People

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Catherine E. Wagner, PI

Katie is an evolutionary biologist with broad interests in processes of speciation and diversification. Her research uses population genetic, genomic, phylogenetic, and comparative methods to study diversification, from speciation processes to macroevolutionary patterns of biodiversity.

Katie received her BA in Biology and Geology from Whitman College, and her PhD from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. She did a postdoc with Ole Seehausen at EAWAG/University of Bern in Switzerland before joining the Biodiversity Institute and the Department of Botany at the University of Wyoming as an assistant professor in Fall 2015. She is the recipient of the 2015 Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.



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Jimena Golcher-Benavides, PhD student

Jimena began working towards her PhD in the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming in Fall 2015. She comes to the lab with extensive background in tropical biology, particularly fieldwork in her native Costa Rica and in Nicaragua. She received an MS from the University of Konstanz, Germany, prior to coming to UW.


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Jessica Rick, PhD student

Jessi started her PhD in the Program in Ecology at UW in Fall 2016 after finishing a masters in Integrative Biosciences at the University of Minnesota – Duluth in 2015. She has worked previously on population genetics of insects and wolves, and is excited to start working on fish genetics in the Wagner Lab.


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Liz Mandeville, Postdoc

Liz Mandeville joined the lab in summer 2016 to work on a project in collaboration with Annika Walters and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, to look at hybridization between rainbow trout and native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the North Fork Shoshone. She completed her PhD in UW’s Program in Ecology in 2016, working with Alex Buerkle on hybridzation genetics in catostomid fishes.


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Chad Brock, Postdoc

Chad joined the lab in February 2017, and is working on using genomic data to better understand history and process in the adaptive radiation, focused on African cichlids. His project continues to link Wagner lab work with that of the Seehausen group, and Chad will spend time working in Switzerland, in East Africa, as well as at home base in Wyoming. Chad completed his PhD at the University of Texas, Austin, and prior to that completed a master’s degree at Washington State University.



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Brittany Nordberg, Undergraduate Wyoming Research Scholar

Brittany began working in the lab in Fall 2015 as a Wyoming Research Scholar. She is working on understanding the evolutionary history of Nile Perch species through genetics. Brittany is a true fish-lover, and a co-founder of the Wyoming Women’s Fly Fishing club!



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Karly Higgins, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Karly begin working in the lab in Fall 2016, associated with Liz Mandeville’s project on Yellowstone cutthroat trout x Rainbow trout hybridization in the North Fork Shoshone near Cody, Wyoming. Karly is interested in continuing with research after graduating from University of Wyoming, with a focus on marine conservation genetics.


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Kiwi, mascot

Kiwi acts as a supporter of science and exploration of all kinds. You can follow her adventures here.