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My Staff and Students

by Brian Ledwell last modified Feb 06, 2023 12:56 PM

Full-Time Staff

  • Emily Knapp, BS cum laude '21 in Animal Behavior, Carroll College; joined the lab in July 2022.  

Current Students

  • Jaide Gavinski. PreVet.  Squirrel Colony intern Sp20+. Graduates Fa2023.
  • Madyson Majewski. PreVet. Squirrel colony intern Spring 2022+ and Sum22 MCNAIR SCHOLAR, Spring 2022-Spring 2023. 
  • Sheiana Taylor. PreVet. Colony intern and Sum22 MCNAIR SCHOLAR, Spring 2022-Spring 2023. Graduates Sp2023. HAS APPLIED TO GRAD SCHOOL SO STAY TUNED!!! 
  • Leia Randall. PreVet. Squirrel colony intern Spring 2022+. Graduates Sp2023. Admitted to vet school!
  • Colton Sandstrom. PreMed. Squirrel colony intern Fall 2020-Sum2022. Graduates Fa2023.


 Past UWO Graduate Students

  • Zach Tooley, BS UW La Crosse. Research project addressed ground squirrel retinal development.  Started vet school at UW Madison in Fall 2019. Won a competitive and prestigious Armed Forces Scholarship for his doctoral education; congrats!  In Sp21, was elected the new President of the Student American Veterinary Medicine Association, a national position of leadership.  
  • Amy Miller, MS '17.  Research Associate at the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW).  I served as thesis supervisor. 
  • Erin Jenewein, MS June 2005. Sigma Xi grant awardee 2004, 2005 UW Oshkosh Distinguished Thesis Award. ATTENDED ARVO. Nova Southeastern School of Optometry class of 2009, then Assistant Professor and KID Clinic Chief there.  Assistant Professor of Optometry at Salus University, Pennsylvania College of Optometry.  I served as thesis supervisor. 
  • Jason Tonne. ATTENDED ARVO. Senior Research Technologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  Part of this exciting Mayo Clinic news release!
  • Jenny Nemke, MS 2001. ATTENDED ARVO. UW Milwaukee Staff member.   I served as thesis supervisor. 


