Summer 2022

Check out this video - featuring Shana! - on the tremendous impact Casey Stengl's gift has on biodiversity research at UT Austin. 

We're congratulating Noe Reyna, an undergraduate researcher working with Becca, who has been selected as a McNair's Scholar! The McNair's Scholar Program aims to increase the number of undergraduate students earning doctoral degrees who are low-income and first-generation, or who come from communities underrepresented in graduate education. This highly deserved recognition will support Noe's research efforts as well as provide some fantastic professional development opportunities.

We're looking forward to welcoming two high school students, who will be joining our lab to do research this summer: Sydney Lee from Round Rock HS and Claire Payne from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School.

We're welcoming two undergraduate summer interns who are joining us this summer as part of two different REU programs. Nhu Nguyen is part of the Department of Integrative Biology's Inclusive Student Training in Collections and field-based Topics (InSTInCT) REU program. And TBD is joining us as part of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Programs' Summer Undergraduate Program for Experiential Research (SUPER) REU program. Both students will be working with Ross on the neural underpinnings of social behavior in pair-bonded convict cichlids.

We're excited that Will has been accepted for a bioinformatics internship at GlaxoSmithKline, where he will get involved in various cool projects this summer! Well done, Will, congratulations!

Spring 2022

Congratulations to Shana, who has accepted a tenure track assistant professor position at Adelphi University in New York! This is amazing news and a wonderful accomplishment! We wish Shana all the best as she transitions to her next career stage!

More good news: Cristal has been offered a position as Research Scientist in Systems Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center! This is wonderful news, and certainly not surprising given Cristal's excellent dissertation research in bioinformatics and computational biology. Congrats, Cristal, on this achievement, and best wishes for what comes next!
Congratulations to Emily, who has received an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the 2021-2022 academic year! This is an amazing accomplishment and highly deserved.
Over the years, we have been privileged to work with incredibly talented undergraduate students, and this year's graduates are certainly keeping up this amazing tradition:
Rebeca Moreno Villareal has been selected as a Dean’s Honored Graduate, with a Research Distinction, a recognition available only to the top 1% of graduates! Rebeca will eventually attend graduate school, but is headed to Montana for the summer where she will be working as a field assistant with birds
Sherley Wang, Sam Su, and Andy Zhou are graduating with CNS Distinctions in Research, and Andy also received a Distinction in Service and Leadership! These recognitions are reserved for the top 5% of graduates. After graduation, Sherley will take a position as Software Engineer with Apple Pay in Austin.
Congratulations to all of you!
Not to be outdone by our graduating seniors, our more junior undergraduate researchers also have great things to report: Tara Roshan has landed a summer internship with a start-up company Dremio where she will "future-proof" data architectures. And Marilyn Lionts accepted an offer from the Biomedical Informatics Summer Program at Vanderbilt University where she will work with Dr. Luca Bonomi. Congratulations!

Repeated congratulations to Emily Lessig, who has been on a roll this spring! First, Emily was awarded a CNS Summer Graduate Fellowship, which will allow her to dedicate all her efforts towards her dissertation research! She then received n IB Graduate Research Grant to support this research! And the other day Emily was awarded a 2022-2023 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship. These are huge and very well deserved accomplishments! Well done, Emily!

Congratulations to Isaac, Landon, and Savvy! They all have been awarded an IB Graduate Research Grant to support their research! This is a wonderful accomplishment and will no doubt result in some exciting research!


Fall 2021

Congratulations to Emily Lessig, who passed her qualifying exam with flying colors and successfully defended her thesis proposal entitled: "Neural basis of context-dependent social behavior in a cichlid fish"! We're proud of Emily and can't wait to see the exciting results of her research!

Cristal, who is currently visiting our lab from Brazil, has successfully defended her PhD thesis at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre! Congratulations Dr. Villalba on this great achievement! I am sure we can expect many more great things from her in the future.

Congratulations to Karleen, who has been selected for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship award! The topic of her research (w/ Ross) is "The Role of Oxytocin and Dopamine in Regulating the Strength of a Pair Bond." Well done, Karleen, we're looking forward to learning what insights your research will produce!

