People

Dr. Gil Rosenthal

PI

Email me: grosenthal@bio.tamu.edu
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Graduate Students

Angie Achorn

PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Texas A&M University

I graduated from Rhode Island College in 2016 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Previously, I’ve studied cultural perceptions of primates as pets, trash-raiding behaviors by white-faced capuchins, and intestinal parasite infections in three lemur species. I earned my M.A. in Anthropology at Texas A&M in 2018, and I’m now pursuing my Ph.D in Anthropology under the advisement of Dr. Sharon Gursky. My dissertation research investigates relationships between testosterone, coloration, intestinal parasites, and mate choice in Sulawesi crested macaques, a Critically Endangered primate species endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia. I’ve been working with the Rosenthal lab given my shared interest in mate choice and the evolutionary mechanisms involved. Outside of academia, my hobbies include reading, running, playing tennis, watching sci-fi/fantasy movies, and sending unsolicited memes to my brothers.

Email me: aachorn@tamu.edu
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Irene Andermarcher

MSc Student
University of Turin, Italy


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Amanda Beckman

PhD Student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Texas A&M University

Email me: akb13@tamu.edu
Website: https://www.amandatalksturkey.org/

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Stephen Bovio

PhD Candidate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Texas A&M University

I joined the Rosenthal laboratory in 2016. My interests focus broadly on the effects hybridization and mate choice have on speciation. In the Xiphophorus genus, many species can produce viable and fertile hybrid offspring. For instance, X. birchmanni and X. malinche form naturally replicated hybrid zones throughout the Sierra Madre Oriental in Hidalgo, Mexico offering a unique opportunity to study these questions. Outside of lab, I engage in several quintessential graduate activities: Ultimate Frisbee, happy hour, and game nights.

Email me: rbovio@tamu.edu
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Owen Dorsey

PhD student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Texas A&M University

In 2014, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with my BS in Biology. After graduation, I took a couple of years off, working as a laboratory technologist at the American Red Cross, before starting my MS work at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. For my MS research, I investigated inbreeding avoidance and mate choice behavior in the invasive western mosquitofish (a close relative of swordtails!) using a combination of behavioral assays and genetic analyses.

I joined the Rosenthal lab in 2019. I’m broadly interested in studying the fitness consequences of inbreeding and the evolution of pre- and post- copulatory mechanisms to avoid inbreeding. I plan to investigate the “cost-benefit” to inbreeding in swordtails.

Email me: ocdorsey@tamu.edu
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Mateo Garcia

PhD Candidate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Texas A&M University
co-supervised by Dr. Manfred Schartl

Swordtails are the oldest animal model for the study of melanoma. Enforced hybridization under laboratory conditions has identified an epistatic interaction that affects pigmentation and can even induce melanoma development. X. birchmanni and X. malinche produce viable hybrids along several populations in the Sierra Madre (Hidalgo, Mexico) that present a macromelanophore pigment pattern called Spotted Caudal (Sc), which varies in its expression from a few black spots to extreme melanosis and eventually malignant melanoma. Combining population genomic studies in parental and hybrid populations we have identified a primary oncogene driving the expression of Sc as well as two tumor modifier candidate genes responsible for the switch from benign to malignant pigmentation. My research consists  of carrying out transgenic studies (in vivo and in cell culture) to characterize the modifying effect of these genes have on Sc-tumor development. 

Email me: mgarcia@bio.tamu.edu
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Dr. Gaston Jofre-Rodríguez

Biology
Texas A&M University

Originally from the biggest city of Mexico, I received in the summer of 2012 my B.S. degree in Biology, in the Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Working with Dr. Guillermina Alcaraz, the main focus of my undergraduate thesis was the study of behavior, specifically aggression, between two types of males from a marine hermit crab species.

