Zach Gompert, Associate Professor


Zach is broadly interested in evolutionary biology and population genetics. His current empirical research focus is on hybridization and speciation, the genetic basis  and evolution of complex or quantitative adaptive traits, the evolution of ecological interactions, and the causes and consequences of fluctuating selection and contemporary evolution. His research involves genomic analyses of natural and experimental populations. He also develops statistical models and computer software for evolutionary genomic analyses.

Lauren Lucas, Research Scientist & Instructor


Lauren is interested in biology education and evolutionary biology. Her current work focuses on the evolution of butterfly wing patterns and the ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of temporally fluctuating selection in Lycaeides butterflies.

Linyi Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher


Linyi is broadly interested in adaptation and speciation. For her PhD work, she explored how divergent host use promotes reproductive isolation among sympatric populations of gall wasps. For her postdoc research, she is working with Dr. Gompert to explore how environmental variation across time and space drives changes in allele frequency among Lycaeides butterflies.

Amy Springer, PhD Student


Amy is interested in basic and applied evolutionary biology and her research combines field and lab experiments, quasi-natural selection experiments, and population genomics. She uses cowpea seed beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus) as a model system to study inbreeding depression and the contribution of admixture to host adaptation (evolutionary rescue). She has additional projects on genetic diversity and gene flow within a narrowly endemic butterfly species (Hayden’s ringlet) and it much more widespread congener (Coenonympha tullia).

Brian Kissmer, PhD student


Brian is broadly interested in evolutionary biology and population genetics, with specific research interests in advancing understanding of the factors that determine the predictability and repeatability of adaptive evolution. His current work uses experimental evolution in  Callosobruchus maculatus seed beetles to address these questions.

Daniel Johnson, NSF REPS scholar


Daniel is interested in evolutionary biology and population genetics, and their implications on conservation and management. He’s been involved with a broad range of fieldwork in spatial ecology and monitoring, but his current research involves using molecular techniques to genotype structural variants in Lycaeides butterflies to determine how patterns of introgression vary at these loci across space and over time.

Kenen Goodwin, Undergraduate Researcher

Kenen has designed and led a project to quantify temporal and spatial variation in the microbiome of tiger salamanders. He is particularly interested in microbes with antifungal properties that could protect against chytrid fungus.

Former Students

Tara Saley, PhD Student (2017-2019), now in a graduate program in Environmental Engineering at USU.

Samridhi Chaturvedi, PhD Student (2014-2019), now a post-doc in Robin Hopkins’ lab at Harvard University

Alex Rego, MS student (2016-2019), now a PhD student in Rike Stelkens’ lab at Stockholm University

Jacqueline Peña, MS student (2017-2019), now a PhD student in Jill Anderson’s lab at the University of Georgia

Zach Valois, Undergraduate Researcher (2013-2015),

Peter Nelson, Undergraduate Researcher (2013-2015)

Rober Olsen, Undergraduate Researcher (2014-2015)

Alberto de Rosa, Graduate Researcher (2014-2015)

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