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.

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).

Tara Saley, PhD Student


Tara’s research interests are in ecology and evolutionary genetics. Her current work will experimentally identify the determinants of host use and limits to colonization of an exotic host plant (alfalfa) by the Melissa blue butterfly (L. melissa). This work focuses specifically on the consequences of plant and insect genetic and trait variation for the outcome of plant-insect interactions.

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

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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