Graduate Students

 

Jean Pierre Arditi

Jean Pierre Arditi

Advisor: Littlefield

Jean-Pierre is a dual master’s student in biology and forensic psychology. His research interests are in molecular psychopathy and neurodegeneration. Currently, Jean-Pierre is looking at stochastic expression of neuronal subset in response to behavior for behavioral mapping. He is also looking at the effects of neurodegeneration specifically Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease and how they affect neuronal signaling pathways associated with behavior using C. elegans. 

 

Alis Barker 

Alis Barker 

Advisor: Mata

Alis is a Master's student in Biology. Her interests include the pathology of myofibrillar myopathy in humans, and she intends on obtaining a medical degree. Her current research work in the Littlefield lab involves muscle structure and physiology in C. elegans, with emphasis on confocal microscopy and high-resolution imaging of the developmental processes of myofibrils and their regulatory gene complexes. In her free time, she enjoys diving and visiting Dauphin Island, Al.

 

Caroline Barnes

Caroline Barnes

Advisor: Major & Sherman

Caroline is a second year Masters student in biology with an interest in photosynthesis and the complex molecular mechanisms of photosynthetic adaption in extreme environments. Her current project is focused on extremophilic green algae and how their physiology changes when exposed to varying environmental conditions and then identifying which proteins are playing a role in the changing physiology.

 

 

Darrien Caudle

Darrien Caudle

Advisor: Henning

Darrien is a graduate student returning to USA after acquiring his BS in Biology with a minor in Marine Sciences. For his thesis, Darrien is conducting biology education research that focuses on understanding instructor perceptions and hesitations regarding the implementation of ideologically aware content and materials into introductory biology curriculum. Looking towards the future, he hopes to continue to further his education, while participating in ecological or sociological research that is directed towards benefiting individuals, society/populations, and institutions/ecosystems as a whole. 

 

 

Getty Hammer

Getty Hammer

Advisor: Major

Getty is a Master’s Student studying the biology and ecology of vascular plants. My research is focused on vascular plant community ecology in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. By investigating historical and current shifts in plant community structure in the Delta, I hope to provide further evidence for global climate change and meaningful methods of conservation in coastal wetland communities

 

Falon Humphries

Falon Humphries

Advisor: Ni Chadhain

Falon is a second year Master’s student working on microbial source tracking in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Falon works to find the sources of microbial contamination in local bodies of water with molecular and culture based isolation methods. This data is used to influence water quality management and policy. Falon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Spring Hill College.

 

Jessica Moodie

Jessica Moodie

Advisor: Jonathan Perez

Jessica is a first year Masters Student in Biology with the end goal of being a Wildlife Biologist. Being born and raised in the Smokies, she has developed a love of nature and it’s inhabitants. She has been focused on veterinary medicine for the last 10 years and is now back in academia with a focus on neuroendocrine responses that are associated with seasonally, opportunistic breeding birds.

 

Emily Newman

Emily Newman

Advisor: Henning

Emily is a Master's student studying recovery and resilience of coastal sand dune plant communities on the west end of Dauphin Island. She is interested in determining the role that mycorrhizal fungi play in the recovery process of dune plant communities following a disturbance event, as well as the role they play in building a resilient ecosystem in an ever-changing environment. Emily hopes to utilize plant-fungal symbiosis to influence future coastal dune restoration practices.

 

Amanda Price

Amanda Price

Advisor: Perez

Amanda Price is a first-year graduate student at the University of South Alabama. I am returning to South where I previously completed my bachelor’s in biology and a minor in studio art. My areas of interest include the behavior and ecology of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in southeastern Alabama. I am also interested in the physiology and cognitive ability of birds. My other pursuits include pottery, mountain biking, and spending time with my Umbrella Cockatoo, Sugar.

Ariana Ruffin

Ariana Ruffin

Advisor: McCreadie

Ariana is a student-athlete pursuing her masters on the non-thesis track. Ariana is on the pre-med track and plans on using her Masters degree to help with medical school after graduation. Ariana’s long-term plan is to enter sports medicine or Gynecology and Obstetrics. She is originally from Philadelphia and enjoys watching  scary movies, trying new restaurants and cooking/baking.

 

Kaitlyn Sampson

Kaitlyn Sampson

Advisor: Frost

Kaitlyn is a Masters student looking at the ecological role that Potamogeton floridanus (a hybrid species of Pondweed) plays in its riverine ecosystem. I am interested in understanding how P. floridanus could possibly be used in conservation, restoration or management projects or how we can better use hybrid species like it in related studies. 

 

 

Carlos Sankone

Carlos Sankone

Advisor: McCreadie

Carlos is a Masters student is focused on determining if stream insect diversity in coastal Alabama changes over time. If they do, then why? Carlos will investigate primarily environmental factors, such as climate change and land-use, that may highlight the need for ecosystem conservation of our coastal streams

 

 

A.J. Steward

A.J. Stewart

Advisor: Strickland

A.J. Stewart is a graduate student majoring in biology with a B.S. in Biological Science, as well as a B.A. in Mass Communication, both from The University of Southern Mississippi. He is researching the ontogeny of venom in rear-fanged snakes, focusing on the garter snake genus (Thamnophis) by using transcriptome data collected from captured and housed wild specimens. This research hopes to illustrate the ecological importance of venom in poorly studied species, as well as provide further insight into the phylogeny of a model research clade.

 

Daja Thomas

Daja Thomas

Advisor: McCreadie & Perez

Daja is a pre-dental student pursuing her Masters of Biological Sciences degree at the University of South Alabama. She currently serves as the graduate assistant for the Office of Student Affairs and Greek Life, where she works to increase student diversity and connect marginalized communities with the proper resources. Daja is interested in the study of oral placodes and maxillofacial reconstruction. After completing her Master's degree, she plans to pursue a Doctorate degree in dentistry and provide oral health education and resources to underserved populations. .

 

Chelsea Thorton

Chelsea Thornton

Advisor: Henning

Chelsea is studying how disturbance and nutrient addition in coastal dunes impacts ghost crab burrowing density and morphometrics. She is interested in studying how coastal habitats and organisms change with growing pressures of climate change and coastal development to use the information to drive coastal conservation and restoration efforts.

 

Kelsey Taylor

Kelsey Taylor

Advisor: Mata

Kelsey is a first year non-thesis Master’s student interested  parasitic organisms, particularly ones found in canines and felines. I am also interested in environmental studies of cause and effects of climate change.

 

Madison Wright

Madison Wright

Advisor: Ni Chadhain

Madison is a first year non-thesis Master’s student interested in clinical microbiology, pathophysiology, and disease. She is focused on courses and opportunities that will further prepare her for a career in healthcare. Madison received her Bachelor's degree in Microbiology with a minor in French from Auburn University.