People

lab

 

Jordan Karubian

Email: jk@tulane.edu

CV February 2018 | Google Scholar Profile

Phone: (504) 865-5549

Office: Israel 306

Mail: 6823 Saint Charles Avenue
         Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
         400 Lindy Boggs Center
         New Orleans, LA 70118-5698

 

 

Graduate Students


 

Zoe Diaz-Martin, Ph.D. Candidate

zoe
Email: zdiazmar@tulane.edu

Website: https://www.zoediaz-martin.com

My research seeks to understand how ecological mechanisms, such as biotic and abiotic interactions, shape patterns of genetic diversity in tropical trees. Specifically, I investigate how dispersal mutualisms and the local environment influence evolutionary processes such as gene flow and adaptation that impact genetic variation and diversity within and across populations. I use molecular genetic techniques to explore these questions in Oenocarpus bataua in Ecuador. Understanding the drivers of genetic diversity and variation in this study system provides important insight into how tropical trees may be impacted by a changing climate and ongoing deforestation. Finally, through the NGO Fundación para la Conservación de los Andes Tropicales, I am involved with a community-based conservation effort in north western Ecuador, Refugio del Gavilan. Check out our website for more information!

 

Sarah Khalil, Ph.D. Student

sarah
Email: skhalil@tulane.edu

I am interested in exploring what controls variation in carotenoid-based plumage of red-backed fairywrens (Malurus melanocephalus) within and between populations. My research focuses on taking an integrative approach to study the evolution of visual sexual signals in fairy-wrens by exploring the endocrine, genomic, and transcriptomic mechanisms of signal production. Previously, I studied breeding behavior of superb starlings in Kenya through Dr. Rubenstein’s lab at Columbia University.

 

John Jones, Ph.D. Student

john
Email: johnajones91@gmail.com

Website: johnajones.wordpress.com

My research focuses on determining the adaptive significance of mechanic underpinnings of phenotypic divergence in female fairywrens of Papua New Guinea and in flexible expression of ornamentation in male fairywrens in Australia. My main research interests lie in the interplay between behavioural endocrinology and the evolution of animal signals (i.e., color and birdsong). My previous research at Appalachian State University focused on chestnut-sided and golden-winged warbler interspecific aggression and misidentification as well as eastern bluebird/tree swallow interspecific competition.

 

Kaushik Narasimhan, Ph.D. Student

kaushik
Email: knarasimhan@tulane.edu

I am interested in the forest dynamics of neotropical forests, particularly in survival advantage afforded to rare genotypic individuals. My research aims to elucidate the proximate mechanisms of this advantage, including plant-macrobiotic interactions, immunological response and expression of immunological gene complexes, as well as the relative influences of other biotic and abiotic factors. For my Masters, I studied the community ecology of bats in the Peruvian Amazon in Dr. Liz Willey’s lab at Antioch University.

 

Annelise Blanchette, Ph.D. Student

annelise
Email: ablanchette@tulane.edu

I am broadly interested in animal behavior, ecotoxicology, and urban ecology. I am studying how environmental lead may impact the northern mockingbird here in New Orleans behaviorally, morphologically, and genetically. I am also interested in studying how the Anolis lizards that live here in the city may be affected by environmental lead. For my Masters, I studied the antipredator behaviors of aposematic and cryptic frogs in Costa Rica out of Dr. Ralph Saporito’s lab at John Carroll University.

 

Mike Ellis, Ph.D. Student

mike
Email: mellis5@tulane.edu

My research interests revolve around tropical ecology and evolution, primarily in western Ecuador where I have been serving as the Director of Research for Third Millennium Alliance (TMA), a conservation non-profit, since 2016. I’m most passionate about studying and conserving tropical avifauna. That passion led me to establish the Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory in northwestern Ecuador – a branch of TMA focused on advancing Ecuadorian ornithology, forest conservation, environmental education and community outreach. My dissertation research draws from data collected by both TMA and Fundación para la Conservación de los Andes Tropicales (FCAT) and will focus on anthropogenic and environmental drivers of avian abundance, diversity, turnover, extirpation and adaptation in a fragmented landscape.

