Undergraduate Students

Katie Puperi

(2023-present)

Email: katiepuperi@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Katie Puperi and I am a junior Molecular and Cell Biology major at Texas A&M. I joined the Song Lab in spring of 2023, and I currently do molecular work with DNA extraction and RNAi. I plan to continue my education with a Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling once I graduate from Texas A&M.

Jordan Moore

(2021-2022)

Email: jmoore2003@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Jordan Moore. I am a freshman at Texas A&M University and am currently pursuing a degree in Genetics. I hope to double major in Forensic and Investigative Sciences. I joined the Song lab in Fall 2021 and am currently assisting Jorge Medina-Durán with his gregarine research. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I plan to continue my education by working towards a master’s and PhD. I am so excited to begin researching and am grateful for this opportunity.

Julianne Allred

(2021-Present)

Email: julianne.allred@tamu.edu

Howdy. My name is Julianne Allred, I am a freshman Genetics major at Texas A&M. I am currently doing molecular work extracting DNA for the Song Lab. When I complete my undergraduate degree I plan to continue my education in the field of genetics.

Tori Chou

(2021-2022)

Email: torichou@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Tori and I am currently a sophomore at Texas A&M University pursuing a degree in biochemistry. I came from Taiwan three years ago, and I have been collecting insects as pets since I was young. Entomology has been a fascinating subject for me and I am excited to work with all types of species in the lab. I plan to study small animal and work on vet school application while attending school. Currently, I work with colony care of grasshoppers in the lab.

Ramses Gutierrez Rodriguez

(2021-2022)

Email: ramses0314@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Ramses, and I am originally from Santa Clara, Cuba. I lived in Houston, Texas since 2012, before beginning at Texas A&M University in 2018. I am a senior University Studies: Veterinary Medicine major, with minors in Entomology and Wildlife/Fisheries. My hobbies include fish-keeping and insect collecting/pinning. I joined Dr. Song’s lab on October 2021 and will be working with Myrah Rogers for colony care. Once I complete my undergraduate degree, I plan to attend veterinary school focusing on marine/aquatic animals and possibly wildlife.

Aubrey Rogers

(2021-Present)

Email: aarogers@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Aubrey, but my friends call me Bob. I am currently a freshman at Texas A&M University pursuing a degree in entomology. Since elementary school, I have participated in all types of entomology-related activities, including monarch tagging programs, starting an entomology program in our local high school FFA program, and even working on an experiment with NASA to send bugs to space! I am fascinated by the behavior and nutrition of invasive species and how they affect agriculture. While just beginning my formal university education, I am excited to learn everything I can. I am thrilled to be working in the Song lab, working to maintain our colonies.

Matthew Martinez

(2021)

Email: m_martinez2000@tamu.edu

Hello! My name is Matthew Martinez and I am currently a junior at Texas A&M University. I began pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Entomology in the year of 2018. My anticipated graduation date is May of 2022. I joined Dr. Song’s lab during the spring semester of 2021 and am currently assisting Jorge Humberto Medina-Durán with his projects. In particular, insect biology and its application to other related fields interests me greatly! I plan on pursuing higher levels of education within the field of entomology and hope to make an impact along the way. I spend a lot of time outdoors hiking, running, camping, or climbing which compliments entomology nicely because it allows me to utilize and practice my academics while doing the activities that I am passionate about. My career goal is to find a job that encompasses a healthy balance between field work and studies.

Danielle Sherry

(2021-Present)

Email: daniesherry@tamu.edu

Howdy, my name is Danielle Sherry. I am pursuing degrees in Genetics and Biochemistry and a minor in Statistics at Texas A&M University. In the Song Laboratory, I perform molecular work, such as RNA extraction and qPCR, on Orthopteran specimen. Once I complete my undergraduate degree, I hope to continue my education in biochemistry so that I can eventually perform research in industry.

Kayla Boyle

(2021)

Email: kkb25@tamu.edu

Howdy! My name is Kayla Boyle and I am a junior Biomedical Sciences major with a minor in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences at Texas A&M University. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree I plan to pursue higher education working towards a career in the animal field. Currently, I am working in the Molecular Lab extracting DNA from various samples of Orthoptera.

