Christian Esquivel

Christian is exploring the diversity of milkweed (Genus Asclepias) and differences among their physiology.  He is part of a small group of undergrads working on plant/animal interactions with Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed.

Will Krogman, M.S.

Fall 2014-Fall 2016


Thesis Title:


Adaptive advantage of the ontogenetic transition of conspicuously colored tails to a cryptic morphology in the skink Plestiodon fasciatus


Marcus Thibodeau, M.S.

Fall 2014-Spring 2016


Thesis Title:


The Effects of Northern Bobwhite Quail Management on the Ecology of the Texas Horned Lizard


 Paige Cannedy


Thesis Topic: Effects of nicotine concentration on the physiology of the Tobacco Hornworm .  


Paige is co-advised by Watson and Mike Shipley, so she has a foot in each laboratory.  Her work will help document the effects of increased nicotine concentrations on a common tobacco pest, the Tobacco hornworm.  Nicotine is a chemical defense produced by the plant and this work will help us better understand the dynamics of this plant/animal interaction and associated evolutionary arms race.  

Jeanel Georges


Thesis Topic: Interspecific competition between Anolis oculatus and Anolis cristatellus: Impact of an invasive on an island endemic


Jeanel spent the Summer of 2016 educating students and gathering data in her home country of Dominica.  She is currently processing this data that will shed light on how an invasive species impacts the thermal physiology of an endemic.  Dominica was a one-Anolis island until Anolis cristatellus was introduced. This simple system will allow us to quantify the effects of this invasion on the Dominican Anole and test hypotheses regarding invasions on islands.

Kadesha Treco

Kadesha, a psychology major, is interested in behavioral ecology and, along with Diwya will be investigating the effect of prey coloration on choice in the Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis.

JayDeep Kolape, M.S.

Fall 2014-Fall 2015


Thesis Title:


Digestive Physiology and Gut Morphology of the Ground Skink, Scincella lateralis


Charles "Matt" Watson, Ph.D.


I am an integrative evolutionary biologist with interest and training in physiology, biogeography, biodiversity, conservation, and evolutionary ecology. Current projects in my lab integrate field ecology, physiological laboratory trials, and GIS to answer broad-scale evolutionary and ecological questions. 

Midwestern State University

Current

​Graduate Students

Ciera Wolinski

Ciera is scouring the literature for metabolic rate data.  Her dataset will be used to track the evolution of resting metabolic rate among reptiles in an effort to identify patterns and determine if RMR is generally conserved, exhibits a phylogenetic signal, or if it is somewhat randomly distributed among taxa.  

Bryant Jara

Bryant, along with Jessica, are investigating the effects of hypoxia on embryos.  He will be rearing gravid viviparous snakes under hypoxic and normoxic conditions to document their compensatory limits. Bryant will compare the extent of vascularization of the chorioallantoic membrane and measure fitness indicators of the neonates. 

​Undergraduates and Non-Biology Students


​​Rohan D. Jagdap          Microscopic Comparison of Alligator and Crocodile Teeth Suggest Differences in Amelogenesis Among the Crocodilidae.  
Joclyn LeBlanc             Differences in digestive efficiency of two common feeder insects to a popular reptile pet, the Leopard Gecko                                             
Adile Gendusa              Does species of prey affect digestive efficiency in North American skinks?
Sarah McBride               Optimum feeding frequency in corn snakes.
Yvonne Michaud            Does feeding frequency affect digestive efficiency in corn snakes?
Gamal Francis               Integrating Technology, Art and Science: 3-D printed lizard models for research in thermal biology
Simeon Nwegbo             Gut passage rate in the ground skink: A cooperative study between Biology and Radiological Sciences Laboratories
Donavan Tietje              Thermal physiology of the Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilus
Hannah Etheridge          Digestive efficiency in a remarkably small vertebrate predator, the Ground Skink

Lucretia Holloway         Efficacy of a new method for producing morphologically accurate operative temperature (Te) models for studies in lizard thermal ecology.
Luke Ledoux                  An evaluation of specific dynamic action of a small leaf-litter vertebrate, Scincella lateralis, eating common prey items
Lindsay Kravchuk          Corn snakes, crypsis, and substrate complexity:  Do cryptic snakes choose complex backgrounds?
Devin Norman                Thermal physiology of the ground skink (Scincella lateralis), a temperate thermo-conformer Poster Presentation
Scott Alford                    Behavioral Modification of Body shape by Texas Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum) increases thermoregulatory efficiency.
Paul Pasichnyk               Avian predators attack blue sections of a potential prey item at a higher frequency than black sections
Mitra Behzadi                Thermal Extremes Describe Latitudinal Range Limitations in the Five-Lined Skinks, Plestiodon fasciatus, P. inexpectatus, and P. laticeps.

Shaliza Ismaili               Thermal Extremes Describe Latitudinal Range Limitations in the Five-Lined Skinks, Plestiodon fasciatus, P. inexpectatus, and P. laticeps.  




Hannah Richards


Thesis Topic:  Digestive Ecology and Physiology of the Texas Horned Lizard


Hannah is investigating the diet composition, available prey, and digestive efficiency of the Texas Horned Lizard in North Texas.  Working with the Dallas Zoo, she will determine how efficient these lizards are at deriving energy from their primary prey (harvester ants) and prey they frequently include in smaller amounts (beetles). She is also investigating if the composition of their diet indicates that they supplement their ant diet with beetles or that beetles simply incidentally eaten while feeding upon ants.  

Tricia Neptune


Thesis Topic: Comparative eco-physiology of Anolis oculatus populations on Dominica.  


Tricia will be traveling to Dominica in the Summer of 2017 in cooperation with MWSU and Operation Wallacea to document physiological differences among the many morphotypes of the Dominican Anole across the island. She will also collect morphological data and tissues for future analyses.   

Christopher Buttermore, M.S.

Fall 2014-Spring 2016


Thesis Title:


Comparison of General Health Indicators Between Captive and Wild Crotalus atrox


Science is a Team Sport.....

Jessica Duffy

Jessica, along with Bryant, are investigating the effects of hypoxia on embryos.  She will be incubating reptile eggs under hypoxic and normoxic conditions to document their compensatory limits.  Jessica will compare the extent of vascularization of the chorioallantoic membrane and measure fitness indicators of the hatchlings. 

Tim Torres

Tim is working in both The Watson Lab and The Shipley Lab at MWSU to characterize the lipids in milkweed leaves and ultimately document lipid transfer between milkweed and milkweed specialists.  He is part of a small group of undergrads working on plant/animal interactions with Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed.

Alumni

​Graduate Students

Rupert Sterling

Rupert is a gifted horticulturalist who is investigating the EcoPhysiology of plant/animal interactions.  His research will add to our understanding of how Tobacco, an agriculturally important plant, reacts when grazed upon by the Hornworm, a specialist pests.

Undergraduates

Diwya Thurusinghe

Diwya is interested in many aspects of research.  She is working with Kadesha to determine the role of prey color on choice and will later perform physiological research with invertebrates.