Kathleen Donohue

Office:  Biological Sciences 226
Duke faculty bio





Mariano Alvarez
Postdoctoral Research Associate
webpage: here

I’m interested in understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation, and I’m exploring these processes by integrating genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics to identify the loci and networks that underlie environmentally-labile phenotypes..



Michelle D’Aguillo
Ph.D. Candidate, Biology


I’m interested in ontogenetic niche shifts: how do the environments experienced by an organism, and forces of selection, vary across the lifecycle? For my dissertation I plan to investigate how natural selection during early life history stages in particular (e.g., seeds, seedlings) alters ecological and evolutionary processes, including the ability to colonize new habitats, and the limits of ecological and geographic ranges. I plan to study this topic across multiple scales—from a small scale, comparing the ecological niche of populations within a single species, to a very broad scale, through a comparative phylogenetic approach using multiple clades of seed plants. In my former marine biologist life, I studied an ontogenetic diet shift in an estuarine fish. I’m also very interested in natural history of the southeast.


Britany IMG_2790Morgan
Ph.D. Candidate
, Ecology


My background is a blend of plant ecology, molecular biology, and community ecology. My goal is to use all of these areas to find answers for conservation and restoration efforts that will result in the most robust outcomes. I am interested  generally in the effect of environmental cues on genetic expression and community ecology. My tentative ideas for exploration include looking at the effect of climate change on genetic expression and how those responses impact interspecies interactions like competition, pollination, or dispersal.

Brandie Quarles
Ph.D. Student, Ecology

I am interested in how increasingly severe environmental stressors will affect plant physiology, reproduction, and survival. In the past, I have done some work with self-incompatibility, polyploidy, plant aging, and demography. I hope to combine demographic, phenological, and genetic approaches to understand how tradeoffs between survival and reproduction affect the maintenance of genetic variation and populations’ and species’ response to climate change. 


Andrew Bleich
Lab Manager







Current Undergraduate Team:

Emily Thayer

Rafiq Majolagbe

Matthew Gallardo


Lab alumni

Postdoctoral Associates
Gabriela Auge: Senior Researcher, Leloir Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Catherine Martel: Postoctoral Research Associate London, Ontario, Canada
Rafael Rubio de Casas: Postdoctoral Research Associate Grenada, Spain
Deepak Barua: Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science and Education Research
Converse Griffith: US Forest Service
Jocelyn Hall : Associate Professor, University of Alberta
Shane Heschel: Associate Professor, Colorado College
Chandra Polisetty: USDA
Graduate Students
Lindsay Leverett: Academic Editor, Research Square
Liana T. Burghardt: Educational Specialist, University of Minnesota
Charlie WillisPost-Doctoral Research Associate, Harvard University
Lauren RuaneAssistant Professor Christopher Newport University
George Chiang: Post-Doctoral Research Associate UCLA
Lab Managers
Katie KovachInstructor/Counselor, Schoolhouse of Wonder, Durham, NC
Bri Edwards: Lab manager, NC State University, Raleigh, NC
Logan K. Blair: Graduate Student, University of California at Davis
Elizabeth Boyd: Graduate Student, University of Illinois, Chicago Circle
Colleen Butler: Graduate Student, Tufts University
Emily Dittmar: Graduate Student, Michigan State University
Tracy Tisdale: Technician, Broad Institute
Andrew Wheeler: Graduate student, Claremont Graduate University, Rancho Santa Ana
Visiting Researchers
Xuejing Wang: Visiting Scholar, email:
Zhiqiong Zhou: Visiting Scholar
Toshiyuki Imaizumi: Visiting Scholar, email:
Xiaowen Hu: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Paulo Souza-Filho: Graduate student/Fulbright Scholar
Chunhui Zhang: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Nicholas Cheung
Jim Liu
Michael Wen
Cindy Li
Lucy Houttujin Blomendaal
Aleena Karediya
Katherine Vayda
George Schieder IV
Eden Ashebir
Dan Moore
Emily Woska
Mae Lewis
Stella Arndorfer
Jennifer Zou
Hannah Neville
Gopi Neppala
Becky Li
Charlotte Harrington
Shengnan Xu
Tommy Meister
Michael Murphy
Corley Gibbs
Paul Griggs
Naomi Wender
Shaun Takao
Jessica Selby
Dunbar Carpenter
Tim Wang
Joe Provenzano
Mercedes Zapata-Garcia
Anamika Saha
Nick Jerles
Eli Hornstein

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