Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

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Scientists | Graduate Students | Employees | Volunteers |

 Click on any picture to see larger image 

 Below are some of the individuals who have taken an active role in my research program since 1996.

Scientists  whose interests have overlapped with mine and have resulted in various collaborative research projects:


Ginny Adams
Dr. Ginny Adams is biologist and Environmental Science Program Coordinator in the Department of BIology, University of Central Arkansas. She, Frank Wilhelm (see below), Mike Venarsky (see below) and I have worked together studying respiratory rates of cave amphipods.
Wanzhi Cai
Dr. Wanzhi Cai is the Chairman of the Department of Entomology at China Agricultural University (formerly known as Beijing Agricultural University). Dr. Cai is a widely published expert on the taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of Reduviidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), commonly known as "Assasin Bugs". He visited at the University of Illinois from January through May, 2004. During his stay here, I was most fortunate to work with him, assisting him with the description of a new genus of the subfamily Peiratinae (Reduviidae), still in progress.
Aaron Hagar
Dr. Aaron Hagar is an associate professor in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is working with me on some studies ofLespedeza invasion dynamics.
Bill Handel
Bill Handel is a researcher at the Illinois Natural History Survey, and is an excellent botanist. He is involved in lots of prairie work and also works with medicinal plants. Bill has been involved in inventorying plant populations around cave entrances for my study of caves in Pulaski County, Missouri.
Sam Heads
Dr. Sam W. Heads Sam Heads is an entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, specializing in the taxonomy and systematics of Orthoptera. I'm working with him on several projects, including a bioinventory of terrestrial insects at a Will County, Illinois, nature preserve.
John Holsinger
Dr. John Holsinger, the expert on North American freshwater amphipods, who worked with me on the description of aStygobromus amphipod from Great Basin National Park. Larger image shows Stewart Peck (left) and John Holsinger posing in front of a tank containing the amphipodStygobromus pecki Holsinger.
Jeyaraney Kathirithamby
Dr. Jeyaraney Kathirithamby,Department of Zoology, St. Huge's College, University of Oxford, UK, is a leading authority on the insect order Strepsiptera, the Twisted-wing Parasites. She and I have collaborated in some studies of Strepsiptera (Insecta) , and have described a new species from Texas. She is pictured in a cave in Texas (larger image also shows Charles Pekins).
Jean Krejca
Dr. Jean K. Krejca is a researcher in Texas who co-owns a biological consulting firm. We collaborate on a variety of karst-related research projects (thus far in California, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada, Belize and Mexico). She has been especially involved my research in Texas.
J.E. McPherson
Dr. J. E. McPherson is an entomologist specializing in Heteroptera, a professor in the Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and he was my advisor during my PhD program. We continue to work collaboratively on various projects involving Heteroptera.
Sam Panno
Sam Panno is a hydrogeologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey. He has been studying karst geochemistry in Illinois for a number of years, and continues to collaborate with me on Illinois cave research.
Chris Phillips
Dr. Chris Phillips is working with me on a study of salamanders in caves in centeral Texas. But that's a lizard (Cnemidophorus gularis - spotted whiptail) he's holding.
Dr. Karlene Ramsdell is an entomologist who has worked with me on several projects examining insect biodiveristy. Lately, she has been taking the lead on extracting a few scientific publications from our ealier work on Indiana terrestrial invertebrate communities.
Mike Slay
