Principal Investigator

Dr. Aimee Sue Dunlap

Associate Professor
Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, University of Minnesota, 2009
M.S. in Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, 2002
B.S., B.A. in Biology, History, & English, University of Memphis, 2000
Partial B.S. studies, University of Helsinki, 1996-98

Office: 204 Stadler
Twitter: @msaimeesue


Graduate Students

Emily Beahm

M.S. Student

B.S. in Biology, Missouri S&T, Rolla, Missouri

Research interests: effects of biopesticides on bumble bee cognition and behavior

Office: Stadler 111

Becky Hansis-O’Neill

Ph.D. Student

B.S. in Psychology, Idaho State University
M.S. in Biological Sciences, Idaho State University

Research interests: animal cognition and welfare, science communication and outreach, employing digital museum specimens for education and outreach using digital interactives, augmented reality, and virtual reality

Office: 202 Benton

Jeremy Howard

Ph.D. Candidate

B.S. in Biology, Juniata College, 2015
M.S. in Biological Sciences, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2019

Research interests: spatial behavior, spatial cognition, memory, navigation, learning, science and media


George Todd

Ph.D. student
B.S. in Biology, Purdue University, 2014
M.S. in Biology, Georgia Southern University 2016

Research Interests: urban ecology, behavioral plasticity, pollination, ecological tradeoffs

Office: 202 Benton

Undergraduate Students & Post-Bacc Researchers

  • Colton Burris, bees and biopesticides
  • Kayle Cohen, bee break points
  • Kevin Corrigan, bee break points
  • Chandra Dudley, bees and caffeine
  • Bri Petty, bees and biopesticides
  • Anderson Spencer, bee break points and tarantulas
  • Jake Venegoni, bees and biopesticides

Lab Alumni

Ben Abts

M.S. in 2016
B.S. in Biology, Culver-Stockton College, 2010
Thesis: Forgetting and the value of information

Ben is now working in science education.

Dr. Matthew Austin

Ph.D. in 2020
B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of Missouri – Columbia, 2014

Dissertation: The role of plasticity in bumble bee responses to environmental variability

Matt is now a postdoctoral fellow with the Living Earth Collaborative, working with the Missouri Botanic Gardens and Washington University.

Michael Austin

B.S. in Biology, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 2017

Research Interests:  evolution of learning and the economics of decision making

Avery Baker

M.S. 2022

B.S. in Biology, University of Missouri, Columbia

Research interests: Pollination biology, memory in bumble bees

Office: Stadler 111

Dr. Rachel Brant

Ph.D. 2022

B.S. in Biology, Saint Louis University, 2016
M.S. in Biology, Saint Louis University, 2018

Research Interests: urban ecology, bee behavior, bee taxonomy, social insects, pollination biology

Rachel’s Website

Rachel is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Dr. Andréia Figueiredo Dexheimer

Ph.D. in 2021

B.S. in Biology, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Brazil, 2014
M.B.A. in Project Management – Escola de Negocios Excellence, Brazil

Dissertation: Cognitive Ecology of Color Vision in Orchid Bees

Andréia is now a post-doctoral researcher in discipline based education at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Pablo Iturralde

M.S. in 2018, co-advised with Wendy Olivas
Bachelor in interdisciplinary studies (Chemistry, Management & Anthropology), University of Missouri, St. Louis, 2013
A.A. in business management, Miami Dade College, 2004
Thesis: Transcriptomics of learning

Pablo is now a PhD candidate at Brown University.

Jill Lee

M.S. in 2022
B.S. in Animal Science, Missouri State University, 2017

Research Interests: interactions between innate bias and learning

Jill works as a scientist in agricultural biotech in St. Louis.

Dr. Priya Maharaj

Ph.D. in 2016, co-advised with Godfrey Bourne
M.S. in Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Warwick, 2011
B.Sc. in Biology, University of Guyana, 2005
Dissertation: Color-mediated foraging by pollinators: A comparative study of two passionflower butterflies at Lantana camara

Priya is now the Director, Centre for Study of Biological Diversity, University of Guyana.

Mellissa Marcus

M.S. in 2016
B.S. in Biochemistry/Biotechnology, University of Missouri- St. Louis, 2012
Thesis: Experimental evolution of color preference in Drosophila melanogaster

Mellissa is now working as a lab tech in the St. Louis area.

Itachi Mills

M.S. in 2017
B.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, 2012
Thesis: The ecology of fear: a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) perspective

Itachi is now working in the St. Louis area as a lab tech while continuing research on flies.

Dr. Isabel Rojas-Ferrer

M.S. in 2016
Thesis: Predicting choices in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens): learning rules and the two-armed bandit

Isabel has recently received her PhD at University of Ottawa.