Carla de Loera

(2018-2021)

*Currently pursuing M.S. at Texas A&M University

Email: carla_deloera05@tamu.edu

 

  • Carla's C.V.
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    Greetings! I'm Carla de Loera. I started my educational career at Texas A&M University in the Fall of 2017. I began as an entomology major, but now I am also a horticulture major. When I graduate in May of 2021, I will be receiving two bachelor's degrees. I joined the lab Summer of 2018 conducting research on a wingless grasshopper genus Eremidium. Currently, I work in the lab curating specimen collected from various expeditions for the university collection. I am highly interested in insect systematics. I plan to continue to graduate school to receive a master's and Ph.D. in entomology. In the future, I hope to travel discovering various insects along the way and naming them. Along with this, I hope to conduct research on a variety of insects and become a professor.

    Drew Little

    (2016-2020)

    *Currently pursuing PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    Email: drewlittle@tamu.edu

     

  • Drew's C.V.
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    Howdy, my name is Drew Little. I am currently a freshman pursuing a degree in Biology at Texas A&M University. I am interested in the behaviors and methodology of the gregarious phase in grasshoppers and locusts, and their transition between solitary and gregarious phases. At the lab, I am currently working on behavioral assays of multiple species under Bert Foquet. After completing my Undergraduate degree I would like to continue my education and work towards a master's and PhD. I hope that after my education I may pursue a career in research.

    Gabriel Contreras

    (2017-2018)

    Email: greengabriel1@tamu.edu

    Hello my name is Gabriel Contreras. I am a senior undergraduate pursuing a degree in Entomology. Once I obtain my Bachelors of Science in Entomology, I hope to enter a Master's program studying plant-insect to enter into the field of IPM. Currently I am working on databasing the Orthoptera within the Song collection.

    Shelby Kilpatrick

    (2016-2017)

    *Currently pursuing PhD at Texas A&M University

    Email: entorocks527@email.tamu.edu

     

  • Shelby's C.V.
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    Howdy! My name is Shelby Kilpatrick and I am a junior Entomology and Agricultural Leadership and Development double major at Texas A&M University. In Spring 2015, I was accepted into the University, Department of Entomology, and Leadership Honors Programs and I am currently pursing coursework to complete each program’s requirements. As a part of Honors Biodiversity and Biology of Insects (ENTO 301) this spring, I will be creating a checklist of the local Orthoptera in Lick Creek Park. My project includes verifying identifications of current specimens in the Texas A&M University Insect Collection from Lick Creek Park as well as collecting, imaging, curating and identifying new specimens over the course of the semester. After completing my undergraduate degree, I intend to pursue additional higher education and a career in entomology.

    Quan Huynh

    (2016-2017)

    Email: dh286763@tamu.edu

    Howdy! My name is Quan Huynh and I am a junior Sociology major with a minor in Biomedical Science. As a former Biomedical Science major, I was intrigued by Dr.Song's research and decided to stay working in this lab even after I switched major. I was accepted into Texas A&M for the Fall of 2015 and I am planning to further my education after undergrad in a professional school (probably).

    Charmelle Williams

    (2016-2018)

    Email: charmellew@tamu.edu

    Howdy! My name is Charmelle Williams and I am a Sophomore Biology major at Texas A&M University. I am also pursuing a minor in French Language and Culture. Once I obtain my Biology degree I aim to go to veterinary school specializing in wildlife animals. I would love to work with threatened and endangered species with other conservation biologists. I am fascinated by both animal and plant biodiversity, which is one reason I was drawn to the research within Song Lab. Currently, I work under Dr. Song in the Molecular Lab, extracting DNA to be sequenced.

