Scarites, Pardosa, Hogna
Miami University Ecology Research Center
The Rypstra Laboratory
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Undergraduate Students

We are always looking for motivated undergraduates interested in participating in ecology and/or animal behavior research, with spiders and insects as model organisms. Undergraduate students in our lab perform tasks such as feeding and maintaining laboratory arthropod populations, collecting specimens in the field, and processing samples and data. Many of our undergraduates develop research projects, either independently or in collaboration with graduate students. Read below about our current/recently graduated undergraduates who have conducted research projects.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Rittman

Sandra Rittman (January 2008 - present)

Sandra has collaborated with Sam Evans and recent PhD recipient Kerri Wrinn on a laboratory study addressing the effects of herbicide exposure on the predatory abilities of Hogna helluo. Sandra plans to attend dental school upon graduation.

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Breen

Kelsey Breen (May 2009 - present)

Kelsey has been assisting PhD student Michael Sitvarin on experiments investigating spider and beetle responses to alternating patches of chemical cues from different intraguild predators. She has recently been awarded a University Summer Scholars internship to conduct an independent project in the summer of 2010.

 

 

 

 

Lara Gossman

Lara Gossman (August 2009 - present)

Lara has recently been awarded a University Summer Scholars internship to study the bacterium Wolbachia spp. as it affects sex ratio of the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides.

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel C. Evans

Samuel Evans (Graduated May 2010)

Sam engaged in multiple independent and collaborative projects addressing the effects of herbicide exposure on spider and beetle behaviors, survival, and responses to chemical cues. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the University of Akron, where he is studying the evolutionary biomechanics of spider silk and its associated behaviors.

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Fain and Ashley Conner (Graduated May 2010)

Leighton and Ashley collaborated with Dr. Chad Hoefler (Arcadia University) on a project investigating the effect of diet quality on offspring sex ratio in the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides. Both are now in dental school.

 

 

Steven Nagy

Steven Nagy (Graduated December 2009)

Steven conducted an independent study investigating the effect of diet quality on agonistic behavioral tendencies of the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides. He now works as a wildlife technician in Texas.

Pholcus phalangioides
Department of Zoology | Graduate School | Ecology Research Center | Undergraduate Research Funding