Great news: Emily, Shana, and Will have received Texas Ecolab awards for 2022! The funded projects are as follows:
Emily: Natural variation of behavioral and neural mechanisms during intruder challenge
Shana: Parental Care in Invasive Bird Species
Will: Leveraging the Biodiversity of Central Texas to Unravel the Neuro-molecular Basis of Psychiatric Disorders in the Human Amygdala
This is a wonderful accomplishment, well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Caitlin Friesen on an amazing dissertation defense! A huge crowd showed up in person and on Zoom to learn about Caitlin's creative research on the molecular and neural basis of behavioral variation in the context of social dominance. Caitlin will soon join the labs of Aras Petrulis and Geert de Vries at Georgia State University as a postdoc. We are sad to see her leave but excited for what she will accomplish in the future!

Welcome to Cristal Villalba Silva, who is visiting our lab from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre (Brazil)! Cristal will be working with us on system pharmacology and comparative transcriptomics projects.

Congratulations to Rebeca Moreno Villarreal, who has received a TEJAS award to continue her research with Shana! The Texas Excellence in Jobs and Services (TEJAS) program is a work-study award administered by the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) that allows eligible undergraduate students to earn some money while doing research, thus leveling the playing field at least a tiny bit. This is a highly deserved recognition for Rebeca, who already did excellent work last summer as InSTInCT REU student advised by Shana!

We are very excited to share that Dr. Becca Young has been awarded a 2-year Stengl-Wyer educational grant to start a new FRI stream in evolutionary developmental -omics, EvoDevOmics! This is a highly deserved award that recognizes the tremendous contributions Becca has made to provide hands-on "experiential" research experiences to UT undergraduate students. The grant will help to enhance much of what she has been doing already while also providing support and resources for more students. Congratulations, Becca, on this wonderful outcome!

We are welcoming Landon Porter to our lab as a new graduate student. Landon completed a BS degree at Case Western Reserve University and comes to us from the University of Southern California, where he worked as a research assistant in Drosophila genetics for the past couple of years. Landon joins us through the Ecology, Evolution & Behavior program.

Congratulations to Ross, who has been awarded a 1-year extension of his NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology through October 2023! This is highly deserved and will no doubt help him to do even more exciting and impactful science!


Summer 2021

Wonderful news from this year's (virtual) Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (SBN) annual conference: Kelly Wallace won the best postdoc poster award and Ross DeAngelis' abstract was selected for the Contributed Talks Symposium, where he gave an excellent presentation! Congrats, we're proud of your achievements!

Congratulations to our super-undergraduate researcher Sam Su who has been working with Becca and was recently accepted into UT's Computer Science's 5 Year Integrated Masters Program. This is an amazing and well-deserved accomplishment!

We're welcoming two new undergraduate students, who are joining us this summer as part of our department's new InSTInCT REU program! Marisa Ballard will be working with Ross on the neural underpinnings of valence encoding in pair-bonded convict cichlids. And Rebeca Moreno Villarreal will join Shana in investigating parent-offspring conflict at the nest in great tits.

Amazing news: Former Neuroscience graduate student and lab alumna Dr. Mariana Rodriguez Santiago has been awarded a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology to work with Dr. Kim Hoke (Colorado State U) and Mark Bee (U Minnesota) on the effects of reproductive state on acoustic communication in treefrogs! Big congratulations to Mariana for this highly deserved achievement, we can't wait to see what she will accomplish with this fellowship!


Spring 2021

Two of our star undergraduates have received major accolades! Don Le has been awarded a CNS TIDES summer fellowship to continue his research with Becca on a comparative transcriptomic study of amphibian embryogenesis! And Andy Zhou has won a Kemp-Forman Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship! Congratulations!

Great news! Emily has been selected to receive a $1,700 student research grant from the Animal Behavior Society for her proposal entitled: The Social Cognition of Joint Territorial Defense! Well done!

Woo-hoo! Congratulations to Caitlin, who has been awarded a 2021 Graduate School Summer Fellowship! This is amazing news and a highly deserved recognition!

Congratulations to our graduating seniors, who have made many important contributions to the research in our lab over the past couple of years! We are proud of their many achievements and wish them all the best for a bright future:
Joyce Wang, who has been mentored by Dr. Becca Young, has been critical to our ongoing analyses of the neural transcriptome in response to social opportunity. Joyce is currently writing up a manuscript on her research. She will soon join the Cell & Molecular Biology program at UT Austin (computational biology and bioinformatics track), so she won’t venture too far away, which is lucky for us!
Emily Reed has been working with Caitlin Friesen in the lab to examine whether blue and yellow male A. burtoni cichlids differ in their space use and how they respond to perturbations in their environment. Emily will enroll in the Genetics graduate program at Texas A&M University!
Last, but not least, Cassidy Malone completed a beautiful honors thesis on the neural basis of familiarity in our cichlids. Working with Dr. Mariana Rodriguez Santiago, Cassidy found that midbrain dopaminergic neurons appear to encode aspects of familiarity! She will join the graduate program in Psychology at Cornell University!
We have no doubt that Joyce, Emily, and Cassidy will excel in their graduate studies, and we look forward to the great things they will accomplish!

