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 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.


David Cheng

David Cheng

Ph.D. Student
Email: chungte.cheng@ufl.edu

I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. I have been focusing not only on agricultural pests and the identification and management of introduced species, but also on the phylogenetics of several groups of lepidopterans back in Taiwan. I’m interested in topics related to invasive species, phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, and biogeography. Apart from entomology, I used to study herpetology during my master’s degree.

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.

Christian Couch

couch Masters Student 
Email: christian.couch@ufl.edu 

I am an M.S. biotechnology student in the college of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  I work on many molecular projects relating to conservation, biodiversity and phylogenetics within Lepidoptera. I am also interested in studying Chemistry and Ecology and Conservation outside of research. I enjoy the wildlife, collecting insects and traveling.

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.

Rachel Walsh

Ph.D. Student

Twitter: @swamp_lily
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 focuses on conservation genetics and ecology of these disjunct populations with the goal to inform management and aid recovery.