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Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Mercedes Burns (Ph. D. UMCP)







Postdoctoral Researchers



Sarah Stellwagen (M.S. Clemson, Ph.D. Virginia Tech)






Graduate Students

Tyler Brown (B.S. UMCP) is studying sexual conflict and reproductive assurance and their roles in the maintenance of geographic parthenogenesis in Leiobunum manubriatum and L. globosum. Tyler is passionate about science communication and can be found at @NotASpider_ on Twitter.







Undergraduate Researchers

Ryan Gunnison (’21, below) is fascinated by Hymenoptera and parasitism and is studying social behavior in harvesters













Marina Fahim (’21) is using flow cytometry to identify polyploid Japanese harvesters


Lab Alumni


Fleurine Amouzou Guiffo (’20) studied early-developing harvester species Leiobunum flavum and L. ventricosum using morphological keys

Harper Montgomery (’20) studied population incidence of bacterial endosymbionts in North American harvesters



Zulekha Karachiwalla (’21) studied spermathecal morphology in Leiobunum using a variety of imaging and 3D modeling methods








Shea Walsh (’20) studied the effects of humidity on harvester clustering



Mayukha Pakala (’19; M.S. Applied Molecular Biology ’20) used 3RAD sequencing to reconstruct the phylogeny of the L. vittatum group.







Genevieve Ahearn (’19) studied geographic patterns of body size and fecundity in facultative parthenogens




Frederick Flanagan (MS, Applied Molecular Biology)





Daniel DeWaters (BS ’18)