Wonderful news: Two of our amazing undergraduate researchers have won Undergraduate Research Fellowships to continue their research! Congratulations to Andy Zhou, who is working with Dr. Becca Young to understand sex-specific maternal effect in birds; and Niharika Pakala, who examines the responses to reproductive opportunity in dynamic social environments in our cichlids in collaboration with Isaac Miller-Crews!

Congratulations to Dr. Kelly Wallace on an outstanding dissertation defense! A large crowd showed up to learn about Kelly's innovative work on how sex and social status affect cognition in the cichlid, A. burtoni! Funded by a Ford Foundation Fellowship as well as a Graduate School Continuing Fellowship, Kelly came to the lab to add a much needed new perspective to our model system. Some of her research has already been published and more is forthcoming. Kelly recently won a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (hurray!), which she is taking to  Dr. Aubrey Kelly's lab at Emory University.


Fall 2020

Isaac will be presenting a public outreach lecture on "Animal Brains!" on Dec 10th at 7 pm CST as part of the Science under the Stars public lecture series. More details can be found at

Congratulations to our star undergraduate researchers Asha, Joyce, and Sherley, who were awarded Undergraduate Research Fellowships. Joyce will continue her work on the neural transcriptomic response to social opportunity in A. burtoni. Asha and Sherley will continue working together characterizing variation in sensory transcriptomes in stickleback fish across environments.

We are welcoming Dr. Ross DeAngelis to our lab! Ross has received a prestigious NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to study how the brain encodes different valences in the context of parental behavior. His research combines advanced neurobiological and molecular approaches to uncover the neural basis of social behavior. He completed his PhD research with Dr. Justin Rhodes at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on the neural underpinnings of parental care in anemone fish.

Welcome to Dr. Shana Caro, who joins us as one of the inaugural Stengl-Wyer Scholars! Shana's research uses both empirical and theoretical approaches to understand how signaling systems evolve when there are evolutionary conflicts of interest between signallers and receivers. She comes to UT from Columbia University, where she was a Junior Fellow with the Simons Foundation, working with Dustin Rubenstein. Dr. Caro's research at UT combines field work, theoretical modeling, and neurotranscriptomics to study how evolutionary conflict shapes parental investment in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

Congratulations Dr. Mariana Rodriguez on an outstanding dissertation defense! Huge crowd, great committee, amazing research on neural basis of social learning! Plus, her fascinating work has been published in PNAS and demonstrates that socially dominant individuals may exert more force in a group, but passive individuals are better at helping the group to reach consensus!


Summer 2020

Kendra is leaving us to start graduate school in the Cellular & Molecular Biology program at UT Austin. When she joined our lab as a technician, it quickly became clear that there was nothing that Kendra couldn't do, and she managed to make numerous important contributions to various projects. She did so very efficiently, absolutely reliably, and with great attention to detail. While it is sad to see her leave us, we are looking forward to watching all the great things she will accomplish. Thank you, Kendra, and please visit often! May the sharpies and lab tape always be with you!

We are thrilled that Dr. Shana Caro will be joining us this fall as one of the inaugural Stengl-Wyer Fellows! Shana's research at UT will combine field work, evolutionary modeling, and neurotranscriptomics to study how evolutionary conflict shapes parental investment in songbirds. Shana received her BS from Harvard and her PhD from Oxford University (with Ashleigh Griffin and Stu West). She is currently finishing up a postdoctoral fellowship with Dustin Rubenstein at Columbia University.

Many conferences are canceled this year, including the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology meeting, which is one of our "house meetings." However, the pandemic did not stop Kelly from winning a SBN Travel Award. Congrats, Kelly!

Joyce has been awarded a Summer 2020 TIDES Advanced Undergraduate Research Fellowship to continue her research on the SUB->DOM transition project. She has already made a tremendous contribution to this challenging project including a poster at SICB and a 200+ deck of slides full of figures. We're thrilled that she will be able to continue this summer! Congratulations, Joyce, on this well-deserved award!

Dr. Ross DeAngelis has been awarded a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to study, in the monogamous convict cichlid, how distinct behaviors occurring within a behavioral suite are regulated by shared neural components in reward-related brain areas. Congratulations, Ross, on a highly deserved award, and welcome (back) to our lab!