    Cody Gale

    (2012-2014) @UCF

    Email: codyg@knights.ucf.edu

     

  • Cody's C.V.
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    I am a fourth year UCF student and this is my second year in the Research and Mentoring Program. I joined Dr. Song's lab because I wanted to do more field-based and hands-on research like genetics studies. My current project involves Schistocerca ceratiola, the rosemary grasshopper, and the chemical ceratiolin in its host plant, Ceratiola ericoides, scrub rosemary. I will be studying the role of ceratiolin in the grasshopper's natural history and doing molecular work analyzing population genetics. I was inspired to take on this project during the Wekiva Basin Bioblitz where Dr. Song explained to me that there was an endemic grasshopper with some unique traits that needs to be further investigated, and it happens to live in one of my favorite habitats. My main interests include chemical ecology and evolutionary biology but I am a hobby naturalist who enjoys plant collection and volunteering at the UCF community garden when I get the opportunity.

     

    Grace Avecilla

    (2012-2014) @UCF

    Email: graceavecilla@knights.ucf.edu

    I'm a volunteer who is learning to do a variety of tasks in the lab, from molecular work to using our elaborate camera set-up, the Visionary Digital BK+ Imaging System, to take detailed pictures of our many, and various, grasshopper specimens.

     

    Jimin Noh

    (2013-2014) @UCF

    Email: jiminnoh7@knights.ucf.edu

    I started out in the Song Lab in Spring of 2013 pinning various specimens collected by Dr. Song and others from Australia. Now I have started working on learning to use the Ocean Optics jaz spectroscopy suite as well as doing some colony care and hydroponic system for the lab. I also work at the Bug Closet on keying bees from around the world to it's proper family, genus, and maybe even species along with helping a graduate student, Karlie Carman, on her masters on looking at bee diversity across different habitat disturbance gradients. I would like to start my own undergrad research project perhaps on native pollinators, focusing on bees, and what visual aspects best attract them to a plant. I hope to continue my education further in graduate school and one day become a professor at a research university.

     

    Shiala Morales

    (2012-2014) @UCF

    Email: smorales20@knights.ucf.edu

    I joined the Song lab in the fall of 2012 and I’m currently finishing the BioBlitz for Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, and Seminole State Forest. I will be installing a hydroponic system in the spring of 2013 to make our colony self-sustainable. My interest in insects comes from my background in permaculture. I have interned at different types of organic farms in Florida and abroad. I have been learning apiculture for the last two years under my parents' guidance. In the future, I want to do research on the immunology and pollination ecology of honey bees.

     

    Gabriella Alava

    (2011-2014) @UCF

    Email: galava@knights.ucf.edu

    I was introduced to The Song Lab in May 2011 by participating the Summer Research Experience in Systematic Entomology with Dr. Song. Afterwards, I joined the lab to learn more about phylogenetic systematics. I am currently participating in the RAMP program here at UCF, and on track to graduate Fall 2012 majoring in Biology and minoring in Anthropology. I plan on continuing my education in graduate school, and I hope one day become a curator at a natural history museum within the U.S. or abroad.

     

    Christine Bitzer-Jaffe

    (2010-2012) @UCF

    Email: christy270@knights.ucf.edu

    I'm a senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Studies at the University of Central Florida. My research interests include several areas of conservation biology, such as landscape ecology and restoration, management of invasive species, molecular genetics of threatened populations, and conservation of keystone species. I am specifically interested in the role of insects as a crucial food source and intermediary between plant life and higher trophic levels.

    My research in the Song Lab includes genetic and observational studies on Florida's threatened endemic Rosemary Grasshopper (Schistocerca ceratiola), and I am studying its phylogeny, role in the sandhill ecosystem, and possible coevolution with its host species Sandhill-rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides).

     

    Vincenz Coello

    (2010-2011) @UCF

    Email: raveduck@knights.ucf.edu

    I'm a simple young man with a passion for knowledge. I love walking in the forest and I'm deeply concerned with protecting natural areas. I study insect morphology and systematics and I do volunteer work for the UCF insect collection.

     

    Matt Vickers

    (2011) @UCF

    Email: matt_vickers@knights.ucf.edu

    I am a sophomore majoring in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. I graduated from Sebring High School in 2009. I'm working here at the Song Laboratory through the EXCEL program here at UCF to better understand the research process and discover if research is something that I could be passionate about. I hope to learn many laboratory techniques and in the future possibly work on starting my own research project.

    Chantalle Maragh

    (2011) @UCF

    Email: maragh.chantalle.2009@knights.ucf.edu