Graduate Students

About

Our biology graduate students work closely with faculty members on research. For information about our graduate students’ research, see below.

For faculty research interests and contact information, see our faculty directory.

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Photo of Hannah Coles

Hannah Coles

Graduate Student
Spruell and McNeely's Lab
Photo of Hannah Coles
SCI 190 & SCI 275
Photo of Dana Colley

Dana Colley

Graduate Student
Magori's Lab
Photo of Dana Colley

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), caused by the psychrophilic pathogenic fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States since its initial introduction in 2006 and recent expansion into the western United States. Understanding the factors that contribute to the spread of Pd and the risk of infection is crucial for management of WNS as it becomes more pervasive throughout the United States. Bat ectoparasites, such as bat flies and bat mites, are omnipresent in bat populations, yet the relationship between these ectoparasites and WNS health is still unknown. I am studying the relationship between these bat ectoparasites and the skin microbiome in relation to WNS infection risk in Washington State bats. Using next-gen sequencing techniques, I aim to determine whether ectoparasites decrease the skin microbiome diversity of these bats, increasing their susceptibility for becoming infected with Pd. Using culturing methods, I also aim to isolate naturally occurring antifungal bacteria from the skin of these bats that may be valuable as probiotic therapies to treat WNS in local colonies the future.

Photo of Kathryn Collins

Kathryn Collins

Graduate Student
Ashley & L Matos' Lab
Photo of Kathryn Collins
SCI 238 & 293
Photo of Alicia Cozza

Alicia Cozza

Graduate Student
Spruell's Lab
Photo of Alicia Cozza
SCI 290
Photo of Sarah Deshazer

Sarah Deshazer

Graduate Student
Magori's Lab
Photo of Sarah Deshazer
Photo of Krista Dodd

Krista Dodd

Graduate Student
Walke's Lab
Photo of Krista Dodd
SCI 289
Photo of Nicole Hamada

Nicole Hamada

Grraduate Student
Case's Lab
Photo of Nicole Hamada
SCI 102

I am conducting research on cirrhosis of the liver from an etiology of alcohol induced liver disease. My research investigates the role of hepatocytes when a liver is cirrhotic and pathway/mechanisms of cytokine signaling that result in fibrogenesis. My graduate research will be based on dictating liver histology and reviewing current literature in hopes of analyzing cytokine signaling in order to manipulate adipose stem cells for liver regeneration.

Photo of Christopher Harding

Christopher Harding

Graduate Student
Ashley's Lab
Photo of Christopher Harding
Photo of Collin Hendricks

Collin Hendricks

Graduate Student
Spruell's Lab
Photo of Collin Hendricks

Autumn Holley

Graduate Student
Walke's Lab
Photo of Jennifer Horwith

Jennifer Horwith

Graduate Student
Walke's Lab
Photo of Jennifer Horwith
Photo of Emma Hoskins

Emma Hoskins

Graduate Student
Brown's Lab
Photo of Emma Hoskins

I am interested in how success in ecological restoration is defined. More specifically, I am interested in whether ecosystems restored to have all the characteristics of a target ecosystem also maintain the same ecological processes as the target ecosystem. To explore this question in terms of pollination, my research is comparing the structure of plant-pollinator interaction networks between remnant and reconstructed Palouse Prairie sites. Plant-pollinator networks are all the interactions that occur between pollinating insects and flowering plants. Comparing the structure of these networks among reconstructed and remnant prairies sites will provide insight into which flowering plants are important to pollinating insects for the resources they provide, which pollinating insects are important for the reproductive success of flower plants, how these relationships may change as a site progresses through restoration recovery, and if interaction networks are currently being re-established in Palouse Prairie restoration.

Photo of Tiffany Jordan

Tiffany Jordan

Graduate Student
Magori's Lab
Photo of Tiffany Jordan
Photo of Katelin Killoy

Katelin Killoy

Graduate Student
Brown's Lab
Photo of Katelin Killoy
SCI 245

I am researching Beaver Dam Analogs (BDA) in the Methow and Okanogan watersheds. Stream incision can lower biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Beaver dams are known to help restore streams with channel incision. BDAs are man made structures that mimic beaver dams. It is unknown whether BDAs are as successful as beaver dams. I am using a Before-After-Control Impact design to compare sites with beaver activity and sites with BDAs over the course of the BDAs being built. I am using vegetation surveys, topography surveys, pebble counts, water time travel, and water quality measurements to determine the success of the BDAs.

Blake Pfeffer

Graduate Student
Allen's Lab
Photo of Ronald Scerbicke

Ronald Scerbicke

Graduate Student
Black's Lab
Photo of Ronald Scerbicke
Photo of Kristy Snyder

Kristy Snyder

Graduate Student
Brown's Lab
Photo of Kristy Snyder
Photo of Bryn Tennyson

Bryn Tennyson

Graduate Student
Castillo's Lab
Photo of Bryn Tennyson

I am working in Dr. Castillo’s lab furthering her work with Manuka honey and it’s affect on pathogenic bacterial species.

Photo of Benjamin Thompson

Benjamin Thompson

Graduate Student
Magori's Lab
Photo of Benjamin Thompson

I am researching tick populations in the greater Spokane area. My collection data is used twofold. One purpose is to create a questing tick density map of Spokane County, WA to visually show the areas that have the highest likelihood of encountering ticks. Also, all ticks collected are tested for disease. The primary disease of concern is Rocky Mountain spotted fever caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. The purpose for this is the public health importance of monitoring local vector-borne zoonotic diseases.

Photo of Craig Wells

Craig Wells

Graduate Student
Spruell's Lab
Photo of Craig Wells

My research aims to use molecular techniques build a genetic baseline that can be used to identify the most likely stream of natal origin for Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) within the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Basin in the hopes of aiding conservation goals for the species. Many dams in the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Basin lack fish passage systems, a problem which blocks migratory salmonids—including Westslope Cutthroat Trout—from completing spawning migrations to their natal streams and making reproductive/genetic contributions. A genetic baseline, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), will allow biologists and managers to capture a fish below a barrier, conduct a genetic analysis, and then use those results to make informed decisions about whether that fish should receive passage over a barrier. Improving the passage of migratory individuals over dams will allow them to reproduce and make genetic contributions to populations that may be experiencing decline.

Theodore Wheat

Graduate Student
Case's Lab
SCI 102