We are overjoyed to make these exciting announcements: Mariana will join Dr. Kim Hoke's laboratory at Colorado State University this fall as a postdoctoral fellow! Congratulations on what will no doubt be a very productive collaboration! Mariana will study the neural mechanisms underlying decision-making during female choice in frogs, which will also allow her to collaborate with Dr. Mark Bee at the University of Minnesota. Kelly has been awarded a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to work with Dr. Aubrey Kelly at Emory University! Congratulations on this tremendous achievement, which will allow Kelly to start a new research program some time next spring on the neural basis of social cognition in spiny mice!


Spring 2020

Congratulations to our undergraduate researchers, Sarah Campbell and Pragati Kore, who are both graduating from UT this month with flying colors! We are proud of their many achievements and grateful for their contributions to the research in our lab over the past couple of years. Best wishes to both and their great plans for the future:
Sarah has been involved in several immunohistochemistry projects over the past couple of years and has been our fish caretaker extraordinaire until the pandemic prevented her from coming back to campus. The fish have already been missing her for 2.5 months! Sarah will join Andy Bass' lab in the Neurobiology & Behavior graduate program at Cornell University. This is a great choice, and we look forward to the fascinating secrets she will uncover in the very cool plainfin midshipman fish!
Pragati has been an essential part of Becca and Hans' collaboration with Andrea Gore's lab on the effects of embryonic exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals on social behavior and brain gene expression profiles. Pragati will join the graduate program in bioinformatics at Boston University, where she will no doubt do great things as well.

Big congratulations to former undergrad, Megan Chan!! Megan, who graduated in December, received a Research Distinction award for 2019-2020 graduating seniors for her work on the hourglass project and beyond. This is a highly competitive award and one that was highly deserved!

Great news! A Catalyst grant proposal submitted by Hans and Michael Drew, entitled "Molecular Profiling of Valence Coding in the Hippocampus," has been selected for funding!

Two of the proposals Becca submitted to the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Programs competition have been funded! This is much deserved and a testament to Becca's excellence and creativity!

A lot of great news - Emily, Isaac, and Will have been awarded IB Research Grants to support their excellent work! Congratulations also to Mariana who has been awarded a Summer Fellowship by the graduate school! These awards are all highly deserved and provide a great boost during this difficult time!

Congrats to Kelly, who has been awarded the University Graduate Continuing Fellowship for the 2020/21 academic year! This is an amazing achievement and very much deserved!

Wonderful news! Matthew, Karleen, Layla, and Don received a collaborative Undergraduate Research Fellowship award to examine the mechanisms by which A. burtoni discriminate color! Congratulations on the highly deserved acheivement!


Fall 2019

Congrats to Isaac, who has been awarded $6,400 in research funds by the Texas Ecolab program! These funds will allow him to carry out an ecological genomics study of physiological adaptation in fishes to extreme Central Texas environments.

We are very much looking forward to the upcoming SICB conference here in Austin: We will present five posters and three talks! So it is exciting that several lab members have received awards to attend the SICB meeting: Congratulations to Emily, Isaac, Joyce, Kelly, Will for receiving the Charlotte Mangum Award, which will cover the conference registration fee! On top of that, Mariana and Kelly both have received a Broadening Participation Award! And congrats to Mariana, who was selected to present her research in the DNNSB Best Student Paper Symposium, and Isaac, who will be presenting his poster as part of the DEE BSP: Huey Award Competition! Together with Caitlin, who was invited to serve as #scicomm Ambassador during the meeting, this is an amazing haul!

After a mad dash to the finish line, Kelly, Mariana, and Ross successfully submitted their NSF postdoctoral fellowship applications! Congratulations! Every single proposal is creative and innovative and will no doubt make great contributions to our understanding of the neural underpinnings of social behavior across mammals, amphibians, and teleosts! Fingers crossed!

Congratulations to Pragati, who has been awarded a $1000 Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her proposal, "Exploring the Variance Structure of a Socially Sensitive Transcriptome." This is wonderful news and a well deserved recognition!

Great news! Isaac has been awarded a 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by the Department of Justice! This is amazing news and a wonderful accomplishment!

Congratulations to Megan who just accepted a position as a Bioinformatics Analyst with Adaptive Biotechnologies. Excited for her big move to Seattle in January!

Very excited to welcome our new graduate student, Emily Lessig. Emily just completed her MS degree at UCLA and is joining us through the Ecology, Evolution & Behavior program. 


