Phyletica bio photo


Exploring biodiversification.

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Interested in joining the Phyletica Lab?

If you are interested in becoming a phyletician as a postdoc, graduate student, or undergraduate researcher, please contact me.


Jamie Oaks bio photo

Jamie Oaks — Principal Investigator

Interested in developing phylogenetic methods and applying them to data from natural populations to test hypotheses about processes of diversification.

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Perry (JR) Wood, Jr. bio photo

Perry (JR) Wood, Jr. — Postdoctoral Researcher

JR is working on testing hypotheses about processes of diversification in Southeast Asian gekkonid lizards using novel methods for estimating patterns of shared divergences.

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Graduate Students

Kerry Cobb bio photo

Kerry Cobb — Ph.D. Student

Interested in the phylogenetics, speciation genomics, and reproductive isolating mechanisms among Anaxyrus toads.

Randy Klabacka bio photo

Randy Klabacka — Ph.D. Student

Co-advisor: Tonia Schwartz

I am fascinated by the coevolutionary relationship between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. I am interested in the role sexual reproduction plays in maintaining a healthy mitonuclear marriage, and analyzing the effects of parthenogenesis on mitochondrial dysfunction using physiological methods within a phylogenetic context.

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Tashitso Anamza bio photo

Tashitso Anamza — Ph.D. Student

From a nomadic region of Amdo. Tashi has an associate degree from Qinghai Normal University, and bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Kansas. She's interested in the mechanisms underlying biogeographic patterns of biodiversity.

Claire Tracy bio photo

Claire Tracy — Ph.D. Student

Interested in the interplay between speciation and adaptation, and the convergent evolution of adaptive traits in response to environmental factors.

Matt Buehler bio photo

Matt Buehler — Ph.D. Student

I am interested in using genomic datasets to inform us about the genetic diversity within breeding colonies and wild populations of the eastern Indigo Snake, Drymarcon couperi. Using the genomic data we will determine if reintroduced populations in southern Alabama have ample diversity to be viable long term. My masters work from Villanova University explored the evolution of sea kraits (genus Laticauda), and population dynamics of the yellow lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina).

Tanner Myers bio photo

Tanner Myers — Ph.D. Student

Interested in the processes that drive speciation, using reptiles and amphibians as a model.

Morgan Muell bio photo

Morgan Muell — Ph.D. Student

Co-advisor: Dan Warner

My research interests focus on the evolution of phenotypic traits, particularly those with potential applications to global change biology. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Iowa State University in 2018, where I studied how proximate environmental cues promote nesting emergence in painted turtles while working in Dr. Fredric Janzen's lab. Subsequently, I earned my Masters degree in Zoology in 2020 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where I worked with Dr. Jason L. Brown on phylogenomics and color pattern evolution of Ranitomeya poison frogs. In the Phyletica Lab, with co-advisement from Dr. Dan Warner, I am taking a comparative approach to studying the evolution of developmental plasticity among multiple lineages of Anolis lizards, with emphasis on the mainland species of Costa Rica. My goal is to examine how developmental plasticity is tied to both environment and common ancestry, in order to further our understanding of how organisms may respond to changing climates. Visit my website to get to know my research and me!

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Undergraduate Researchers

Hailey Whitaker bio photo

Hailey Whitaker — Undergraduate Researcher

Working on computational genomics and toad speciation.

Noah Yawn bio photo

Noah Yawn — Undergraduate Researcher

Working on plant diversification and conservation.

Mary Wells bio photo

Mary Wells — Undergraduate Researcher

Working on simulation-based assessments of phylogenetic methods.

Jacob Landram bio photo

Jacob Landram — Undergraduate Researcher

Working on indigo snake conservation genomics.

Honorary Members

Amalie Eden bio photo

Amalie Eden — Boss

The mastermind.

Luna bio photo

Luna — Lab canid


Former Lab Members

Charlotte Benedict — Undergraduate Researcher (2017–2020)

Currently: Graduate student at The Ohio State University

Ryan Cook — Undergraduate and Post-grad Researcher (2017–2020)

Currently: Graduate student at Villanova University

Holden Smith — Undergraduate Researcher (2018–2020)

Currently: Hydrologic Technician at the USGS

Breanna Sipley — M.Sc. Student (2016–2019)

Currently: Ph.D. student at the University of Idaho

Aundrea Westfall — M.Sc. Student (2016–2018)

Currently: Ph.D. student at the University of Texas, Arlington

Brian Folt — Postdoctoral Researcher (2018)

Currently: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Auburn University Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Jesse Grismer — Postdoctoral Researcher (2016–2018)

Currently: Assistant Professor of Biology at La Sierra University

Miles Horne — Undergraduate Researcher (2018–2019)

Currently: Graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso

Jorge Lopez-Perez — Undergraduate Researcher (Summer REU) (2019)

Virginia White — Undergraduate Researcher (2017–2018)

Nadia L'Bahy — Undergraduate Researcher (Summer REU) (2018)

Andrew DeSana — Undergraduate Researcher (Summer REU) (2018)

Kayla Wilson — Undergraduate Researcher (2018)

Currently: Graduate student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville

Eric Carbo — Undergraduate Researcher (2017–2018)