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: Kate Augustine

Kate is originally from Salina, Kansas. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Environmental Science in 2012 and began graduate school at UNC that same year. Broadly, she is interested in researching the effects of global change on plant-insect interactions. She is finishing a project investigating the effects of the invasive herb garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) on the survival and evolution of the rare woodland West Virginia White (Pieris virginiensis), and is currently working on a set of experiments investigating the role of temperature and nutrition in the local adaptation of the invasive Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). Outside of the lab, she enjoys photography, running, baking, and reading fantasy novels. Kate's Page

 PhD Student: Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth originally hails from Hillsboro, Kentucky. She graduated in the class of 2014 from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Biology. During her Masters at the University of Cambridge, she studied the effects of temperature on the seasonal polyphenism of African butterflies. She started her PhD at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2015. For her PhD project, she is investigating the effects of heat stress on host-parasitoid interactions, using the model system of Manduca sexta and Cotesia congregata. During her free time, Elizabeth is usually found at the barn, riding, training and caring for various horses. She also enjoys reading, hiking and various artistic endeavors.

PhD Student: Anna Parker

Originally from Chardon, Ohio, Anna graduated from the University of Rochester in 2016 with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a BA in Chemistry. During her Master’s degree at the University of Wyoming, she studied the effects of pine squirrel predation on lodgepole pine cone traits. She began her PhD in the Kingsolver lab in the fall of 2018. For her dissertation work, she is planning on investigating how tritrophic interactions between a variety of host plants, Manduca sexta, and the parasitoid wasp Cotesia congregata change with temperature. Outside of research, Anna enjoys hosting game nights with friends (board games, tabletop RPGs, and Magic the Gathering are her favorites). She also spends her free time hiking, canoeing, and curating her indoor plant collection.

PhD Student: Katherine Malinski

Katherine was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago. She attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC for her undergraduate studies, where she swam for the university and graduated with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. In her time at South Carolina, she studied the population genetics and coalescence of geminate ray species in the genus Rhinoptera. She started her PhD at the University of North Carolina in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology in the fall of 2018. Broadly, she is interested in the genetics and genomics of thermal tolerance, phenotypic plasticity, and multi-species interactions. Presently, she is working on a study investigating the effects of temperature on gene expression in Manduca sexta and its parasitoid Cotesia congregata. In her free time, Katherine enjoys swimming, trail running, hiking, and entertaining her sassy pet rabbit, Fritz.

IMG_0870_cropped Post Doc: Matthew Nielsen

Originally from Mount Horeb, WI, Matthew Nielsen received his BA from Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA in 2010 and his PhD from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ in 2016. Broadly, he is interested in all aspects of phenotypic plasticity, but he specifically studies it in the context of temperature and insects.  For his PhD, he worked with Dan Papaj studying the interactions between thermoregulatory color change and behavior in pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor) caterpillars. During this time, he also worked with Johanna Mappes in Jyväskylä, Finland on how thermoregulatory variation in color and behavior also affect predation risk in another caterpillar (Arctia plantaginis).  After joining the Kingsolver lab in 2016, he now uses natural history collections across the United States to study whether and how the seasonal polyphenism of the orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme) has evolved in response to climate change over the last 60 years. In addition to doing science, Matthew likes to spend his time traveling (anywhere), playing tabletop games (especially role-playing), and reading (especially science fiction and fantasy).

Recent Alumni

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

Jessica Higgins (2009-2015). Associate Programmer, Nuventra Pharma Sciences

Sarah Seiter (2008-2012). Associate Curator of Natural Sciences, Oakland Museum of California

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

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

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