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Department of Biology
258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2339

Biology Graduate Students

For additional information about the graduate program, please click on the link below:

Graduate Program


  • Christopher Baber
    Christopher Baber
    Graduate Student - Castillo Lab
    SCI 291
  • Christopher Brady
    Christopher Brady
    Graduate Student - O'Connell Lab
    SCI 272

    I am currently measuring the owl species richness and abundance on TNWR using autonomous digital recorders in non-commercially thinned treatment areas.

  • Jarrett Cellini
    Jarrett Cellini
    Graduate Student - Brown's Lab
    SCI 245

    I received my BS in Biology at Illinois State University in 2010. As an undergraduate, I conducted research on mosquito larvae (Aedes sp.) testing population growth under various conditions of food availability. Following graduation I worked as an ecological consultant managing and assisting with projects focusing on wind energy development, watershed planning, flora and fauna monitoring, wetland delineations, site management planning, and regulatory document preparation. For my thesis at Eastern Washington University I will be exploring the interaction between biocrust and vascular plants in Eastern Washington.

  • Derek Entz
    Derek Entz
    Graduate Student - O'Connell's Lab
    SCI 272

    I received my BA in Environmental Science from Simpson College, Iowa in 2014. While at Simpson College, during summers, I worked for the Pend Oreille Public Utility District where most of my work was focused on stream restoration for native trout species; specifically, Bull (Salvelinus confluentus) and Westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi).  Currently I am pursuing my Master's in Biology at Eastern Washington University.  


  • Adam Gilles
    Adam Gilles
    Graduate Student: Black's Lab
    SCI 252

     I received my BA in history from Old Dominion University in Virginia in 2011.  I continued with post-bac studies in the sciences at Peninsula College and WSU, and entered the graduate program at EWU in the fall of 2014.  I am a member of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) and the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG) and have taken part in ongoing studies of turtle population dynamics in Florida for the past two years.  I also participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in 2013 studying turtles, snakes and crocodilians in north central Costa Rica.  In 2014 I returned, independent of the REU, to Costa Rica to continue the study there.  My work at EWU will be dealing with herpetological ecology in the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.  TURTLES ARE AWESOME!

  • Amy Gray
    Amy Gray
    Graduate Student - Schwab Lab

    I completed a BS-Biology at EWU in 2013, and have been pleased to stay on for the MS-Biology program so that I may study fungi through molecular techniques. I am currently interested in the local community of fungal endophytes in the needles of ponderosa pine.

  • Samuel Gunselman
    Samuel Gunselman
    Graduate Student - Spruell's Lab
    SCI 190
  • Calla Hagle
    Calla Hagle
    Graduate Student - O'Connell Lab

    I received my B.S. in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho in 2010. Since then I have worked for the Forest Service studying numerous species including bald eagle, Goshawk, White-headed woodpecker, Flammulated owls, and rattlesnakes. I have trapped sage-grouse and collected hair samples (for DNA analysis) from carnivores including bear and wolves. Before working in wildlife research, I worked as a wildland firefighter. Besides having some exciting times fighting wildfires, I worked on a variety of fire management projects that were directed toward forest and habitat restoration and soil and water protection.  For my thesis project, I am studying the seasonal habitat use of elk populations in north central Idaho.

  • Amy Hess
    Amy Hess
    Graduate Student - O'Quinn's Lab
    SCI 242
  • Chantilly Higbee
    Chantilly Higbee
    Graduate Student - J. Matos' Lab
    SCI 240

    My research interests are in aquatic toxicology. I am interested in the relationships between environmental contaminants and invertebrate physiology, and in the use of invertebrates as biomonitors in impacted ecosystems. My thesis research involves studying the patterns of amphipod (Hyalella azteca) abundance and metal burden in the contaminated Coeur d'Alene (CdA) chain lakes and testing the stress and tolerance of CdA amphipods to trace metal and thermal stresses.

  • Taylor McCroskey
    Taylor McCroskey
    Graduate Student - Black Lab
  • Timothy Moran
    Timothy Moran
    Graduate Student - O'Quinn Lab
    SCI 242

    Phenotypic characterization of woody growth among juvenile peach trees recently repropated at Wolfskill Experimental Orchards in Winters, California.

