Nancy Logo Image

Present StevensLab members

     
 

Graduate Students:

 

Sophia Beery

PhD student, Biological Sciences
Sophia is a biological sciences student at Ohio University interested in carnivoran diet and tooth morphology. Her present interests dental microwear and morphological complexity in the carnivores of Africa and Madagascar.

 

Wren Edwards

PhD candidate, Biological Sciences
Wren is a biological sciences student at Ohio University interested in how organisms respond to environmental change through time. Her research experiences include paleontological field work in eastern Africa, and extant great ape behavioral research in western Africa. Her present interests include the human – wildlife interface, particularly with regard to extant great ape populations.

 

Kelly Flanigan

Kelly is an environmental studies graduate student at Ohio University interested in wildlife conservation, particularly with Madagascar’s endemic euplerid carnivores. Her background is in environmental science, and she hopes to use this interdisciplinary field to work with human - wildlife conflicts.

 

Michael McTernan

MSc Candidate, Environmental Studies, current
Mike is a member of the Honors Tutorial College, studying Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies. He is also a student at the Voinovich School pursuing a masters degree in Environmental Studies. His research focuses on the interactions between development and the environment, particularly the nexus of conservation and agriculture and how conservation is related to social and economic equity.

 

Eileen Wyza

MS in Environmental studies, 2017
Phd student, Biological Sciences, current
Eileen completed her MS in Environmental Studies at Ohio University studying Madagascar’s largest predator, the fosa. For her PhD she is continuing her work on carnivore biology, with a focus on coyote – domestic dog hybridization and its effects on behavior and ecology.
Published work

     
 

Undergraduate Students:

 

Suzy Aftabizadeh

Specimen-Based Research Technician, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility
Suzy began working in the Stevens lab as a high school volunteer and is now an Ohio University undergraduate pre-med major. She is interested in scientific research techniques and works as a research technician in the Stevens lab as both a digital and mechanical specimen preparator, with a particular focus on micro-CT datasets and morphological complexity analyses. Her goal is to acquire experience in laboratory research and hypothesis testing.

 

Ellie Klein

Specimen-Based Research Assistant, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility
Ellie began working in the Stevens lab as a high school volunteer and is now an Ohio University undergraduate majoring in Engineering. She is interested in scientific research techniques and works in the Stevens lab as a specimen-based research assistant, serving as a microscopy image database expert. Her goal is to learn and acquire experience in research techniques and data management for complex interdisciplinary research projects.

 

Rosa Negash

Preparator and Volunteer Coordinator, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility
Rosa began working in the Stevens lab as a high school volunteer and is now an Ohio University undergraduate majoring in Nutrition. She is interested in scientific research techniques and after years of training in the Stevens lab, she serves as the lead preparator and volunteer coordinator at the OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility. Rosa has conducted field work in the western interior, and her goal is to learn and acquire experience in biological research and laboratory work.

     
 

Affliliated Researchers:

 

Matthew Borths

Matthew is a research affiliate of the Stevens lab, and his work considers the evolution of meat-eating mammals. He is particularly interested hyaenodonts, an extinct group of carnivores that once topped the African food chain before they were replaced by the relatives of dogs, cats, and hyenas. As a laboratory coordinator and NSF Postdoc in the StevensLab, he focused on the transition from hyaenodont-dominated ecosystems to ecosystems featuring modern carnivores as the top predators. Matt is the co-creator of Past Time, a podcast, blog, and classroom outreach program that uses fossils to demonstrate the basic scientific principles that are foundational to spectacular discoveries. Matt now directs the Division of Fossil Primates at Duke University.

 

Karie Whitman

MS, Environmental Studies, 2017
MSES Thesis Title: Preparator and Collections Manager, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility, 2013–2018
Karie is a research affiliate in the Stevens lab, interested in the dynamics of biodiversity conservation initiatives in relation to the communities that are involved in and affected by these initiatives. Her long term research explores the effectiveness of alternative livelihood strategies in alleviating deforestation pressures on the biodiverse and newly protected area of Maromizaha Forest, Madagascar. Prior to her enrollment as a Master’s student in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Karie was a student research assistant at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, with additional experience in AmeriCorps. Karie was a student and collections manager in the Stevens lab before becoming a Fulbright Research Scholar in Madagascar.

     
 

StevensLab Alumni:

 

Brett Allerding

Undergraduate PACE student, 2014—2015

 

Kenneth Brunson

Undergraduate PACE student, 2009-10
Research topic: Kinematics of Locomotion in Nonhuman Primates
Proceeded to train at Ohio State University Veterinary School

 

Eric Gorskac

Preparator, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility
Eric worked as a preparatory at the OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility before completing his PhD in the Biological Sciences (O’Connor Lab). He pursued a post doctoral research fellowship at Field Museum of Natural History, and is now an Assistant Professor at Midwestern in Chicago.

 

Jacob McCartney

Currently, Assistant Professor of Biology, State University of New York, Geneseo
Instructor and Postdoctoral Researcher

 

Keegan Melstrom

Preparator and Collections Manager, OU Paleobiology Specimen Preparation Facility
now in graduate school at University of Utah

 

Daniel Mwania

MSc, Environmental Studies, 2016
Thesis title: Distribution and Density of the Invasive Plant Species Prosopis juliflora in the Western Turkana Region of Northern Kenya

 

Emily Naylor

Currently, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology Graduate Student at University of California, Riverside
Undergraduate PACE student, 2011–2012
Senior Thesis, 2012–2013
Laboratory Technichian, 2013–2015

 

Haley O'Brien

PhD Dissertation title: Evolutionary and Comparative Morphology; Cenozoic African Paleobiology
Haley O'Brien completed her PhD in the Stevens Lab in 2016. Her research explored thermoregulatory cranial vasculature and its influence upon large mammal evolution across the Cenozoic, using fossil and neontological data to inform macroevolutionary models. To read more about her research and publications, visit haleyobrien.net.

 

Shirley Odunze

Visiting Research Trainee
Thesis topic: Cenozoic African Paleobiology and the Sedimentary Geology of Nigeria

 

Jeremy Phan

MS in Environmental Studies, completed in 2012
Thesis topic: Strategies for Conservation of Critically-Endangered Primates in Vietnam
Received Outstanding MSES thesis Award in 2012

 

Jessica Piurowski

Undergraduate PACE student, 2015–present

 

Domoina Rakotoson

MA in African Studies, completed in 2009
Thesis title: Advancing Democracy through Community Based Conservation in Africa
currently conducting community conservation training in Madagascar

 

Verne Simons

MS in Biological Sciences, completed in 2007
Thesis title: Morphological Correlates of Locomotion in Anurans: Limb Length, Pelvic Anatomy and Contact Structure Morphology

 

Rebecca Smolenski

Undergraduate PACE student, 2010-2011

 

Will Stevens

Undergraduate UGRIP student, 2011—2012
Published research

 

Annalisa Weber

MS student, Environmental Studies, 2013–2015
Thesis Topic: Rule adherence during ecotourism encounters with Eastern Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, Uganda

 

Kenneth Wheeler

Undergraduate PACE student, 2012—2013