Mariah Meek – Principal Investigator
I am a conservation biologist and molecular ecologist, interested in understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain diversity within and among populations. The primary motivation for my work is to apply this fundamental understanding of biology to solve pressing problems in conservation and management.
Outreach: Dr. Meek is a member of the IUCN North American Conservation Genetics Specialist Group, Vice President of the Society for Conservation Biology Conservation Genetics Working Group, and a member of the Interagency Ecological Program Salmonid Genetics Project Work Team.
Dr. Meek is on the editorial board of Conservation Science and Practice.
Teaching at MSU:
- IBIO 341 Fundamentals of Genetics
- IBIO 801 Professional Development for Graduate Students
Email: mhmeek[at]msu.edu Twitter: @mhmeek
My research focuses on the use of genetic tools to study population- and species-level relationships in marine and freshwater fishes. The primary motivation for this work is to improve our understanding of evolutionary processes in aquatic environments, and to provide practical information for management and conservation. Find out more about my work on my website.
Email: mamooz [at] msu.edu
I study the molecular ecology and conservation genetics of exploited marine fishes. To do this, I identify patterns in the genome and genetic diversity of populations to quantify connectivity, explore the interaction with and adaptation to the environment, and apply these results to conservation and management. I am particularly interested in understanding how spatial heterogeneity in the landscape results in environmental pressures that shape genetic diversity among populations. Find out more about my work on my website.
Charlene Tarsa – Lab Manager
I am interested in conservation biology and the effects of climate change on populations. I completed my M.A. in Biology at Buffalo State College studying the metagenomic diversity of fungal communities in and outside of ant nests, and I am excited to study conservation genomics and diversity in the Meek lab.
Sara Hugentobler – PhD Student
My research interests center around the population dynamics and genetics of aquatic species, as well as overall species diversity in aquatic environments. Specifically, I am interested in the mechanisms of population divergence and the barriers to gene flow. I am primarily concerned with how these patterns and processes are relevant for conservation and management.
Miranda Wade – PhD Student
I study conservation genetics and am interested in small population conservation. My research centers around discovering impacts on populations from fragmentation, especially due to anthropogenic change. I hope to use my research to help inform future management actions and to create public outreach programs.
Sierra Kaszubinski – MS Student
I am an Integrative Biology master’s student at Michigan State University. I recently graduated from the University of Arizona, receiving a B.S. in Organismal Biology. While at the University of Arizona, I was involved in several projects working with human and plant pathogens, and was president of the Criminal Justice Association. I am a Department of Defense SMART Scholar, and will work for the U.S. Army Defense Forensic Science Center upon graduation. I am interested in the next generation sequencing applications to forensic science.
Sierra is co-advised by Dr. Benbow in the Department of Entomology: https://ericbenbow.wixsite.com/website.
Do not hesitate to contact Sierra with any questions: kaszubin[at]msu.edu.
Torél Beard – Undergraduate Researcher
I’m a senior undergraduate at Michigan State University, majoring in zoology with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. My research interests are in the genetics and evolution of behavior, and my goal is to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in evolutionary biology.
Kyle Jaynes – PhD student
I am currently a PhD student in Sarah Fitzpatrick’s Lab in the department of Integrative Biology and interdisciplinary program of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior at Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University. I am a biologist driven by questions linking ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology – and most fascinated with amphibians and reptiles. Explore my website for more info: https://kylejaynes.weebly.com/.
Ellery and Asa- Budding Ecologists
Ellery and Asa are interested in the many wonders of the natural world. Ellery is going to be a tiger scientist, but she also has a strong interest in caterpillar ecology. Asa is going to be a tree scientist, but is also collecting a lot of data on the chemical ecology of pretty much anything he can fit in his mouth.
Chai – Lab Mascot
Chai’s research interests are in the behavioral ecology of small mammals, with a particular focus on trying to understand the adaptations that allow squirrels to successfully avoid canine predation.