Mark will be exploring the evolution of gene regulation in budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, primarily by combining experimental evolution and next generation sequencing.
Personal website: https://mark-hill.github.io/
MCDB Graduate Student
Abby earned her B.S. in Biology from University of Houston in 2012, where she studied speciation mechanisms in Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis. She started working in the Wittkopp lab in January 2014. Abby is currently researching the genetics underlying Drosophila
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.
Petra Vande Zande
MCDB Graduate Student
Petra graduated from Cornerstone University with a B.A. in Biology for Secondary Education in 2010, and taught high school biology for several years in Wisconsin previous to entering graduate school and joining the Wittkopp Lab in 2016. As a high school teacher, she worked with faculty members at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater to create a Summer Research Immersion Experience for high school students. Petra remains enthusiastic about connecting students to the world of research and is excited to enter the research community herself.
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.
EEB Graduate Student
Henry earned his B.S. in Cell Biology and Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied the genetics of Drosophila speciation in the lab of Dr. Carlos Machado. After graduating, he joined Dr. Jan LaRocque's lab at Georgetown University as a lab technician focusing on DNA repair pathways in Drosophila. Henry joined the Wittkopp lab in fall 2017, and is interested in the mechanisms and evolution of developmental regulatory networks.
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.
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.
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.
UROP, Undergraduate Researcher
Anati is an undergraduate student who started the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) in the Wittkopp Lab in her sophomore year, 2017. She assists Abby in her research project, which is examining the role of post-translational regulation in pigmentation evolution. Anati is specifically helping design tools for the detection of miRNA expression.
Lisa is a 4th year student at the University of Michigan majoring in Biology, set to graduate in December 2016. In the future year, she hopes to continue her research in the lab as an assistant to understand how noise in gene expression affects fitness in yeast, while also applying to veterinary schools.
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.