Dr. Theresa Culley – PI


Current Graduate Students

MeganPhilpottDr. Megan Philipott (PhD, 2018) – RECENTLY GRADUATED!
Megan was coadvised with Dr. Valerie Pence at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Center for the Reintroduction of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) facility to examine the effect of different tissue storage technique on DNA quality of plant tissue.  She is now a post-doc at the CREW facility just down the street from our laboratory.  She continues on our joint Hawaiian Plant Project with the CREW.


Robert Tunison (MS Student, 2018) –  RECENTLY GRADUATED!
Rob just finished his MS degree during Summer 2018, after focusing on the question of how best to characterize global biodiversity on a country by country basis. Rob has been intimately involved in the Publication Bias project, contributing his coding expertise and ability to manipulate large data sets.  To top it off, he is a first-rate birder and talented botanist in the field.

BenMerrittBen Merritt (PhD Candidate)
Ben is using his expertise in GIS to answer ecological questions involving several different systems, ranging from plant-insect interactions in alpine environments to integrative taxonomy in Camassia. Previous to joining the PhD program, Ben worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher, collaborating to publish a number of studies.  He is co-advised by Dr. Steve Matter.

RERobert Elam  (PhD Student)
Robert recently finished his MS degree in our laboratory, focusing on the effects of coal particulates on plant growth and responses to light stimuli.  He is now working towards his PhD, focusing on the population genetics of wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei), a relatively new invasive in Ohio.

Jeremiah Allen (PhD Student)
Following his interests in conservation biology, Jeremiah joined our lab during Summer 2018 as a researcher on the Hawaiian Conservation Projects, in collaboration with Dr. Valerie Pence at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  Jeremiah is currently develop molecular markers in a variety of endangered Hawaiian plant taxa known as exceptional species.

Max Winklejohn (MS Student)
Having previously worked in our lab as an undergraduate researcher with Robert Elam, Max is now forging his own research path as a MS student.  Starting Fall 2018, he is just now developing his research project.

Former Graduate Students


Current Undergraduate Students

TziporahSerotaTziporah Serota  – Tziporah began in our lab as a high school senior, and has continued on for a few years.  She has been working on quantifying germination of Callery pear seeds, updating the classic Reichard and White (2001) review of invasive woody plants, and researching why Callery pear trees are appearing in forest interiors.


Katherine Curtis  – Kate started to work in our lab in early 2018 to learn about DNA extraction techniques and to assist in the Camassia project.

Katrina Culbertson – A recent graduate of Miami University, Katrina has been working in our laboratory this summer as a intern for our Hawaiian Plant Project with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s CREW team.  She has been instrumental in testing different microsatellite markers for amplification in a variety of rare, endangered plant species as part of the larger project.

Monroe Connor  – Monroe has been working with Megan Philpott to develop microsatellite markers the Lakeside Daisy and to extract DNA on a variety of CREW projects.

Alexis Wafer  – Alexis is working on a variety of projects, including a very interesting study of the effect of the tiki on PCR productivity (!).

Diana Bolton – This summer, Diana has been working to generate microsatellite data on several plants, under the tutelage of Megan Philpott.

Former Undergraduate Students


Affiliated Members

EricTepeEric Tepe – An Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, Dr. Tepe shares our lab suite and our lab members are highly intermixed.  He is a plant systematist with expertise in the Solanaceae and the Piper genus.


MarwaMarwa Ammar – After working towards her MS degree in Egypt, Marwa has been volunteering in the lab to learn genetic techniques.  She is also a team member in our Publication Bias project, conducted with UC’s Digital Scholarship Center.


MariaTorresMaria Torres – Maria is a Visiting Assistant Professor in our department who conducts her research with Eric Tepe in our laboratory suite.  Originally from Columbia, she is also a member of our Publication Bias project.