Dr. Nancy Kohn

Postdoc, 2012-2014

Nancy is now an Assistant Professor at Cottey College, Nevada, MO.


Undergraduate Alumni

Independent Research Credit Students and Research Assistants (Students working on thesis or extensive capstone projects denoted with *)

Jean Adkins (2013-2014), Dannice Alexander* (2019-2020), May Allgire (2014-2015), Moses Alshimary (2019-2020), Marissa Antrainer (2020-2021), Keeandra Archambault (2017), Michael Austin* (2015-2017), Randall Beck (2016), Charles Blanton (2018), Sharvitti Broussard (2019), Emanda Brown (2013), Michaela Browne (2019), Evan Carlen (2019), Binisha Chhetri (2018), Amanda Corrado* (2013-2015), Jennifer Cosgrove (2012-2015), Magnus Creed (2016), Emily Cuttle (2017), Matthew Czarnecki (2012), Jessica Dean* (2012-2013), Rebecca Dickerson (2012), Tiffany Dinh (2021-22), Misbah Faniad (2018), Sydnee Feldmann (2018), Hannah Franko* (2014-2016), Jenna Freund (2015), Harmeet Ghai (2020), Lilli Goldman (2018), Abigail Green (2012), Amina Hamza (2021), Katelyn Hanners* (2019-2020), Alexandra Haselman (2017), Noreen Heyari (2017), Joshua Higgins (2013-2014), Victoria Hines (2017), Christina Hoffman* (2015-2016), Patricia Horack* (2013-2015), Hassan Hossayrami (2015), Kevin Huck (2016), Lynn Huffman (2016), Rula Ibraheem (2018), Maria Irving (2016), Kathryn Janssen (2014-2015), William Kannady (2014-2015), Sukvir Kaur (2017), Jacob Kottmier (2019), Candice Krull (2019-2020), Ezra Kruzich* (2020), Lucas Lauter (2021-22), Zachary Lindsay (2017), Safia Madani (2014-2016), Robyn Mahoney (2013-2015), Hilmo Malkic (2017-2018), Tian Manning* (2018-2020), Omar Manzoor (2021), Mellissa Marcus (2012-2013), Sierra McAlister (2018), Brooke McGlasson (2017), Rachel Milliot (2018), Brittany Minor* (2019-2020), Kristin Moseley (2014), Jake Mullen (2013), Melisa Muminovic (2018), Maria Nguyen (2016), Gabi Ortiz (2021), Ki Baek Park (2017), Darshan Patel (2015), Raj Patel (2014), Sheilamae Paytocan (2013), Randall Perkins II (2017), Logan Philpott (2019), Olivia Ransin (2019), Melia Reeves-Long (2019), Joseph Rund (2015-2017), Jacob Ryno (2019-2020), Alaa Saffaf (2017), Abrar Salameh (2022), Gracie Schmidt (2021), Youngsoo Shin (2019), Kunal Singh (2018), Caitlyn Smith (2015), Emina Spahic (2018), Carly Spielberg (2019-2020), Lynnsey Street* (2016-2017), Lauren Szyhowski (2016), Merhawit Teame (2017), Adam Thompson (2015-2017), Dana Townsend (2013-2014), Sahil Vaid (2019), Tyler Wagner (2017), Katherine West* (2015-2017), Stephanie Wooten (2014), Sarah Wyne (2015), Marisa Yoder (2013-2014)

Summer High School Student Alumni

From Jennings High School

Nikita Allen (2018), Shivaunye Ivy (2015), Mya McClain (2017), Marniesha Perry (2016), Kyrnn Peoples (2017), Cameron Stith (2016), Kaylan Waters (2018), Amoni White (2018)

From the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) Program

Della Cox (2017, University City HS, University of Missouri, Columbia), Sindhu Bala (2019, Lindbergh HS), Amanda Crawford (2014, Parkway North HS, Carleton College), Alexander Donovan (2017, Mary Institute & St. Louis County Day School, Stanford University), Bolatito Fatoki (2015, Whitfield School, Georgia Tech), Ellie Gira (2021, Mary Institute & St. Louis County Day School), Christopher Halen (2014, Whitfield School, Washington University), Deena Iqbal (2021, Lafayette HS), Laurie Lee (2017, Francis Howell HS, Washington & Lee University), Yushin Lee (2015-2016, Zumwalt North HS, Washington University), Kamau MuseMorris (2019-2020, Maplewood Richmond Heights HS), Alexandra Rice (2016-2017, Ladue High School, Princeton University), Lucas Shanker (2015, Parkway Central HS, Purdue University), Lily Sheets (2018, John Burroughs School), Surya Sompalli (2021, Fort Zumwalt West HS), Adam Urish (2018, St. Louis Priory School, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Danielle Zhang (2021, Ladue Horton Watkins HS)