 

Luke Anderson, Ph.D. Student

luke
Email: handerson@tulane.edu

I am a first-year PhD student interested in signal evolution and sexual selection. My research focuses on the manakins (Pipridae), a family of charismatic Neotropical birds best known for the elaborate displays and striking plumage often observed in males. However, the males of some manakin species in the genera Lepidothrix and Cryptopipo exhibit reduced or absent sexual dimorphism, raising the question of how these losses occur in the context of a runaway selection mating system. I plan to integrate genomic, hormonal, and behavioral approaches to gain insight into the mechanisms and drivers of signal evolution in Pipridae. Previously, I studied brown-headed cowbird courtship behavior at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Marc Schmidt.

 

Kyu Min Huh, M.S. Student

kyumin
Email: khuh@tulane.edu

I am a 4+1 Master’s student who graduated from Tulane with a double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Philosophy, with a minor in Mathematics, and I’m originally from South Korea. My Honors Thesis focused on the hummingbird diversity and richness response to forest fragments in Ecuador. I studied abroad in Ecuador in the Spring of 2018. During my years of undergraduate study, I interned in the Center for Conservation Genomics in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute for the non-invasive genomic sampling of Jamaican songbirds, and the University of Montana Flight Laboratory with Dr. Tobalske to study the sexual difference in escape flight in Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope).

 

Caitlin McCormick, M.S. Student

Email:  cmccorm1@tulane.edu

I am 4+1 Master’s student who graduated from Tulane with a degree in Environmental Biology in May 2019. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in animal behavior and tropical ecology. More specifically, my research focuses on Cephalopterus penduliger, the Long-wattled umbrellabird, and the behavior that can be observed at lek sites vs. non lek sites. I’m also exploring questions related to their nesting biology, and patterns of sociality and group foraging. Additionally, I’m working on developing middle school curriculum and programming for the Audubon Nature Institute. I am passionate about community engagement, education, and conservation and am excited to continue my work in these areas this academic year!

 

Wendy Deng, M.S. Student

Email:  zdeng1@tulane.edu

I am a Plus One Master student interested in studying the genetic basis of behavior in birds. I love birdwatching and wildlife photography.

 

Undergraduates


 

Margaux Armfield, Honors Thesis

I’m a senior at Tulane University, studying ecology & evolutionary biology and computer science. I was a 2018 International Research Experience for Students (IRES) fellow, investigating carry-over effects in 2-year-old, male red-backed fairywrens. I am currently working on an Honors Thesis, which aims to use a social network approach to investigate seed and pollen dispersal in a neo-tropical palm species. After graduating from Tulane, I plan to attend a graduate program in computational biology or ecology & evolutionary biology. In my free time, I enjoy painting, outdoors activities, tennis, and dancing.

 

Nathalie Clarke, IRES fellow

I was born in Philadelphia, raised in both Paris and Narbonne, France, and now attend Tulane University. I am pursuing a double major in Environmental Biology (EBIO) and Anthropology. In addition to course work, I currently tutors French and hold lab assistant positions in the EBIO department and work at the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. I am interested in community ecology, behavioral ecology, and tri-trophic symbioses. I plan on studying red-backed fairywren auxiliary males responses to predation risk over the course of the non-breeding season, and how molt date influences behavior.

 

Caroline Camus, Honors Thesis

Email: ccamus@tulane.edu

I am a junior studying Environmental Biology, hoping to pursue the 4+1 Masters Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Eventually, I would like to attend law school with a focus in environmental policy! For my senior thesis, I am conducting a pilot study to evaluate the prevalence of lead intoxication on dogs and cats living here in New Orleans. I am hopeful that we can make NOLA a safer place for all. In addition to my studies within the department, I am a Newcomb Scholar, TIDES Peer Mentor, and an intern at Children’s Hospital.

 

Sarah Lueder, Honors Thesis

Email: slueder@tulane.edu

I am a senior majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minoring in Africana Studies. My Honors Thesis focuses on how palm community composition and demography vary across habitats in a northwest Ecuadorian rainforest. I am interested in conservation biology and global change biology and plan to continue studies these subjects in graduate school.

