Current Lab Members

Elizabeth L. Jockusch
Biology / Pharmacy 305B
860-486-4452 (office)
elizabeth.jockuschUConn Email
Picture of Postdoc Abigail Hayes with bugsAbigail Hayes
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
abigail.hayes@UConn Email
Amanda Pastore
M.S. Student (co-advised with Mark Urban)
Biology / Pharmacy 322
amanda.pastoreUConn Email
Brendan Enochs
MS Student
Biology / Pharmacy 318
brendan.enochsUConn Email
Baaqeyah Muhammad
PhD Student
Biology/Pharmacy 322
baaqeyahUConn Email
Nick Van Gilder
PhD Student
Conservation genetics of Batrachoseps campi
Biology/Pharmacy 318
nicholas.van_gilderUConn Email
David Askew
Technician/Research Scientist
Jockusch/Caira labs
david.j.askewUConn Email
Debbie Heaslip
Undergraduate Researcher
McNair Scholar, LSAMP
Alejandro Garcia-Rivera
Undergraduate Researcher
NSF REU (summer 2021)
Luciana Santillana Linares
Undergraduate Researcher
Sophia Lebron
Undergraduate Researcher
McNair Apprentice
Ruiwen Lin
Undergraduate Researcher


Field Trip to Fenton Forest, May 2019
End of year lab field trip, May 2019

Lab Alumni

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Alumni

Justin Kratovil photoJustin Kratovil
Postdoc (2019-2022)
2022: Visiting Assistant Professsor, MCB, UConn
justin.kratovilUConn Email
Liz in the fieldLiz Clifton
Ph.D., 2022
Termite Weapons and Warfare: Insights from Behavioral, Experimental, and Evolutionary Analyses
Fulbright Fellow, Czech Republic
2023: Postdoc at U. New Hampshire
annette_evansAnnette Evans
Ph.D., 2020
Dissertation Abstract
2022: Postdoc at UMasss
Hannah RalickiHannah Ralicki
Technician Extraordinaire (2015-2021)
Caira / Jockusch labs
AFAndrew Frank
M.S., 2018
2022: Bioinformatician, US Department of Defense
CFisherCera Fisher
Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation Abstract
Postdocs: UConn, Cornell
2022: Bioinformatician, Seven Bridges Genomics
FSFrank Smith
Ph.D., 2013
Dissertation abstract
Assistant Professor, U. North Florida
Elizabeth Timpe
M.S., 2012
2022: Community Cat Program Coordinator, Our Companions Animal Rescue and Sanctuary  and Adult Education Programs, Connecticut Forest and Park Association
RERoberta Engel
Ph.D., 2011
Dissertation abstract
Assistant Professor, Notre Dame of Maryland
IMSIńigo Martinez-Solano
Postdoc, 2007-2008
Tenured Scientist, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
DRADavid R. Angelini
Postdoc, 2005-2008
Associate Professor, Colby College
MKMoto Kikuchi
Technician, 2006-2008
BCOBrigid C. O’Donnell
Ph.D., 2007
Dissertation abstract
Associate Professor, Plymouth State University
JRJonathan Q. Richmond
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation abstract
Herpetological Geneticist, USGS San Diego Field Station
KOKaren Ober
Postdoc, 2001-2004
Professor, College of the Holy Cross
TLTobias Landberg
Schlichting/Schwenk labs
Ph.D., 2010
Dissertation Abstract
2022: Director of Research, The Amphibian Foundation

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Sarah Anderson (2018-2021)
Undergraduate Researcher with Liz
Thesis: Effects of battle size on termite aggressiveness
2022: Medical School, UConn
ArianaAriana Rojas (2019-2021)
Thesis: The role of taxi, miniature, and an uncharacterized homeobox gene in the development of double-layered epithelium in Oncopeltus fasciatus
SURF (summer 2020)
2022: Account Associate, Real Chemistry
Katherine Starr (2019-2021)
Thesis: Spatial and temporal patterns of wing growth in the last nymphal stage of the Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
NSF REU (summer 2019)
2022: MS Student, Loyola
Samantha Bird (2020-2021)
Thesis: Oviposition Habits of Eurycea bislineata
Ryan Mayer photoRyan Mayer (2017-2019)
Thesis: The relationship between soil conditions, forest composition, and morph frequencies of a woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus
SURF (summer 2018)
2020: M.S. Program, John Carroll University
Sarah Baker (2017-2020) 
Thesis: The impact of distance from a stream on color morph distributions of Plethodon cinereus, the Eastern Red-Backed Salamander
SURF (summer 2019); Outstanding EEB major (2020)
M.S., Eastern Kentucky U.
2022: PhD Program, Purdue
Adam Chiu photoAdam Chiu (2015-2018)
Thesis: Phenotypic responses to changes in RNA interference parameters in a hemipteran (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
SURF (summer 2017)
2020: MS, Oceanography, U. Rhode Island
Limmond Ayisi (2014-2017)
Thesis: Investigating mouthpart development patterning in Tribolium castaneum larvae through RNA interference targeting cap-n-collar and Wnt6 
2019: M.S., Oral Health Science, Boston University
2022: DMD Candidate, Boston University
Temina Kusi (2013-2015)
McNair Scholar
Thesis: Correlation between body parts in holometabolous and hemimetabolous insects
2020: Physician’s Assistant (M.S. from Pace University)
Devin O’Brien (2011-2013)
Thesis: An analysis of the developmental genes fringefrizzled, and dishevelled in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum
PhD: University of Montana
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Colby College
2022: Assistant Professor, SUNY Cobleskill
Matthew Gaudio (2010-2012)
Thesis: Exploring the evolution of the arthropod labrum in Tribolium castaneum.
Professional Training: Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art
2022: Graphic artist
LRLeroy Robinson (2006-2010)
Thesis: Demystifying cryptic species in the Batrachoseps relictus group
M.S. San Francisco State
Ph.D. NYU Sackler Institute
Tami_nubbinTami Cruickshank (2004-2005)
Thesis: Evolutionary implications of a gene duplication event:  comparison of nubbin in Tribolium castaneum and Drosophila melanogaster.
PhD: Indiana University
Postdocs: NESCENT & Indiana U.

Other Undergraduate Researchers

Brian Branciforte
Madison Caballero
Derek Cornetta
Sean_spotted copy
Sean Edington
University of Virginia
(summer 2006)

David Farris, Jr.
Taylor Ferguson
Vance Harper
Dan Kirk
Jessica Klein
Daniel Madden
Eliana Mejia
Kate Morozova
Justin Mortimer

Jeremy Pang
National University of Singapore
Lisa Rodriguez

Jallah Rouse
Johnson C. Smith University
(summer 2007)
Ashley Sullivan
Avis Thompson

Johnson C. Smith University
(summer 2008)

Sarah Vetrano

Jennifer Wheeler
Chelsea Willett

Madison Molnar
Ben Beaudoin


Lab Visitors

Chris Evelyn
Graduate Student Visitor, 2011
Ph.D., U.C. Santa Barbara
Jorge Gutiérrez Rodríguez
CSIC Research Visitor, 2012
Ph.D., Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Postdoc: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Christina Kocer
CT DEP weasel identification, 2007-2008
USFWS, White-Nose Syndrome National Assistant Coordinator
Anny Peralta García
Graduate Student Visitor, 2008
Conservación de Fauna del Noroeste, La Paz, Baja California
Alireza Sari, Ph.D.
Research Visitor, 2009, 2011, 2012
Zoological Museum, University of Tehran
Prashant Sharma
EDEN Fellow, 2012
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin
Vasylyna Strus, Ph.D.
Research Visitor, 2019-2020
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv