Curry lab alumni

Post-doctoral associates

Matt Miller (2014-2016) while at Villanova continued his own work on Neotropical birds and disease ecology while also taking the lead on a new phylogenetic study of Ramphocinclus thrashers. In June 2016, he began a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant Curator of Ornithology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History & Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma

Valentina Ferretti (2012-2014) participated in our Pennsylvania chickadee field studies and helped establish our collaboration with the Lovette Lab, resulting in coauthorship of two 2014 papers on chickadee genomics in relation to hybridization. She is now a faculty member in the Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolution, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jameson (Jim) Chace (2001-2005) was associated with the lab while holding postdoctoral and visiting assistant professor positions. He is now a tenured Associate Professor at Salve Regina University.

Masters students

Mark Eastburn (MS 2017) studied the behavioral ecology of the ant-acacia jumping spider, Bagheera kiplingi, including comparison with other jumping spiders. He teaches elementary school science in Princeton, NJ @markeastburnpps

Robert Driver (MS 2017) studied genetic correlates of reduced hatching success and nestling sex ratio (testing for Haldane’s Rule) in hybridizing chickadees. He is now a PhD student at East Carolina University

Chris Roche (MS 2016) focused on on winter residence patterns in resident and irruption visitor chickadees at Nolde Forest using RFID methods. Chris works for an environmental consulting company

Kate Freeman (MS 2015) studied the role of helpers in anti-predator nest defense and reproductive success in St. Lucia White-breasted Thrashers

Christie Eldredge (MS 2015) investigated parental attentiveness during the nestling period, as a component of personality, in Carolina Chickadees using RFID methods. Christie teaches now at Rivier University in Nashua, NH

Jacob Armiger (MS 2014) conducted a field study of cooperative breeding and reproductive ecology in the Yucatan Wren. Jacob now works for the EPA

Evan Kelemen (MS 2014) carried out field experiments to examine the functional importance of song repertoires, and the possible role of singing behavior in personality, in Carolina Chickadees. He is now a PhD student at the University of Arizona

Sarah Baillie (MS 2014) investigated anti-predator behavior as a component of personality in Carolina Chickadees, and correlates with genetic parentage. She is a now a lab coordinator at the University of Arizona

Josh LaPergola (2012) studied social behavior and mating system of the Black Catbird on Cozumel and mainland Yucatan. He is now a doctoral candidate, studying Hispaniolan Woodpeckers, at Cornell University

Erik Scully (BS 2011, MS 2012) studied nesting ecology and social behavior in Bagheera kiplingi. He is now a doctoral candidate, studying chimpanzee biology, at Harvard University

Stephanie Wright (MS 2010) studied the function of different song types in the chickadee hybrid zone using playback experiments, and changes in vocal patterns over time. She recently completed her PhD at The Ohio State University, and she currently teaches at the Columbus School for Girls

Jessica Trout-Haney (MS 2010) studied the genetic mating system of the Boreal Chickadee in southwestern Nova Scotia. She is recent PhD recipient from Dartmouth College

Jennifer Mortensen (MS 2009) studied the conservation ecology of the endangered White-breasted Thrasher. She recently received her PhD from Tufts University and currently holds a postdoctoral position at the University of Arkansas

Christopher Meehan (BS 2008, MS 2009) co-discovered the world’s first known herbivorous spider, Bagheera kiplingi, and studied it for his MS thesis

Amanda Nicodemus (MS 2009) examined relationships between dominance, mate choice, and genetic identity among chickadees at the trailing edge of the hybrid zone, at Nolde Forest. She now works as a wildlife biologist in western US

Samantha Slattery (MS 2008) examined relationships between song repertoires, male genetic identity, and reproductive success in the chickadee hybrid zone. She is now completing Medical School

Lindsay Zemba (MS 2007) examined relationships between dominance, mate choice, and genetic identity at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. She now works as a personal trainer, and she is both a mom and a professional Ironwoman triathlete

Luke Pilipski (MS 2006) conducted independent work, focusing the diet of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). He is now a lab technician for a biotechnology company in Pennsylvania

Sue Guers (MS 2006) focused on the effects of forest fragmentation on reproductive success of Black-capped Chickadees and hybrids at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. She is now a professional wildlife biologist in Alaska

Matt Reudink (MS 2004) studied microsatellite DNA as a marker for parentage analysis and genotyping of birds within the Pennsylvania contact zone, and patterns of extra-pair mating in relation to genetic identity of males and female. Matt is now a tenured Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia

Chris Valligny (MS 2004) investigated the effects of an extraordinary winter fire on foraging and territorial behavior of Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). He is now an environmental consultant

Lindsay Rossano (MS 2003) focused on vocalizations, and especially on variability in repertoire composition (including both whistled songs and ‘chick-a-dee’ calls) at the individual level, within the hybrid zone. She now works as a mom and an environmental consultant

