CulleyDr. Theresa Culley – PI

Dr. Culley is a plant evolutionary biologist who us very curious and loves to explore new questions, especially involving the plant world. She studies both rare, endangered species as well as invasive plants, and is interested in working with diverse groups of individuals.

Graduate Students

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.


MaxWinkeljohnMax Winkeljohn (PhD Student)
Having started as an undergraduate researcher, Max has quickly progressed to developing his own interest in working with endangered oak and ash tree species in collaboration with Dr. Valerie Pence at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s CREW facility. He is currently focusing on improving the methodology of in vitro micropropagation and cryopreservation techniques.


Francis CartieriFrancis Cartieri (MS student)
Francis is working on an empirical study investigating how to define a species within the Camassia species complex, using integrative taxonomy of different data sets (genetic, phylogenetic, morphometric, and ecological niche modeling). Such research is not only part of his MS degree in biology, but it also complemented his MS degree obtained  in the Philosophy Department.


Former Graduate Students


Undergraduate Students

Looking for New Undergraduate Researchers! Please contact Theresa Culley

Rebecca Holdren 
Becca started in our lab Spring 2021 and is currently helping with the Publication Bias Project before embarking on her own project this coming year.


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. Together with Dr. Culley, they greatly enjoy co-teaching Medical Botany (BIOL 3052).


MariaTorresMaria Torres – Dr. Torres is Assistant Professor-Educator in our department who conducts her research with Eric Tepe in our laboratory suite.  She teaches a number of courses in our department and also serves as an academic advisor to a number of our majors. Originally from Columbia, she is also a member of our Publication Bias project.