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Current research students 

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Hope Brown, BA Biology, May 2024

Hope is working on a  project developing tools to detect four species of darters using eDNA. These four species are found in the adjacent Kentucky and Cumberland River drainages, the project will compare the effectivness of the assays in each drainage and sequence the regions of the mitochondrial genome targeted by the assays in all fish.

Hope plans to begin medical school in the Fall of 2024.

Ethan Hoogerheide , BA Biology May 2024

Ethan has worked on field validation of ongoing projects related to the detection of mud (Pseudotriton montanus) and four-toed (Hemidactylium scutatum) salamanders. His senior research will assess salamander communities in restored urban areas. Ethan worked as an intern for the Kentucky Division of Water during the summer of 2023 where he assisted in electrofishing and the assessment of aquatic ecosystems throughout the state. 


Ethan plans to begin a graduate program in wildlife, fisheries, or conservation biology in the Fall of 2024.

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Sara Brewer, BA Biology, May 2024

Sara was the recipient of a 2023 Kentucky Academy of Science Undergraduate Research Grant for her proposal to develop molecular tools to detect three salamander species using eDNA. A portion of this work has been completed and she is first author on a paper now in review with a herpetology journal: The use of eDNA in detection of Northern Red (Pseudotriton ruber) and Spring (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) Salamanders: Development and validation of quantitative PCR assays with notes on phylogeographic effectiveness.

Sara plans to begin her graduate school career in the Fall of 2024.

Karly Fetter, BA Biology May 2025

Karly began her work in the lab in the Fall of 2023 and is currently learning techniques and assisting with other projects. 


Karly plans to begin medical school in the Fall of 2025.

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