  • Wyatt Plastino
    Wyatt Plastino
    Graduate Student - O'Quinn Lab
    SCI 250 (Mycology Lab)

    It is a pleasure to meet you, I'm Wyatt Plastino. I received a double BS in Environmental Science (Bio) and Biology at Eastern Washington University in 2013. During My undergraduate studies I also completed the requirements for the Wetland Management Certification leading my focused on hydrology and the wetland sciences. By trade I'm a gardener having spent my summers working at the Finch Arboretum for 5 years. Currently I'm perusing a master in Biology and my thesis work has led me to water quality management with USGS out on long lake.




  • Morgan Powell
    Morgan Powell
    Graduate Student - Castillo's Lab
    SCI 291
  • Renae Reed
    Renae Reed
    Graduate Student - Black's Lab
    SCI 252

    I received my bachelor's in English from the Evergreen State College in 2007. After a jumble of eclectic life experiences, I returned to school for post-bac studies in biology. In 2013, I was chosen for a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Costa Rica working in herpetology.  In 2014, I returned under my own grant-funded study. I came to EWU in 2014 to pursue a master's degree in biology, with the goal to eventually teach. My thesis work is on the plastic morphological and behavioral responses of larval salamanders to native and non-native predators.


  • Ryan Reihart
    Ryan Reihart
    Graduate Student - McNeely Lab
    SCI 275

    I received my B.S. in Environmental Biology from the University of Dayton in 2014.  During my undergraduate adventure at UD, I worked on a project investigating the impact of honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) on aquatic macroinvertebrates in Dr. Ryan McEwan's lab.  Currently, my thesis research is focused on the prey availability for the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) larvae in Lake Roosevelt.  


  • Chelan Rogers
    Chelan Rogers
    Graduate Student - Black lab

    I received my BS in Biology from Utah State University in 2013. My previous research experience includes working with insect biocontrol in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, invasive species of lady bird beetles, and vegetation surveys to monitor bee habitat. I am primarily interested in evolutionary ecology, particularly in invertebrate systems.  My thesis project involves phenotypic plasticity of Daphnia pulex in multi-predator systems. Specifically, I am interested in applying the well-studied phenomenon of necktooth induction via Chaoborus kairomone into an ecological context.

  • Cristine Schucker
    Cristine Schucker
    Graduate Student - McNeely Lab

    I received my B.S. in Biology (and a minor in chemistry) from EWU in the Spring of 2011. Currently I am pursuing a microbial stream ecology thesis, which incorporates a few of my favorite areas of study: the environment, microbiology and molecular biology. My study area is Latah Watershed (aka Hangman Watershed), here in Eastern WA. The purpose of my research is to determine if there is a correlation between the amount of agricultural runoff and overall nitrifier abundance, as well as a change in microbial species diversity.  The two molecular techniques I will be using (qPCR and T-RFLP) on DNA extracted from the sediment microbes will allow me to quantify a functional gene (amo-monooxygenase) in nitrifiers, and calculate overall species diversity based on the small ribosomal subunit, 16s rRNA.


  • Robert Shadix
    Robert Shadix
    Graduate Student - Magori's Lab
    SCI 272
  • Bryan Witte
    Bryan Witte
    Graduate Student - Spruell's Lab
    SCI 190
  • Jenae Yri
    Jenae Yri
    Graduate Student - Joyner-Matos Lab
    SCI 240 (Physiology Lab)

     I received my B.S. degree in biology, with an emphasis on wildlife management and conservation, from EWU in 2013. My graduate thesis work is exploring how the quality of wetlands at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is affected by the presence of invasive brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans). I will be looking at the temporal components of the invasion by comparing wetlands that are historically invaded, recently invaded and not invaded. One component of this work is looking at water quality, macroinvertebrate and macrophyte abundance, and waterfowl brooding pairs. Another component of this work is looking at fingernail clam reproductive success and stress physiology in stickleback-containing ponds.


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