In the fall of 2012 I joined the Rosenthal Lab interested in the study of mate-choice in swordtail hybrid populations. Throughout the process of my graduate studies I have acquired a growing interest in the evolutionary dynamics in hybrid zones, specifically how natural and sexual selection plays a key role in these populations along altitudinal clines. I am currently working on characterizing and comparing the genotypic and phenotypic clines of replicated Xiphophorus malinche-X. birchmanni hybrid zones to evaluate the introgression of specific candidate gene regions, e.g. the caudal protrusion or “sword”.

Doing research also allows me to do something I enjoy, travel and admire the nature of my beautiful country, Mexico.

Email me: gastonjr@tamu.edu
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Emma Lehmberg

PhD Student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Texas A&M University

I graduated from the the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 2012, double majoring in English & Biology. I attended the University of Toronto for my MSc., working on the phylogeography of weakly electric knifefishes (Gymnotiformes) with Dr Nathan Lovejoy. Following my MSc, I worked as a lab technician at Lakehead University in northern Ontario, Canada. During this time, I also acted as curator of the herbarium at Lakehead, facilitating botanical courses and managing the collection.

I joined the Rosenthal lab in 2018 and am working on untangling the relationship between speciation rates and post-zygotic reproductive isolation in live-bearing fishes in of the Poeciliinae. To do this, I’m using a phylogenomic approach to examine genetic differentiation in species that nourish their young using placenta vs. ones that do not.

Email me: eslehmberg@tamu.edu
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Giorgia Rando

MSc Student, Biology
University of Turin, Italy

Lab Manager

Faith Hardin

I graduated with an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, at Oneonta, in 2014 with a concentration in Conservation Ecology. I went on to get an MSc in Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A&M where I studied how the Golden-fronted woodpecker acts as an ecosystem engineer in southern Texas. My field work for this project took place on the San Antonio Viejo ranch, part of the East Foundation where I had the chance to work alongside real-life cowboys and unique animals native to south Texas like the javelina, ocelot, and coral snake.

My experiences with the Rosenthal lab gave me a passion for animal behavior, especially social networks and cooperation, and I plan on starting a PhD program in the Fall of 2021. I  am happy to be acting as the lab manager for the Rosenthal lab in the interim helping current graduate students with research design, data collection, and grant writing, along with handling daily logistics of the College Station and CICHAZ labs.

Email me: faith.hardin@tamu.edu
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Research Assistants

Annais Muschett Bonilla

Annais is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University currently pioneering the setup for our Raspberry Pi feeding system. She has been volunteering in the lab since 2018.

Email me: annaisbonilla@tamu.edu

Undergraduates

Max Chin

I am currently a freshman Honors Biology major here at Texas A&M. I joined the lab in November of 2019 and currently spend most of my time assisting with morphometric processing of photos as part of the ongoing LTREB grant, though I hope to be working on an independent project soon. My research interests include social ethology and behavioral ecology.

Paola Canales-Lozano

Paola is a junior studying Biology at Texas A&M University. She has been working to organize the lab collections and co-manage the website since 2018.

Ashlynn Droddy

Sara Johnson

Sara is a junior majoring in Biology, working in the lab to gain a better understanding of molecular techniques and research practices.

Will Ledbetter

Annabel Perry

My name is Annabel Perry and I am a Sophomore University Honors Biology major with minors in Neuroscience and Philosophy. My primary research interest regards neurotransmitter abnormalities in psychiatric disorders such as anorexia nervosa and schizophrenia, with particular focus on the evolutionary mechanisms causing these abnormalities. 

Rebecca Mangold

Rebecca is a junior in Fisheries & Wildlife. She is involved the lab’s NSF Longterm Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) grant, working to score hybrid phenotype pictures and doing fieldwork.

Email me: rebecca.mangold@tamu.edu

Jeffrey White

Jeffrey is a pre-med senior and has been working in the lab for three years. He is the head undergrad managing the fishroom.

Email me: jeffreydwhite7@tamu.edu

Lab Alumni



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