PI: Joel Kingsolver

Joel was educated at St. Camillus Elementary, Thomas Johnson High, Duke, Wisconsin, Stanford, and UC-Berkeley, and held faculty positions at Brown University and University of Washington before moving to UNC in 2001. Over the years his research has involved biomechanics, environmental biophysics, physiology, ecology and evolution, but current foci are evolutionary and physiological ecology and population biology, mostly with insects and insect-plant interactions. He has a long-standing interest in educational software, and more recently in communicating science to non-science audiences. In his spare time Joel likes to hike and play guitar, and sometimes writes songs about biology.

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PhD Student: Katherine Malinski

Katherine is originally from Naperville, Illinois. She attended the University of South Carolina where she graduated with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, and studied population genetics and phylogeography in rays and other marine species. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina, and is co-advised by Dr. Joel Kingsolver and Dr. Chris Willett. Her dissertation research primarily focuses on the physiological and ecological responses of insects to climate change. She is currently wrapping up projects investigating the effects of extreme high temperatures on the ecology, development and physiology of agriculturally-important Manduca species when parasitized by a braconid wasp, Cotesia congregata. Her current projects explore the impacts of summer heat waves on immune priming against bacterial pathogens, including Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in Manduca species. In her free time, Katherine enjoys doing triathlons, playing DnD, reading, and scoping out the coolest bugs on nearby hiking trails.

PhD Student:  Lorrie He

Lorrie is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, but spent most of her formative years in Acton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies, studying nutritional signaling in Manduca sexta. Before coming to the University of North Carolina,she worked in infectious disease at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA. Currently, under Dr. Joel Kingsolver and Dr. Christopher Willett, she is investigating the effects of warming nighttime temperatures on the growth and development of Manduca. When she’s outside of the lab, Lorrie enjoys reading, napping, and spreading the word about her favorite K-pop band, Seventeen.

Lab Manager:  Tyler Pereira

Tyler is from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. He attended UNC Chapel Hill where he graduated in 2022 with a double major in Biology and Environmental studies, and a minor in Geography. Tyler has been working with the Kingsolver lab since September 2019, where he has worked on a series of projects involving plant reproduction and insect herbivory. He is currently working as a lab manager and research assistant, where most of his work focuses on the effect of temperature on the development and longevity of three species: Manduca sexta, Pieris rapae, and Junonia coenia.  Tyler also studies the effect of photoperiods on P. rapae diapause induction.  His research interests include species conservation and sampling, specifically within plant-insect herbivory interactions. When he’s not working, Tyler enjoys reading, thrifting, and exploring any trails or parks he can find.


Research Assistant: Madison Milotte

Madison is from Hickory, North Carolina. They will graduate from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2024 with their bachelor’s in biology and environmental science. Madison has been a member of the Kingsolver lab since April 2021 where they’ve conducted many projects as an undergraduate researcher. In Summer 2022, Madison started a project investigating the effects of temperature on multiple populations of cabbage white butterflies at different life stages. Currently, they are finishing up experiments and writing their honor’s thesis about this project. After graduation, Madison wants to go to graduate school where they can continue to study entomology and evolution, and explore new topics such as phylogenetics and taxonomy.  Outside of the lab, Madison loves tutoring, doing puzzles, and spending time outside hiking or swimming.

Recent Alumni

Anna Parker (2018-2023). Assistant Teaching Professor, Wake Forest University

Elizabeth Moore (2015-2021). NSF PRFB, NC State University.  Postdoctoral Fellow, USDA.

Matthew Nielsen (2017-2019). Junior Professor, University of Bremen

Kate Augustine (2012-2018). Insights Analyst, Stats NZ

Heidi MacLean (2009-2015). Villum Kann Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Aarhus University

Jessica Higgins (2009-2015). Research Manager, UNOS

Sarah Seiter (2008-2012). Senior Science Writer, San Francisco Exploratorium

Sarah Diamond (2005-2010). Associate Professor, Case Western University

Justin McAlister (2001-2007). Associate Professor, College of the Holy Cross

Greg Ragland (2001-2007). Associate Professor, University of Colorado – Denver