Current Lab Members
Kathleen Kay (Principal Investigator)
I'm fascinated by the diversity of the natural world and enjoy looking at life's challenges from a plant's perspective. I still can't believe I get paid to do this. I'm happiest when foundbackpacking in the high Sierra, watching hummingbirds in the tropical forests, or trail running in the local mountains.
kmkay at ucsc.edu
CBB 258 831.459.3446
Shelley Sianta (Ph.D. student)
Shelley studies how adaptation to unique soils factors into plant speciation using replicated transitions to serpentine tolerance or endemism across the California flora. Her previous work at Colorado State focused on patterns of intraspecific reproductive barriers and mating system evolution in a wild tomato species.
ssianta at ucsc.edu
Rossana Maguiña (Ph.D. student)
Rossana comes to us from Peru, and is working on pollinator-driven diversification of the spiral gingers (genus Costus) in the Peruvian Amazon.
nmaguina at ucsc.edu
Julia Harencar (PhD student)
Julia started Fall 2018 after finishing her Master's at Cal Poly SLO and having many adventures traveling the world. She is up to her eyeballs in Costus DNA!
jharenca @ ucsc.edu
Oscar Vargas (postdoc)
Oscar joined the lab in Fall 2018 as part of the Costus Dimensions of Biodiversity project. He lends his expertise in phylogenomics and Neotropical plant diversification.
oscarvargash @ gmail.com
Past Lab Members
Tania Jogesh (visiting postdoc)
Tania was visiting from the Chicago Botanic Garden. She is interested in insect-plant interactions and how scent mediates those interactions. Now she works as a data scientist for the city of San Francisco.
tania.jogesh at gmail.com
Timothy Miller (Ph.D.)
Tim is interested in how phenotypic plasticity can facilitate or constrain adaptation across environmental gradients. He also has a fondness for plant-pollinator interactions. His dissertation work focused on Clarkia concinna. He is now teaching field courses with the UC Natural Reserves.
tijmille at ucsc.edu
Megan Peterson (Ph.D.)
Megan studies how the forces of natural selection, gene flow, genetic drift, and phenotypic plasticity interact to affect processes of divergent adaptation. She worked on monkeyflowers (Mimulus guttatus) in the Sierra Nevada and well-behaved theoretical populations. She defended in May 2015 and joined the Doak Lab as a postdoc.
mdemarch at ucsc.edu
Jennifer Yost (Ph.D.)
Jenn is interested in how natural selection and adaptation generate and maintain biodiversity. Her dissertation work focused on edaphic adaptation in the California goldfields (Lasthenia). She is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Robert F. Hoover Herbarium at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
jennyost at gmail.com
Brett Smith (M.A.)
Brett completed his thesis on the conservation genetics of two rare serpentine coyote mints (Monardella) in Plumas National Forest. He can now be found at the USDA Agricultural Research Service working on crop improvement and protection.
brett.smith at ars.usda.gov