Mike Slay is the Karst Program Manager for the Ozark Highlands Office of The Nature Conservancy. Mike has collaborated with me on a projects inventorying cave faunas at Fort Leonard Wood, Pulaski County, Missouri and at Great Basin National Park, Nevada. He's currently helping me with a bioinventory of caves in southern Belize, and I'm collaborating with him on a couple of his projects going on in the Arkansas Ozarks, looking at more cave invertebrates.
 Jenn Smith
Dr. Jenn Smith was a graduate student in Animal Biology at UofI who worked Texas cave and fire ant projects as an RA. She analyed video tapes of Black Capped Vireo / Fire Ant interations, and eventually was lead author on a publication that came out of this work. Larger Image shows her working with Chris Whelan on data analysis. More recently, she helped with the research on karst invertebrates and fire ants. After completing her MS at the University of Illinois, a Ph.D. from Michigan State University working on hyenas, and a post doc position at UCLA studying marmots, she most recently took a tenure track position at Mills College in California.
Felipe Soto-Adames
Dr. Felipe Soto-Adames is a collembolan systematist and curator at the Illinois Natural History Survey. We're collaborating on a project examining springtails in Illinois caves. He's also working with me, and others, on a bioinventory of a Will County, Illinois, nature preserve.
Paul Tinerella
Dr. Paul Tinerella, now the Insect Collection Curator at the University of Minnesota, is a specialist on the aquatic true bugs (Heteroptera) and beetles (Coleoptera). We collaborated on several projects involving Heteroptera.
Don Webb
Dr. Don Webb, recently retired from INHS, studies a variety of insects, especially flies. Don he also works on caves and springs. Don and I have collaborated on some cave research projects in Illinnois. He is enjoying retirement by continuing his heavy schedule of research, without all the meetings and paperwork!projects going on in the Arkansas Ozarks, looking at more cave invertebrates.
Jason Weckstein
Dr. Jason Weckstein worked with me while post doc-ing in Kevin Johnson's lab at INHS. He, Kevin, and several other folks are working on a molecular phylogenetics of cave crickets project with me. Recently, Jason (now at the Field Museum in Chicago) secured his own NSF grant (over $300,000) examining coevolutionary population genetics of Brazilian toucans and lice.
Mark Wetzel
Mark Wetzel is a research scientist at INHS, specializing in the study of aquatic oligochaetes (Annelida). He also collaborates with Don Webb on studies of springs and with me on studies of worms in caves. Mark and I often work together on statewide stream bioassessment studies.
Dr. Chris Whelan and I, along with Jenn Smith, have worked together on a study of Red Imported Fire Ant predation on songbird nests, examining video footage of the nests.
Jim Wiker
Jim Wiker is a well known Illinois lepidopterist, senior author on the definitive guide to the sphinx moths of Illinois, and an author of another book on the skipper butterflies of Illinois. He's working with me, and others, on a bioinventory of terrestrial insects at a Will County, Illinois, nature preserve.
Frank Wilhelm
Dr. Frank Wilhelm is a limnologist and a faculty member at the University of Idaho. He has considerable experience with studies of amphipod respiration and biology, and I have worked with him on studies of the Illinois Cave Amphipod, where his skills and background propelled him into a leading role on that project. He continues to work with this amphipod, though he has taken in the western US.
Tony Yannarell<
Dr. Tony Yannarell is a microbial ecologist in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. I'm working with im on a study of Lespedezainvasion dynmaics.
Jamie Zahniser
Dr. Jamie Zahniser is a post doc at INHS who previously worked for me and now works with Chris Dietrich, his PhD advisor. He specializes in leafhoppers. We've collabrated on leafhopper projects in Texas, and now he's working with me as part of a team of scientists doing an a bioinventory of Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve (Will County, Illinois).
Not pictured above are:

Dr. Henry Disney of Cambridge (UK), leading authority on phorid flies, who continues to work with me in describing new cave species.
Dr. Mark Harvey, the world's leading expert on pseudoscorpions, who is working with me on a pseudoscorpion paper.
Dr. Heikki Hippa of the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, working with me on the descriptions of flies from caves.
Jeff B. Knight, and Entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, with whom I'm collaborating on a study of Nevada Aradidae (flatbugs).
Dr. Bill Shear, a milliped expert that I've worked with on a milliped paper (we have another in the works).
Dr. Pekka Vilkamaa of the Finnish Museum of Natural History in Helsinki, working with me on the description of flies from caves.
Dr. Douglas Zeppelini, a brazilian springtail systematist with whom I've published on globular springtails.


Graduate students working (or formerly working) directly with me as their advisor. Other graduate and undergraduate students whom I've employed from time to time are listed below under Research Assitants:


 Nick Dolce
Nick Dolce was a graduate student in NRES (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) who helped with various aspects of my research, but, more importantly, had his own project looking at land use practices within watersheds in relation to stream macroinvertebrates. His project site is located in Indiana, and the project continues even though he has moved on to new things in life. The image (click for larger) shows Nick doing some stream sampling here in Illinois.
Justin Fuller
Justin Fuller was a doctoral student in the Department ofEntomology at the University of Illinois, interested in macroinvertebrate communities and landscapes. He has since moved on to a job in New Mexico. Justin also helped out with all sorts of projects going on in the laboratory.
Maminirina Randrianandrasana
Maminirina Randrianandrasana(Mami) was a masters student in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois. She originally came here from Madagascar to work on aquatic macroinvertebrates. The small picture shows Mami sampling a stream in central Illinois using a Hess Sampler, the larger one you see when you click on the small picture is Mami collecting data for her thesis research on Jordan Creek. She successfully graduated and is now back, working on a PhD in the Entomology Department under the direction ofMay Berenbaum.
Alan Yanahan
Alan Yanahan is a masters student in the Department ofEntomology at the University of Illinois. He's brand new to my lab (summer 2011) and is presently exploring the world of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as well as earning his keep by sorting aquatic invertebrate samples and particpating in various other projects. More to come on Alan's work!

The following employees are people, mostly undergraduate and graduate students, but also non-student hourly employees, who either currently work here or have in the past. They have spent long hours in front of computers, or picking through samples under the microscope -- their contributions, positive attitudes, and breadth of musical tastes keep things working and interesting.


Maricela Arce
Maricela Arce, a student worker, assissted Mark Wetzel and I with sorting of field-collected macroinvertebrate samples for the IDOT Bioassessment program . She was also helping Mark with his research.
Nina Baki
Nina Baki was a student worker (based in Carbondale, Illinois), helping Ginny Adams and I with our work on respiratory rates of cave amphipods.
Vanessa Block
Vanessa Block is a skilled entomologist and an employee of INHS. She has been helping me off and on for several years with various aspects of my research, including IDOT work and research on Heteroptera (in Illinois), terrestrial invertebrate communities (in Indiana) and cave invertebrates (in Illinois, Texas & Missouri). More recently, hshe has been spent time in Venezuala, but I believe she's back in the USA now.
Ember Chabot
Ember Chabot is an MS student in the Department of Entomology, and is studying stoneflies (Plecoptera), with Ed DeWalt as her advisor. She is working with me on an RA for a semester, helping out with IDOT projects and, as time allows, various other things including preparation and curation of pseudoscorpion samples.
Andy Clark
Andy Clark, and hourly employee, helped me with various aspects of my Texas research, and sometimes worked on the IDOT Bioassessment program.
Stacey Clementz
Stacey Clementz was an hourly assistant in my lab. Among many other things, she is counted thousands of ants and did a bunch of image analysis for the Fort Hood, Texas, research.

Bianca Cox, who was a Junior in Animal Sciences at UofI when working in my lab, is pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. She did all sorts of things from data entry through sample sorting.
Chris Fleener
Chris Fleener is an undergraduate mostly working with Paul Tinerella, but I've hired her to do some work with the pseudoscorpions in the INHS Insect Collection.
Casey Funderburk
Casey FunderburkCasey was a graduate student in Entomologywith a fondness for ants. She was helping me out with lots and lots of insect identifications, especially ants. Headphones in picture are used in a project involving radio tracking cave crickets, in which Casey participated.

Luke Garver was a student worker in the lab for a semester, he did a lot of image analysis and worked hard and meticulously, but his interests lay in the field of veterinary medicine, and when a position became available there, he moved on.
Russell Heinrichs
Russell Heinrichs was a student worker that helped Mark Wetzel and I with various projects. He often spent time at the microscope sorting samples.
 Jessica Jakubanis
Jessica Jakubanis worked as an hourly employee on my Texas research. She did lots of data entry and helps solve strange paperwork problems. Since leaving my lab, she pursued an MS degree at University of Illinois, focusing on salamanders, and has graduated with her degree and moved on to better things.

