Jim

Jim Leebens-Mack
Professor of Plant Biology
706-583-5573
Contact Jim

Graduate Students

Jason

Jason Comer
PhD Candidate
Department of Plant Biology

Jason is a sytematist using phylogenomic approaches to resolve relationships among Arecoid
palm lineages.  The Arecoideae is the most speciose of the five palm (Arecaceae) subfamilies.  
Jason is employing gene capture and Illumina sequencing to analyze whole plastid genomes and
over 100 nuclear genes sampled from exemplars of all major lineages within the subfamily.    

Contact Jason
 

Lauren

Lauren Eserman 
PhD Candidate
Department of Plant Biology

Lauren is investigaitng the gain and loss of storage roots (tubers) thoughout  the evolutioanry of morning
glories (Ipomoeeae, Convolvulaceae).  Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a nutritionally and economically
important  morning glory species, but tuber formers are distributed across the morning glory phylogeny.  
Lauren is performing comparative transcriptomic analyses to elucidate the molecular basis for tuber formation
in diverse morning glory species.

Contact Lauren
 

Alex

Alex Harkess
PhD Candidate
Department of Plant Biology

Alex is investigating the evolution of dioecy and sex chromosomes, using garden asparagus (Asparagus
officinalis
) as a model system.  Alex is combinig transcriptomic analyses with GBS-based mapping  to
unravel the molecular basis of gender dimorphisms and test evolutionary models for the origin of
non-recombining sex-determination loci.

Contact Alex
 

Karolina

Karolina Heyduk
PhD Candidate
Department of Plant Biology

Karolina studies the evolutionary origins and consequences of the Crassulacean acid metabolism
(CAM) photosynthetic pathway in the Agavoideae (Asparagaceae). Karolina's research focuses on
establishing the origins and frequency of CAM evolution within the Agavoideae, understanding the
evolution of physiological and transcriptomic changes associated with transitions to CAM.

Contact Karolina
 

Michelle

Michelle Hwang
Masters Student
Department of Plant Biology

Michelle is a computational biologist working to develop analysis workflows for assessing
expression patterns and interaction networks for protein coding genes and non-coding RNAs. Michelle
is working with data from a number of projects but her masters thesis is focused on an investigation
of genes and gene interactions contributing to powdery mildew resistance in flowering dogwood.

Contact Michelle

PostDocs

None at this time.

Staff

Dat

Dat Trong Hoang 
Technician  
Contact Dat
 

Raj

Raj Ayyampalayam
Bioinformatician 
Contact Raj

Undergraduates

Jeremy Ray
Plant Biolgy Major

Former Lab Members

Jamie

Jamie Estill
Former Postdoc, now at the University of Michigan
Contact Jamie
 

Joel

Joel McNeal
Former Postdoc, Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University
Joel at Kennesaw State
 

Alexa

Alexa Telgmann-Rauber
Former Postdoc, Now a geneticist at KWS SAAT AG, Einbeck Germany
 

Hongyan

Hongyan Shan
Former Postdoc, Associate Professor at State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Beijing
State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
 

Ling

Ling Dong
Former PhD Student, now working with Dennis Stevenson and Barbara Ambrose
at the New York Botanical Garden
Contact Ling
 

John

John Kerry 
Former Masters Student, Now a software developer at NCR Corp
Contact John
 

Michael

Michael McKain 
Former PhD Student, Now a Postdoc with Toby Kellogg
Contact Michael
 

Maryam

Maryam Panahiazar 
Former PhD Student, Now at Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing
 

Jeremy

Jeremy Rentsch 
Former PhD Student, Now a Postdoc with Mike Klymkowsky
Contact Jeremy