Kerri Cornell (MS 2002) focused on decreased hatching success in chickadees resulting from hybridization, and on parentage patterns. She is now a tenured Associated Professor at Westminster College

Sean Mullen (MS 2001) studied genetics and morphology of hybridizing Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) and Carolina Chickadees (P. carolinensis) in southeastern Pennsylvania. He is now a tenured Associate Professor at Boston University

Ilonka Von Lippke (MS 2001) assessed the roles of dominance and within-group conflict on reproductive success in the complex cooperative breeding system of Española Mockingbirds (Mimus macdonaldi) in the Galápagos. She subsequently received her PhD from UCLA

Liz Borst (MS 1998) studied social and demographic factors affecting laying date and clutch size in Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens)

Joel Greshock (MS 1998) investigated habitat use by northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon sipedon) in southeastern Pennsylvania. He is is currently Director of Information Systems at GlaxoSmithKline PLC in the UK

Lee Walton (MS 1997) focused on nest site selection in Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). Lee now owns an environmental consulting company in Florida

Juan E. Martínez-Gómez (MS 1995) completed the first detailed population study of the critically endangered Socorro Mockingbird (Mimodes graysoni), a mimid endemic to a single island (Socorro) in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico. Juan is now at Investigator Titular at INECOL

Undergraduate thesis students

Gwen Saccocia (LAS ’20) participated in the lab in S17 as a CURF Freshman Match student

John Szot (Biology ’15) studied responses to song playbacks by male chickadees in our primary hybrid-zone study population

Brianna Mattio (Biology ’15) investigated behavior relationships between Bagheera kiplingi and Pseudomyrmex ants

Laura Ceccacci (Biology ’15) examinined relationships between male parental care and parentage patterns in Carolina Chickadees

Ashveen Bains (Biology ’14) carryied out a study of changes in genetic structure over time across our hybrid-zone chickadee populations

Amanda McKenna (Biology ’13) carried out a study of plumage brightness of chickadees within our hybrid-zone study populations

Karen Zusi (Biology & Honors ’11) investigated song repertoires in Carolina Chickadees

Andy McGann (Biology ’07) examined social dominance and flock structure in Carolina Chickadees

Nick Weber (Comprehensive Science & Honors ’05) explored improved microsatellite markers for distinguishing between Black-capped and Carolina chickadees

Steve VanPelt (Biology & Honors ’05) followed up on Kerri Cornell’s previous study of Haldane’s Rule in hybridizing chickadees

Alice Ruscica (Biology ’04) used microsatellite DNA to further investigate parentage patterns in Carolina Chickadees at Great Marsh, focusing particularly on variation among years in the frequency of extra-pair offspring (EPO)

Christina Yuan (Biology & Honors ’03) used microsatellite DNA to investigate parentage patterns in Carolina Chickadees at Great Marsh

Ryan Zitnay (Biology ’03) used mtDNA and microsatellite DNA to investigate introgression of Carolina Chickadee genes into the Black-capped Chickadee population at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Mina Innes (Biology & Honors ’02) used GIS to map habitats in our chickadee hybrid zone study followed by analysis of nest-site selection as a function of variation in habitat types

Leanna Massarelli (Biology ’01) contributed to the Pennsylvania part of the Black-capped / Carolina Chickadee project by focusing on the match, or lack thereof, between each male’s genotype and the type of song that he sings

Matt Rea (Biology ’00) used GIS and remote sensing data to investigate the degree to which the surviving Socorro Mockingbirds are limited by habitat availability

Cheryl Zecchine (Honors ’99) focused on genetic methods for sexing Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and Carolina Chickadees (P. carolinensis) in southeastern Pennsylvania

Melanie Jenter (Biology ’99) investigated genetic methods for sexing Florida Scrub-Jays

Kevin Klesh (Honors Program ’98) Reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act

Chadd Criddle (BSC ’98): Territory occupancy of Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees in southwestern Nova Scotia

Jill Wotanis (Biology ’98): Geography of the contact zone between Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Terry Leland (Honors ’96): Historical patterns of confier invasion of serpentine barrens in Maryland: analysis using GIS

Cathy Ciarimboli (Biology ’96): Invasion of serpentine barrens by pitch pine at Nottingham County Park, Pennsylvania

Connie Gasda (Biology ’94): Brood division by Northern Mockingbirds

Michele Hannon (Biology ’92): Effects of fire suppression on Florida Scrub-Jays: food availability and habitat structure in long-unburned habitat

Bryan Spohn (Honors ’92): Abiotic edge effects on foraging behavior of woodland birds in Pennsylvania. He is now a Professor at the Florida State College at Jacksonville