Summer 2019

Kendra Zwonitzer is joining the team as our new lab technician! Welcome Kendra!! 

Great news!! Kelly has been accepted to attend the Junior Scientist Workshop on Mechanistic Cognitive Neuroscience at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus this fall! Lots of people apply to attend these small, highly interactive, and selective workshops, so this is a great, accomplishment, and well-deserved. Congratulations Kelly!! 

Hans was recently interviewed by The Cichlid Stage blog, check it out here  

Congratulations to Caitlin, who received a travel award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology to attend their annual conference in Bloomington (IN)! 

Very excited to welcome our new graduate student, Jiawei "Will" Han! Will is a graduate student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology track in the Cellular & Molecular Biology program! 


Spring 2019

Congratulations to Caitlin, who has been awarded the 2019 Spring Dissertation Writing Fellowship by the College of Natural Sciences! This is wonderful news and highly deserved. 

Isaac wrote a BEACON blog post about his research, including some of the neat techniques he's working on to assign paternity to male cichlids! Check it out here

Megan Chan wrote a great BEACON blog post about her research on the developmental hourglass with Becca and Hans, and the journey that led her to Big Data. Check it out here

Congratulations to Kelly for two impressive achievements! Kelly's poster was selected from among 40+ posters to win the Best Poster Award at the 2019 Ecological Integration Symposium at Texas A&M University! She has also been awarded the IB Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, which will provide her with $8,000 to further enhance her thesis research! Great work Kelly!! 

Very exciting news!! Hans was awarded an “Exemplar Award” at the Animal Behavior Conference recognizing achievement in integrating diverse approaches in the study of animal behavior. Congratulations!! 

Congratulations to Mariana, who has been awarded a competitive 2019 Summer Fellowship by the UT Austin Graduate School. This is wonderful news and a well deserved recognition! 

Great news!! Becca's collaborative BEACON proposal on the "Genomic and Computational Dissection of the Function and Evolution of Life History Transitions" has been funded in full! 

Congratulations to Becca and her fabulous comparative transcriptomics paper that has been published in PNAS!! Her study uses several novel approaches to find that ecology can drive brain gene expression similarities in independent transitions to monogamy across vertebrates. 

We are very excited for Tessa, who is starting her independent faculty career at the W.M Keck Science Department at Claremount McKenna College! We will miss her very much in the lab, but couldn't be happier for her! 

Congratulations to Megan Chan who just accepted a Bioinformatics Engineer Internship with Adaptive Biotechnologies, a company that focuses on developing immune system 'omics approaches in precision medicine. Great news and very well deserved! 


Fall 2018

Congratulations to Caitlin, who has been awarded a competitive Thesis Writing Fellowship by the College of Natural Sciences! 

Isaac passed his candidacy with flying colors! Great job! 

Congratulations!! Cassidy has been awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship ($1000) for her proposal, "Behavioral and Social Network Effects of Familiarity in a Highly Social Fish"! This is a great achievement and well deserved! 

Tessa Solomon-Lane has an exciting preprint out on tagging juvenile A. burtoni with a body length as small as 10mm!! Very neat methods paper to better study behavior and brain development. Check it out here.  

Great news! Mariana has been selected by the Society for Neuroscience to receive a $1000 2018 Trainee Professional Development Award to present a poster on her research at the annual SfN meeting in San Diego in November. Nice work!  


Summer 2018

Congratulations to Anokhi who was awarded a College of Natural Sciences Scholarship, the Charles Ely Lankford Memorial Scholarship! This is a great accomplishment! 


Spring 2018

Great news! Eric has been awarded the IB start-up grant in the amount of $2000, and Caitlin has received the IB travel award in the amount of $533! Congratulations!

Big congratulations to Mariana who has been awarded an IB DDIG in the amount of $8000 for her research on learning in a dynamic social context!!

Megan has been selected to receive the CNS Award for Excellence in Computational Biology / Computational Biochemistry / Computational Chemistry in the amount of $500! Congratulations, this is well-deserved!!

Congratulations to Eric for acing his PhD candidacy exam! Looking forward to some exciting scRNA-Seq experiments in the future!

Caitlin has been selected to receive the P.E.O. Scholar Award for the 2018-2019 academic year! Congratulations Caitlin!

Tessa and Caitlin were both awarded PANS Trainee Travel Award for the International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Toronto this summer! Well done y'all!

Megan has been awarded a summer research fellowship through Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) to continue her research in the lab this summer. Way to go Megan!

