Former Undergraduate Students


Natalie Jacewicz

Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology ’13

Natalie is interested in the synthesis of evolution, ecology, and behavior. During summer 2011 Natalie was awarded the PRISE and Herschel Smith fellowships to study the life history of Dominican anoles. Her work has revealed that the body proportions and behavior of anoles change significantly has they mature. She is currently writing this research up for publication.

Susan Seav

Harvard University, Molecular and Cell Biology ’12

Susan is interested in the evolution and development of sexual dimorphism in the anole skull. She has been integral to the development of molecular and experimental laboratory protocols that we are using in the Abzhanov lab. After several years with the CDC, Susan is now applying for medical school. Susan is the second author  on my recent Proceedings of the Royal Society B paper.

Joe Brancale

Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology ’13

Joe is the Abzhanov lab math, computer, and computation whiz kid. Joe has contributed to to my work on morphological integration of the anole skull.

As academic scientists involved in international research we have the responsibility to work closely with local officials and to openly share our findings with scientists and managers from our host countries. During my most recent trip to the Dominican Republic with collaborator Michele Johnson (and students) we held a workshop for children at the National Zoo and gave a presentation to Dominican biologists interested in their local herpetofauna. I am interested in further developing collaborations like these that will benefit the local scientific community and my own research efforts.

Teaching, Mentoring, and Service

As academic scientists we have the responsibility to train future biologists and medical professionals as well as educate the public at large. I am interested in developing courses that speak to those specializing in biology as well as students simply curious about the natural sciences. By speaking to these audiences I hope to teach our future professionals and policy makers the critical thinking skills needed to address unforeseen problems associated with our changing world.

I regularly include undergraduates in my research program for both lab and field based studies. I do not currently have any students but would welcome students interested in my research program.


Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

University of Florida

P.O. Box 103610

2033 Mowry Rd

Gainesville, FL 32610