Outreach and Media Opportunities Vertebrate Collection


Joint picture of the Chiari and Glaberman labs (from left to right). Front: Scott, Nicko, Ylenia, Jessica, Savanna. Back: Regis, Jean, Nathan, Katie, Adam, Emma, Shirley, Austin, Mauna, Miranda. 

Principal Investigator

Ylenia Chiari

I am fascinated by the diversity of life and I cannot think of a better way to study this diversity than by using an evolutionary approach. I am interested in many aspects of vertebrate evolution, but my work mainly focuses on morphological evolution of reptiles and on the impact of human activities, such as pollution, deforestation, and urbanization on amphibians and reptiles.

I performed my undergraduate studies and Masters graduate work at the University of Pisa in Italy. I obtained my PhD from the University of Konstanz in Germany. I have worked in many different countries and in many different labs. As a woman scientist, I am committed to increase participation of women in STEM. 

In my free time, I love traveling and learning languages, reading, dancing, looking for animals, hiking, and practicing almost any kind of outdoor sport (on land or in water).

E-mail (remove spaces):
yleniachiari at southalabama.edu 

Graduate students

Regis Burkhardt
I received my Bachelor's of Science in Biology and my Bachelor's of Arts in English from the University of Mobile in 2014. My primary research interest is reptile immunology, specifically in snakes. The research I do for my Master is aimed to prepare me for veterinary school, so that I can become an exotic specialist. My project focuses on the genetic characterization of blood parasites in Galapagos marine iguanas. Other interests of mine include: music, acting, film, gaming, and reading.

E-mail (remove spaces):
rburkhardt3 at yahoo. com

Kaine O'Neal

I am am a graduate student at the University of South Alabama (under Dr. Ni Chadhain). I received my Bachelors of Science from the University of South Alabama in May of 2015. My research interests are in molecular biology with a deep interest in bacterial genetics and bacterial presence in varied biomes. I currently have two research projects in the Biology Department at USA. My key project is the characterization and taxonomy of Triclosan degrading bacteria. My second project focuses on the characterization of candidate genes involved in body coloration in lizards. I simply love research and hope to one day be a bacteriologist. In my free time I enjoy reading fiction, gaming, road trips and trying cuisines of different cultures.

E-mail (remove spaces):
tko1201 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Nickolas Moreno

I received my Bachelors of Science from the University of South Alabama in May of 2016. I am a graduate student at the University of South Alabama. My Masters project focuses on environmental influences on genetic diversity in the Alabama red bellied turtle. In the past year I have been working on a project focusing on the coloration and color patterns of lizards. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, playing rugby, and most anything that will keep me outdoors.

E-mail (remove spaces):
nam1104 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Nathan Katlein

I received my Bachelorís of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan in 2015. My Masters research focuses on behavioral response of lizards to different color and color patterns. My other research interests lie in understanding the relationship between variation in organism morphology, life history traits and behavior. Outside of the lab I enjoy playing video games, watching movies, and traveling whenever possible.

E-mail (remove spaces):
ntk1621 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Undergraduate students

Adam Stern

I enjoy exploring the interactions of large, complex systems. I am interested in urban ecology and how urbanization affects species and community dynamics. I am currently working on a project on reptile diseases. I am also engaged in research projects with the Comparative Cognition and Communication lab (C3) at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Campus on cognitive capabilities within and across phylogenetic groups. In my spare time, I can be found in the vertebrate collection room at the University of South Alabama sorting and cataloging 50 years worth of back logged specimens and actively pursuing my love of large data sets.

E-mail (remove spaces):
ams1103 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Austin Ray

I am currently working on my Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of South Alabama. I am interested in all fields of biology, especially anatomy and developmental biology. I hope to develop a research project within these areas in the future. My current project focuses on analyzing data on thermal ecology in turtles. When not in school I enjoy collecting music, drawing, concert-going, and running.

E-mail (remove spaces):
arr1225 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Miranda Ray

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology at the University of South Alabama. While I enjoy many areas of biology, I am especially fascinated by evolutionary biology. I find it interesting to discover how two individuals of the same species can develop vast differences.

My current project focuses on prey preference in lizards. A few of my favorite hobbies include reading, napping, baking, and running.

E-mail (remove spaces):
mrr1324 at jagmail. southalabama. edu

Past Members

Graduate students:

Jared Elmore (Graduate, 2014 - 2016) Biology, University of South Alabama
Amber Simpson (Graduate, 2016) Educational Studies, University of South Alabama
Undergraduate students:

Emma Rhodes (Undergraduate, 2016) Biology, University of South Alabama
Katie Dankovic (Undergraduate, 2016) Biology, University of South Alabama
Jessica Sappington (Undergraduate, 2016) Biology, University of South Alabama
Laura Lovett (Undergraduate, 2016) Biology, University of South Alabama
Hillary Swain (Undergraduate, 2014 - 2015) Biology, University of South Alabama
Patrick Odom (Undergraduate, 2015) Biology, University of South Alabama
Danya Croft (Undergraduate, 2015) Biology and Secondary Education, University of South Alabama
Cameron Carleton (Undergraduate, 2015) Interdisciplinary Studies in Biology, Criminal Justice, and Sociology, University of South Alabama 

Lyndsay Harrelson (Volunteer, 2015) High School student

Amber Simpson (Volunteer, 2015)

Last update July 2016
Copyright Ylenia Chiari