Jacob Bethin

BethinMasters Student
Email: bethinj@ufl.edu

I am an M.S. entomology student interested in the taxonomy and systematics of aquatic moths (Crambidae: Acentropinae). My research pertains to creating the first molecular phylogeny of Acentropinae to help further understand their biology and evolutionary history. I am also a recipient of the McGuire Graduate Research Assistantship, and am responsible for assisting with the curation of Pyraloidea and other Lepidoptera in the MGCL collections.

Isabel Cacacho

isabelPh.D. Student
Email: ana.lopez@ufl.edu

I am a passionate biologist interested in entomology, molecular biology, physiology, genetics, and bioinformatics. My research thus far has centered around different arthropod taxa, focusing on questions associated with the development of adaptations. Currently, I am working with moths and their ability to sequester toxins from plants.

Rachel Walsh

Ph.D. Student
Email: rachel.walsh@floridamuseum.ufl.edu

I am a Ph.D. student studying ecology and genetics of the Loammi skipper (Atrytonopsis loammi), an imperiled Florida butterfly. The Loammi skipper once ranged across much of the southeastern U.S. but has faced significant declines in the past century, resulting in only a small number of remaining disjunct populations in Florida. My research will focus on conservation genetics and ecology of these disjunct populations with the goal to inform management and aid recovery.

Chelsea Skojec

SkojecPh.D. Student
Email: chelseaskoj@ufl.edu

I am interested in the evolution of complex traits used in anti-predatory defenses. Specifically, my research focuses on the evolution and efficacy of conspicuous coloration and patterns such as eyespots, used in deimatic displays. I am using an integrated approach of phylogenetics, genomics, and AI to provide a better understanding of these traits and their evolution.

Scott Cinel

cinelPh.D. Student
Email: cinel1@ufl.edu

My research focuses on the influence that predators have on the physiology and life-history traits (i.e. developmental, reproductive, etc.) of their prey, through what are called ‘non-consumptive effects’ or what I like to refer to as predator-induced stress responses. For my masters and doctoral work, I have specifically studied how moths equipped with ultrasound-sensitive ears respond physiologically to hearing playback of recorded bat foraging and attack calls and have used gene expression experiments to identify the genetic machinery underlying this predator-induced stress response in the brains and reproductive tissues of adult corn earworm moths.

Juliette Rubin

girl taking photo of mothPh.D. Student
Email: julietterubin@ufl.edu

Google Scholar

I study the evolution of elaborated traits, focusing on Lepidoptera. I am interested in understanding the evolutionary route and process by which traits emerge and how they are maintained by multi-predator communities and sexual selection. In Dr. Kawahara’s lab I am using behavioral and phylogenetic approaches to further explore specialized wing traits in Saturniidae, especially focusing on the Actias clade.

Amanda Markee

Image of Amanda Markee for bioMasters Student 
Twitter: @kkbugtime
Email: amarkee@floridamuseum.ufl.edu

I’m a full-time bug enthusiast interested in conservation genetics, population ecology, and evolution. I’m currently managing lab personnel for the Kawahara Lab and helping with molecular projects pertaining to phylogenetics, community ecology, and biogeography. Outside of my research, I am interested in science outreach in the context of museums, diversity in STEM and open access to science.