Undergraduate Researchers


I strive to create a collaborative, equitable, inclusive, and just environment where you can conduct science and develop your scientific identities. If you are interested in functional morphology and evolution, feel free to contact me with your research interests/ideas, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts. 
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Emily Blackwell. Smith College. AMNH REU Student. 2021 - present

Project: Carnivoran mandibular diversity

I am a senior at Smith College majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Landscape Studies. My interest in evolutionary biology has led me to museum specimen research investigating questions of taxonomy and ecological adaptation. I plan to pursue post-graduate study in ecology and evolutionary biology.

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Abby Burtner. University of Washington. 2021 - present

Projects: “Evolution of body shape and limb diversity in Sciuridae” and "Understanding the origin of bat flight: Evolutionary modeling of mammal limb morphologies"

I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Washington and I'm interested in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, and hiking.

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Brenda Chavez. University of Texas. 2022 – present

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

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Tate Linden. University of Washington. 2022 - present

Projects: Evolution of body shape and limb diversity in Sciuridae

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, and I plan on majoring in biology and minoring in environmental science and resource management. I am interested in animal morphology, conservation, and behavior.

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Rodrigo Andrade Luna. Angelo State University. INSTINCT REU. 2022 - present

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I’m a student at Angelo State University majoring in biology with a minor in geoscience. My interests are in mammalogy and conservation. I love doing field work, playing tennis, and exploring new places.

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Alise Newman. University of Washington. 2022 - present

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I am a senior at the University of Washington majoring Biology with a focus in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation. I am specifically interested in animal behavior and topics exploring predator and prey interactions.

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Jules Padro. Smith College. AMNH REU Student. 2022 - present

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I am an undergraduate at Smith College majoring in Biological Sciences (Genetics, Evolution, and Molecular Biosciences Track), along with a Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology. I am mainly interested in genetics, evolution, and bioinformatics. 

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Hannah Rickman. University of Washington. 2021 - present

Project: Evolution of body shape and limb diversity in Sciuridae

I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Quantitative Science. I’m interested in using morphology and evolutionary biology and to understand why animals look the way they do.

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Vedika Shirtekar. University of Texas. 2022 – present

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I’m an undergraduate at UT majoring in Environmental Science with a certificate in Applied Statistical Modeling. I’m passionate about cetaceans & their conservation, coral reef ecology, and using data science to solve complex environmental & ecological issues.

Alumni

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Fletcher Levy. Wesleyan University.
2022

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I’m an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University majoring in Biology and Earth & Environmental Science. My interests are macroevolutionary trends in vertebrate skeletal system. I enjoy collections work and spend my free time volunteering in natural history museums.

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Anna Heeter. University of Washington. 2022

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I am a student at UW pursuing a double degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management & Environmental Studies with a minor in Quantitative Science. I am interested in evolutionary biology, marine ecology, data analysis, and plants.

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Rada Soonthonvan. University of Washington. 2022

Project: Sexual dimorphism in carnivoran jaw morphology

I’m currently a senior at the University of Washington majoring in Biology (Physiology) with a minor in Global Health. I’m interested in evolutionary biology, public health, and pathobiology!

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Annika McFeely. University of Washington. 2021 - 2022

Project: “Evolution of body shape diversity in Sciuridae”

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington working towards a B.S. in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management under the Wildlife Conservation specialty. I am interested in evolution biology and wildlife ecology research.

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Bennett Slibeck. Columbia University. AMNH REU Student. 2020 - 2021

Project: “Effects of morphology on species range size”

I’m interested in using information about extant species to better inform our understanding of the past. I am currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Earth Science at Columbia University and am hoping to continue into a PhD program.

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Carly Sanchez. UC Santa Cruz 2018

Project: "Quantifying kinematics of sea otter tool use behavior"

I’m interested in wildlife conservation and studying environmental patterns. My goals are to work with an organization that has an expertise in human geographies affect on the natural environment.

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Anna Moreland. UC Santa Cruz 2018

Project: "Measuring the physical performance of southern alligator lizards in a changing climate"

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Parker Kaye. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2017–2018

Project: "Small mammal population survey of Younger Lagoon Natural Reserve"

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Jennilyn Stenske. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2017–2020

Project: "Population dynamics of small mammals at UC Santa Cruz FERP"

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Ekai Richards. UC Santa Cruz 2017

Project: “Effects of Diet on the Scaling of Bite Forces in Musteloidea”

My name is Ekai Richards and I have recently graduated from UCSC with a Marine Biology B.S. and Education minor. I am currently working on using collected data from dry skull methods on a variety of Musteloidea to determine evolutionary allometric relationships between different dietary groups and bite force. Additionally I am working on receiving my scientific diving certification to further my capabilities as a researcher. While plans remain uncertain I wish to continue to expand my skills as both a researcher and educator to be able to help teach future marine scientists.

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Kaz Jones. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2016–2017

Project: “Differentiation of craniomandibular morphology in two sympatric Peromyscus mice (Cricetidae:
Rodentia)”

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Meghan Yap-Chiongco. UC Santa Cruz 2016–2017

I recently completed my undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, with a degree in Ecology and Evolution. Previously, I have worked at the California Academy of Sciences under Dr. Richard Mooi studying the morphology, ontogeny, and evolution of ophicephalous pedicellariae in clypeasteroid sea urchins. In the Mehta lab, I am working on a phylogeny of amphibious fishes in order to character map elongation onto the phylogeny. The goal of this project is to see what morphological adaptations coincide with colonization events. I am very interested in systematics and functional morphology, and am currently in the process of applying to graduate school in order to continue with research.

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Shohei Burns. UC Santa Cruz 2014

Shohei is interested in animal physiology/morphology and has extraordinary plans to become a wildlife veterinarian once he graduates and attends vet school. He is the MSI instructor for Bio 20B and has done independent research projects in both Costa Rica and Corsica, France. He’s currently working with Chris Law on estimating bite forces in the Musteloidea super family – they hope use molecular data from Genbank and morphometric data from numerous skull collections to correlate and reconstruct certain phylogenies within Musteloidea. In his free time, Shohei loves to surf, SCUBA dive, backpack, and write bios in the third person! He can be further contacted at shoheiburns@gmail.com.

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