Jenn Livengood was a graduate student who helped sort samples and was working on a project that involves dissecting Ceuthophilusand measuring their eggs.
Mathys Meyer
Mathys Meyer is a graduate student in Entomology at the University of Illinois who helped me with various aspects of of the Texas fire ant research and GIS/database issues.
Erica Moser
Erica Moser was a student worker who helped me with all kinds of data entry, sample processing, curation of specimens, etc. Much of her work was in association with the research projects I have had in Texas at Forth Hood.
Kristie Moss
Kristi Moss is an hourly employee who got her Bachelor's Degree here at the University of Illinois in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution. She helps Mark Wetzel and I with IDOT laboratory work and with other projects. Kristie has a keen eye for little tiny creatures which others might miss. She also helped me with a project on central Texas cave crickets.
Jen Mui
Jen Mui was a graduate student in biology, whose interests lie in the areas of behavior and conservation biology of reptiles and amphibians. Her research (advisor: Dr. Chris Phillips) examined the reproductive behavior of unisexual Ambystoma platineum. Chris Phillips and I hired her part time to help with work on salamanders in Texas caves. After graduating she moved on to a job at the Field Museum in Chicago, and then back to the Illinois Natural History Survey, where she works on science education.
 John Murdoch
John Murdoch was an undergrad student worker who primarily doesCeuthophilus molecular lab work, but also helps out with other stuff like data entry. The molecular project, and his contributions, are both much larger than this short entry would imply.
Reeba Oman
Reeba Omanwas a student worker in my lab who did a wide variety of things, including microscope work with water striders, molecular biology lab work, image analysis, and data entry.
Amelie Perin
Amelie Perin was an exchange student from France studying Food Science in the college of ACES at UofI. She worked in the lab doing a variety of different tasks.
 Erin Raboin
Erin Raboin was an biology student who works on all sorts of projects in my lab. She was heavily involved in a study of insect isotopes, preparing samples for analysis. She also was a big help with field work in Indiana and Missouri.
 Massimo Pessino
Massimo Pessino is an Italian doctoral student in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois. He has worked for me on an RA, and got to help out with some cave field work, even thouogh his research focuses on surface stream invertebrates.
 Sarah Reisse
Sarah Reisse, a student worker (now graduated), assissted me with sorting of field-collected macroinvertebrate samples for the IDOT Bioassessment program. She also helped me with my research on Texas caves.
Peter Sprouse
Peter Sprouse is a world class caver who does a lot of project caving in Mexico. He also works as a contractor, especially in Texas, where he does a lot of karst surveys, cave gating, cave inventory work, and related fire ant control. He has worked with me on research projects at Fort Hood and elsewhere in Texas.

Emily Steiner, a graduate student in the Center for African Studies, getting a Masters in African Studies/Gender Relations in International Development work for me on an hourly basis, scouring literature, scanning aerial photographs, working with vials of bugs, and generally getting a good idea of what biologists do. She has since that time secrured an assistantship in her own field, where, based on her competence and professionalism in my lab, I'm assuming she'll do quite well.
Mike Venarsky
Mike Venarsky, shown here assisting with field work in an Illinois cave, recently completed his master's degree in zoology at Southern Illinois Univeristy at Carbondale working with Frank Wilhelm. Mike helped a lot with an amphipod respiration project. He also did a lot of laboratory work with the amphipods. His MS thesis focused on the Illinois Cave Amphipod, and he is now continuing to work in cave systems for his doctoral work in the Biology Department at University of Alabama.


These are just a few of the volunteers who've helped me in the field just because they're psyched about field work. Most of the people pictured have helped on numerous trips or made important contributions to the field research. Not listed are many other volunteers who have helped out in the field, mainly with cave research.


Julie Angel
Julie Angel
Barb Coons
Barb Coons
Rick Haley
Rick Haley
JoAnn Jacoby
JoAnn Jacoby
Suzanna Langowski
Suzanna Doggett Langowski
Cindy Lee
Cindy Lee
Genie Schropp
Genie Schropp
Lara Storm
Lara Storm
Diane Tecic
Diane Tecic
Richard Young
Richard Young



Please let me know if you are aware of someone I've overlooked in the above lists of people!!





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Created 2 May 2001, last modified 19 August 2011.

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