University of Pittsburgh

Past Ashman Lab members -where are they now?

All have gone on to their desired careers, some of them are highlighted here!

Dr. Avery Russell
Dr. Na Wei

Dr. Russell was a PEEP fellow between 2017-2019 and worked on reciprocal exploitation between plants and pollinators shapes foraging behavior and the display traits, rewards, and microbiome of flowers. He continues to collaborate with the Ashman lab on these topics! He is now an Assistant Prof at Missouri State University.

Dr. Wei's research is motivated by the fundamental question of understanding the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying natural genetic variation. She is now Research Scientist at Holden Forests & Gardens

Dr. Anna Johnson
Dr. Matt Koski

Anna was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with the lab 2016-2018 studying the effects on invasion and fragmentation on pollen transfer networks in Hawaii.  She is now a quantitative ecologist with the West Penn Conservancy understanding how to best describe and conserve the structure and function of plant communities.  

Matt received his PhD in 2015. He is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia. He continues to collaborate with the Ashman lab on the  climate change on UV floral patterns. He is now an Asst Prof at Clemson University!

Dr. Nicole Forrester

Nikki received her PhD in 2019 . Her dissertation addressed whether polyploidy directly enhances the quantity and quality of the legume-rhizobia mutualism in such a manner that facilitates establishment in non-native habitats and allowing rapid range expansion. She also forged a career in science communication, as isnow a freelance science writer and Outdoorsman magazine publisher.

Dr. Rainee Kaczorowski
Dr. Maria Rebolleda-Gomez

Dr. Rebolleda-Gomez was  a Pittsburgh Ecology and Evolution Postdoctoral Fellow from 2019-2019 studying the role of spatial structure and dispersal in the evolution of microbes. She continues to collaborate with the lab on projects to understand the importance of pollination on the ecology and evolution of floral metacommunities. Additionally, María is interested in the evolution of symbiosis and heritability in complex systems and the evolution of microbes in a community context. She is now  a Postdoc at Yale.

Dr. Cassie Majetic

Rainee was a postdoc in the lab from 2016-2018. She is currently bringing her enthusiasm for biology to students in the WPA region as  Outreach Coordinator with the Dept. of Biological Sciences Outreach Program Lucky for us she also continues to collaborate with the Ashman lab to investigate how floral traits can affect heterospecific pollen transfer in native plant communities. 

Cassie received her PhD in 2008. She is now an Associate Professor at St. Mary's College.

Dr. Gerardo Arceo-Gomez
Dr. Rachel Spigler

Gerardo received  his PhD in 2014, and postdoced for one year in the Ashman lab. He is now an Assistant Professor at Eastern Tennessee State University, and continues to collaborate with the Ashman lab on plant-pollinators in biodiversity hotspots.

Dr. George Meindl

George received  his PhD in 2015. His dissertation was on the effects of heavy metal accumulation on plant-pollinator interteractions. He is now an Assistant Professor at SUNY Binghamton.

Dr. Janette Steets

Janet received  her PhD in 2005. She is now an Assiociate Professor at Ohklahoma State University. She continues to collaborate with the Ashman Lab on Global drivers of Pollen Limitation.

Dr. Raj Govindarajulu

Raj was a postdoc in the Ashman lab. He is now a Senior Scientist Eurofins Lancaster Labs. 

Dr. Zhaokui Du

Dr. Du focused was a visiting Scientist in the Ashman lab in 2017-2018 He studied artificial polyploids in strawberry and their performance under stress.

Brian Rose
High School Teacher

Biology teacher at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.  Earned his BS in Biology at Penn State University and his MAT in secondary science education at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently working with the Ashman lab under the NSF Research Experiences for Teachers program, conducting research on urban plant/pollinator interactions and writing curriculum to bring this work to the high school classroom. 

Rachel was a postdoc in the Ashman lab. She is now an Assistant Professor at Temple University.

Heidi Wipf

Heidi was an undergraduate in the Ashman Lab. She is now a graduate student at UC Berkeley.

Lauren Stanley

Lauren was an undergraduate in the Ashman Lab. She is now a graduate student at U of Connecticut.

Rebecca Dalton

Rebecca was an undergraduate in the Ashman Lab. She is now a graduate student at Duke University.

Dr. Jessica D. Stephens

Jess was a postdoctoral fellow from 2017-2018. She is now contributing to research and conservation efforts of sensitive plants in the SE USA as Conservation Scientist at Atlanta Botanic Garden. She also continues to collaborate with the Ashman lab on floral microbial communities. 

Dr. Jing Xia

Dr. Xia was a visiting scientist in the Ashman lab working on pollen transfer networks. She is interested in the effects of urbanization on pollination. 

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