 

Erin Sheehy, Honors Thesis

Email: esheehy@tulane.edu

I am a junior majoring in Environmental Biology with a minor in Marine Biology. I will studying abroad in Tropical North Queensland, Australia the Fall of 2019, where I plan to study marine ecosystems. My sophomore year, I assisted Kaushik Narasimhan with assessing camera trap footage taken in Ecuador to study tropical palm seed dispersal. I’m interested in behavioral ecology, tropical ecology, and conservation. I plan on continuing my work in the Karubian lab in Ecuador next summer, where I will be studying manakin behavior. I will be using this research as the basis for my honors thesis. Ultimately, I’d love to attend graduate school and conduct research focused on animals and conservation efforts.

 

Lab affiliates


 

Tadeo Ramirez Prada

tadeo
I am broadly interested in the patterns and drivers of life cycle events in flowering plants, and their consequences for demography, community composition, and ecosystem-level processes. My current research employs long-term phenological records to assess the drivers of reproductive synchrony and its consequences for reproductive success in Oenocarpus bataua, a hyperdominant canopy palm of the Chocó. Concurrently, I have employed seed trap records to assess the role of a dominant avian frugivore (Cephalopterus penduliger) in shaping patterns of α-diversity among dispersed seeds in this biodiversity hotspot.

 

Lorena Torres Martinez, Koch-Richardson Postdoctoral Fellow

alexander_rose
I am a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist that is interested in studying the evolutionary potential of plant species to respond to projected climate change conditions. Specifically, I seek to understand how gene flow can shape the main source for adaptive potential to occur in response to new environmental conditions: the amount and distribution of genetic variation throughout species ranges. Currently, I am the Koch-Richardson Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary biology at Tulane University, in which I am designing and teaching two courses per year for graduate and senior undergraduate students -Plant Biology and adaptation (Fall semester) and Genomics and bioinformatics (Spring semester). In the Jordan Lab, I am working in collaboration with the PhD candidates Luke Brown and Zoe Diaz in understanding the fine-scale genetic structure of Oeonocarpus bataua, a native palm species to the tropical rainforest.

 

Olivia and Joaquin Karubian, Field operations

joaquin_olivia
Olivia has a strong interest in fairy x princess reaction norms, and candy. Joaquin’s research focuses on dirt.

 
 

Lab Alumni


 

 

Ph.D. Students and Postdocs

Brock Geary (Ph.D., 2012-2018)
Erik Enbody (Ph.D., 2012-2018)
Luke Brown (Ph.D., 2011-2017)
Samantha Lantz (Ph.D., 2011-2017)
Jenny Hazelhurst (Ph.D., 2010-2016)
Scott Walter (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-2014)
Kym Ottewell (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012)

 

Master’s Students

Akhila Gopal (+1 MS, 2018 – 2019)
AJ Pate (+1 MS, 2018 – 2019)
Rachel Cook (+1 MS, 2018 – 2019)
Jiawen Liu (+1 MS, 2018 – 2019)
Emily Nonamaker (4+1 MS, 2016 – 2017)
Meredith Williams (4+1 MS, 2016 – 2017)
Nicole Moody (4+1 MS, 2014 – 2016)
Erik Iverson (4+1 MS, 2015 – 2016)
Roxanne Franta (4+1 MS, 2014-15)
Malinda Chambers (4+1 MS, 2014-15)
Nathan Frumkin (4+1 MS, 2014-15)
Roxanne Franta (4+1 MS, 2013-14)
Tessa Roorda (MS, 2010 – 2011)

 

Undergraduate Students

Lauren Hitt (Honors Thesis, 2019)
Shayna Ross (Honors Thesis, 2019)
Samuel Leberg (Honors Thesis, 2018)
Trey Hendrix (Honors Thesis and NSF IRES fellow, 2018)
Toni Brown (NSF IRES fellow, 2017)
Darcy Gray (NSF IRES fellow, 2016)
Emma Saltzberg (Honors Thesis, 2016)
Michael Mahoney (Honors Thesis, 2016)
Miles Dawkins (Independent Study, 2016)
Erik Iverson (Honors Thesis, 2015)
Alex Gulachenski (NSF IRES fellow, 2014)
Nathan Frumkin (Honors Thesis, 2014)
Mitch Hinton (Honors Thesis, 2013)
Johnny Blanchard (Honors Thesis, 2013)
Kathleen Riley (NSF IRES fellow, 2012)