Past Undergraduate Students

  • Noah Bruehl. PreMed. Honors College. Squirrel colony intern Spring 2021-Spring 2022.
  • Kendra Stauss. Squirrel colony intern Fall 2020-Spring 2022.
  • Sidney Zastrow. PreVet. Squirrel colony intern Spring 2021-Fall 2021.
  • Samantha Boettcher, BS with Honors Dec 2020.  Honors Thesis Research Project + Squirrel colony intern Sp19-F20.  Crucial Year 2 research on the NIH Audacious Goals grant.  Started medical school at Medical College of Wisconsin in F21. 
  • Kate Delcore, BS with Honors Dec 2020. PreMed. Honors Thesis Research Project + Squirrel colony intern F19-F20. Crucial Year 2 research on the NIH Audacious Goals grant. Started Nurse Anesthetist program in F21. 
  • Emma Warr, BS expected Sp23. PreMed. Squirrel colony intern F19-F20.
  • Kayla Bloede, BS May 2020. Research Project + Squirrel colony intern Sp17-Sp20. In charge of reproduction operations.  Started vet school at UW Madison in Fall 2020. 
  • McKenna Scott, BS expected Sp20. PreMed. Honors Thesis research assistant F19-Sp20.
  • Jessica Frey, BS expected Sp20.  MedTech major. Genetics, genetic engineering, genetic counseling. Squirrel colony intern Sp19-F19.   
  • Emily Kadolph, Squirrel colony intern F18-Sp19. 
  • Santidra Love, BS expected Dec 2018.  McNair scholar! Squirrel colony intern 2018+. Researcher in the Kurtz lab.  Research tech at MCW. 
  • Beyann Al-Zoubi, BS expected May 2019. Chem Major. Squirrel endocrinology research for her Honors Thesis.  Started med school in Fall 2019. 
  • Eliot Dittmer, BS expected Sp20. Squirrel colony intern Spring and Summer of 2019.
  • Brittany Harrington, BS expected Dec 2018.  Independent Study project on reproduction.
  • Laurana Rudena, BS expected Sp19.   Squirrel colony intern 2018. Researcher in the Kurtz lab. 
  • Jaclyn Utrie, BS June 2018. Started pharmacy School in Fall 2018.  Independent Study project on reproduction.
  • Jessica Werhand, BS December 2018.
  • Cassie Duncan, BS May 2017; head squirrel wrangler since 2014 and McNair Scholar in 2016. Interested in reproductive endocrinology, behavior, genomics, animal health. Completed Master's program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2021. 
  • Elainna Jentz, BS May 2017.  Started wrangling in 2016.  Interested in reproductive endocrinology, neurobiology, genomics.  Admitted to medical school in 2018. 
  • Adrienne Gruber, BS May 2017.   Interested in ocular pathology and our link to COPLOW in 2016. Started optometry school in Fall 2017.
  • Zabet Kempfert, BS expected May 2017; squirrel colony intern Spring-Summer 2015. 
  • David Gansen, bioengineering major at Temple University graduated 2018. UWO summer scholar 2015.  Summer 2016 research associate at MCW's Eye Institute. 
  • Tristan Greening, McNair Fellow 2014-15.  WINNER of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award April 2015.  Virtual Medical Scribe at MModal. 
  • Ryan Conklin, BS May 2014.  Undergrad Collab Research Grant recipient 2013-14.  MD program at St. George's begun Fall 2017.
  • Ryan Bures, BS 2013.  McNair Fellow 2011-12; CO-WINNER of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, April 2013.  UW Madison MD program
  • Ben Sajdak, UWO BS '13, McNair Fellow 2011-12:CO-WINNER of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, April 2013.  Head squirrel wrangler 2013. Worked as a research assistant for a year, then PhD '18 from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Joe Carroll lab.  I served as dissertation committee member and we continue to publish together. Postdoc at UW Madison 2019-2021.  Starting 2021, Director of Emerging Model Organisms for FaunaBio
  • Cassie (Piper) Schandel, BS 2013.  CO-WINNER of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, April 2013. MD UW Madison, residency in emergency medicine.
  • David Henson, BS 2013 from Hanover College.  REU Fellow Summer 2012. Began MD-PhD program at University of Kentucky Fall 2014.
  • Grant O'Connell, McNair Fellow 2011-12.  PhD 2016 from West Virginia University. Research scientist for Valtari Bio Incorporated.  Another McNair alum of the lab to earn the PhD and now an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University (works on stroke immunology).  
  • Bobbi Kolstad, head squirrel wrangler 2012, later worked for the Wisconsin DNR, has traveled the world, including my old hometown of Santa Barbara.
  • Aaron Robinson, BS 2012. McNair Fellow 2010-11. MD UW Madison plus MPH at University of Minnesota. In emergency medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
  • Adam Robinson, McNair Fellow 2011-12.  
  • Eric Exner, BS 2011.  Began MD/PhD program at Medical College of Milwaukee in Fall 2011.
  • Jose Orona, BS 2010. McNair Fellow, Chancellor's Award of Excellence.  
  • Vanessa Ante.  2008 McNair fellow from UWO, then earned her PhD at Tennessee (first UWO McNair fellow to earn the PhD!), now a postdoc at Pittsburgh.
  • Michelle Jooss, BS 2010.  Head squirrel wrangler 2009-10. DVM from UW Madison in 2014. Practicing veterinarian in Seattle, WA but relocating to WI soon. 
  • Minhoon Kim (voted MVP in the laboratory; brought us firmly into the era of molecular biology).  
  • Jon Gesicki (DDS program graduate from Detroit Mercy).
  • Megan Jourdan, MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Family practice physician.
  • Dembi Huya-Kouadio (2008 NSF-REU fellow from University of Maryland). MD from Meharry School of Medicine
  • Danielle Eisenschink (2007 NSF-REU fellow from Carroll College, graduated May 2008).
  • Theresa Rytz (2007 NSF-REU fellow from Florida Atlantic University)
  • Melissa Broger
  • Amanda Smith, BS May 2008.  Research Assistant, Yale University.
  • Angela Rodriguez, BS May 2007. (2006 NSF-REU fellow.) UW Academic Excellence Scholar, Chancellor's Award of Excellence. ATTENDED ARVO 05/06, ARVO travel grant '05. OD from Illinois College of Optometry in 2011.  Practicing optometrist in Appleton, WI.
  • JJ Sager, BS May 2006. Graduated from U of Pitt Neuroscience PhD program in Summer 2012 and heading to Spain for his postdoc.  JJ did the lab's very first molecular biology!
  • Aaron Gruber, BS May 2006. ATTENDED ARVO 05/06. Sigma Xi grant awardee 2005!  OD from Nova Southeastern School of Optometry in 2010.  Practicing optometrist in Chilton, WI.
  • Eric Zuniga (2005 NSF-REU fellow from College of Lake County and UW Parkside). DVM from Colorado State, now an Army veterinarian with the rank of Captain.
  • Julie Mullen, BS 2005 U Minn; Howard Hughes Medical Institute research intern Summer 2005. UW Oshkosh Accelerated Nursing program.
  • Amy Paulik, Northwestern University. Pre-medicine. Volunteer.
  • Amy Maltry, Iowa State University BS May 2005; summer volunteer for 2 years; MD from UW Madison; doing an Ophthalmology residency at the University of Iowa.
  • Lisa Burian, BS Dec 2003, Fotodyne Life Sciences.
  • N'gassa M'ssika, BS May 2004 (Med Tech). Med Tech.  Now an ER Physician Assistant in Green Bay, WI.
  • Don Ruwan Ranatunga, BS Dec 2004 (Bio). UWO Master's degree program.  Director/CEO at Expert Property Managers, Madison, WI. 
  • David Slotten, BS May 2003 (Bio).  Attended ARVO.  Senior Project Manager at PPD, Madison, WI. 
  • Nathan Duncan, BS May 2003 (Bio). Teacher.
  • Amy Rider, BS May 2003 (Bio), MD from Medical College of Wisconsin, now doing OBGYN residency at St. Vincent's in Indianapolis.
  • Josh Koscher, BS '02 (Bio), MBA '07 UW Milwaukee, now a Senior Analyst at UW Health.  
  • Blake Buchan, BS '01 (Microbio), Univ. of Iowa PhD program in Microbiology, class of 2009. ATTENDED ARVO.   Now Assistant Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Clinical Pathology at MCW.
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by Brian Ledwell last modified Feb 06, 2023 12:56 PM