Ashley has accepted an undergraduate research position with Dr. Nicole Osier at Dell Med and the School of Nursing. It's an exciting opportunity that will focus on pediatric patients with traumatic brain injuries, and will allow her to integrate her interests in clinical research and data analysis to gain some great experience for future career interests. Congratulations Ashley!

Lisa and Anokhi have both been awarded Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URFs) for their research. Lisa will be looking at behavioral and neurotranscriptomic mechanisms underlying social status changes in A. burtoni, while Anokhi will be looking at transcriptomic and developmental mechanisms underlying maternally-induced growth acceleration in house finches. Great work and well deserved y'all!

Tessa Solomon-Lane, along with Travis Hagey and Alexa Warwick from MSU hosted an energizing and inspiring science communication workshop on Feb 5 at UT Austin, funded by the BEACON Center. Excellent work!

Lisa Paggeot and Anokhi Kashiparekh were each awarded Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URFs) for their research. Great work and well-deserved!


Fall 2017

Interested in the effects of mutation on the structure of proteins with known disease phenotypes? A new NIH website has just been released after contributions from Caitie McCafferty, a rotating Cell and Molecular Biology graduate student in our lab. Very cool! 

Great news!!! Hofmann Lab alumna Lauren O'Connell has been awarded the Frank A. Beach Young Investigator Award by the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology! Wonderful to hear about this well-deserved honor!

Megan Chan has been invited to present a poster on her research at the student poster competition at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin. Great job Megan!!

Tessa Solomon-Lane and Hans Hofmann, in collaboration with Alexa Warwick and Travis Hagey from MSU/BEACON, have been awarded a grant from BEACON for their work broadening participation and the scope of public engagement. Great news!

Congratulations to Caitlin Friesen for receiving the Zoology Scholarship Endowment for Excellence from the UT EEB graduate program!

Tessa Solomon-Lane has a great new BEACON blog post out on framing your message and how to talk to policy. Check it out at


Summer 2017

Isaac Miller-Crews has been awarded a $2000 Start-up Grant by the EEB program. Great work Isaac!!!

Congratulations to Caitlin who has been awarded an EEB Summer Fellowship!


Spring 2017

So happy to share that Rayna Harris has been offered a Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley! Great work Rayna!!!

Mariana Rodriguez has been awarded a Global Research Fellowship that will help her to visit Konstanz, Germany to collaborate with Alex Jordan! Great work Mariana, we're excited for you!!

We are so excited to celebrate with Sean Maguire after he successfully defended his PhD thesis! Great job!!

Becca and Hareem both did a fantastic job presenting a poster at the Undergraduate Research Forum Symposium. Great work! Both were also awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF)!! Congratulations!!!

Tessa Solomon-Lane helped to spearhead a great BEACON public engagement workshop. Check out her blog post to learn more! 

Excited to announce that Hareem Usmani and Becca Butler were both awareded Undergraduate Research Fellowships to support their research. Congratulations!!

Mariana Rodriguez has been awarded the Bruton Graduate School Fellowship to help subsidize her research. Great work!!


Fall 2016

Great news! The Hofmann lab and collaborators at MSU received $1.84 million NSF grant to pursue research studying the evolution of three-spined stickleback throughout Iceland. 

Former undergraduate Vyshnavi Karri is now a medical student at McGovern Medical School in Houston. Congratulations!

Mariana Rodriguez successfully advanced into candidacy! Now that she's finalized the planning on a number of exciting experiments, we're really looking forward to what she finds out next.

Spring 2016

Rayna Harris was awarded a $40,000 Fellowship by the Graduate School! These university-wide fellowships are very competitive and prestigious and only a handful of students even get nominated. Congrats!

Chelsea Weitekamp received a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) from the National Science Foundation! This is a tremendous achievement and very much deserved!

Rayna Harris was awarded $500 from the Graduate Student Association and the Student Government in support of the 4th Annual Big Data in Biology Symposium!

Rayna Harris received a $1000 "Grants in Aid of Research Award" from the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology in support of her thesis research!

Sylvia Garza has been offered a position at STRI in Panama to work with Richard Merrill and Chris Jiggins on Heliconius wing pattern evolution! This is a great opportunity and well deserved!

Fall 2015

Former graduate student Lauren O'Connell receives and NSF grant to support her research on the mechanisms of toxin sequestration in poison frogs!

Spring 2015

Two awesome undergrads, Vy Karri and Pamela De Valle, were awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship to support their exciting research!

Sean Maguire was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) by the National Science Foundation!