Emily Weigel

Georgia Institute of Technology
Department of Biological Sciences
Atlanta, GA 30332


Below you’ll find the diverse group of people to whom I owe a lot: great friendships, feedback, and tons of work. They’re amazing, have bright futures, and I’m proud to have played a role in mentoring them.

This page is dedicated to my mentees and serves as a reminder that mentors care about you, even after you’ve moved on!

Interested in me as a mentor? Please email me for a copy of my Mentoring Philosophy and Contract.

Research Assistants (RAs)

Current At Georgia Tech

Noah Arnold

Noah is investigating the relationship between student’s feelings toward math in a flipped, video-based, biology course and their performance in the course. This research can lead to strategies to help students cope with their negative feelings toward math to increase student performance and understanding of the biological principles in the course.

Sam Naab

Sam is evaluating the curriculum of the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech to standardize our curriculum with national standards for Biology and Physiology education. It’s a huge task, and we’re glad to have him on the team!

Brady Young

Brady’s meticulous work on VERA. finally landed us the oscillating patterns we longed to see in stable predator-prey cycles. Although she has her eye on a prehealth career, she has been a great RA and REU in Design and Innovation Lab with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum!

Former Research Assistants (RAs)

At Georgia Tech

Chandler Grove

Chandler worked tirelessly to keep the campus tree phenology project running in Spring 2019. In particular, he found solutions for data collection on the tree removals from Fall 2018 and created a tree database suitable for class use. Way to go, Chandler!

Juanita Pardo

Juanita has worked on tons of projects in the lab, particularly because she is an R magician and scientifically versatile! She has been the winner of a College of Sciences Travel Award, President’s Undergraduate Research Travel Award, and a Student Government Association Travel Award to present her work at conferences. Most recently, her work as addressed majors vs. nonmajors testing preparation and performance.

Camille Mosley

Camille’s work as a Bee-INSPIRED REU on eDNA sampling for crayfish in Proctor Creek lead to a Lester Travel Grant (from Emory University), which in turn resulted in a Best Poster Award at the Annual Bio Medical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). She also successfully won Diversity in STEM Travel Scholarship to attend the annual SACNAS meeting, among others. Great work!

Lily Akbarzadeh

After completing her senior research in my Project Lab course, Lily helped start the pilot for what is now a larger project addressing test-taking in large classes. She helped to develop the methods for data collection that have ensured the longevity of the project.

Geena Darnell

Geena was a Bee-INSPIRED REU involved in the early development of the database project. Her work found cool patterns in geckos and anoles in sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism. She holds the record for fastest (accurate!) lit search in the West!

Daniel Dominguez

Daniel was a Bee-INSPIRED REU involved in the early development of the database project. He worked to catalog turtle sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism to find patterns in morphology explained by behavior. His trouble-shooting helped to develop our lab’s backup protocols!

Bri Hayden

Bri’s research focused on a massive database search of Squamata sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism to identify patterns not explained by phylogeny but by local ecology. She was responsible for larger literature review and critical in developing replicable literature research methods for the group.

Nolan Hubbard

Nolan conducted research amassing information on the sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism of reef fish. The goal was to identify patterns best explained by ‘reef living’ rather than shared evolutionary history!

Ryan Knipe

Ryan’s research focused primarily on the behavioral ecology of reptile species from orders Chelonia, Crocodylia, and Squamata (sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism). He also developed great documentation for creating trait-based trees in R!

Tyler Oliver

Tyler developed a database of snake sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism, particularly odd behaviors like biting during copulation. He was able to identify new categories of sexual behavior which we now use across all of the species in our database.

Dania Taha

Dania piloted some initial work in collaboration with colleagues in Design and Innovation (DILab) on VERA. She applied her knowledge from Ecology to make realistic models of population growth under specific conditions for thousands of species in the Encyclopedia of Life. Good job!

Isabel Veith

Isabel’s research focused on reviewing the sexual systems, mating behavior, and dimorphism of green lizards and other squamates. After her experience in the lab, she went on to collaborate with my colleagues at US Fish and Wildlife for reproductive cryogenics and conservation. Super neat work!

At Spelman

Kiera Brown

Kiera graduated in Spring 2016 from Spelman. She is very skilled at creating genetic databases and identifying target genes. She plans to take her skills learned through projects on horizontal gene transfer and apply them to a career in health.

Beanca Michel

Beanca worked on several projects, including a collaborative project between Spelman and the University of Rochester on horizontal gene transfer in blood-feeding insects! She graduated in 2017.

Wangui Hymes

Wangui was a Chemistry major who graduated in 2016. She took my Animal Behavior course in Spring 2015 and went on to spend the summer at MSU working with Kevin McCormick and Kay Holekamp on aggression in hyenas. After her return, we worked on more topics in animal behavior and the art of giving presentations. Her hard work paid off, as she won Best Oral Presentation at the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and a successful CURE Summer Research proposal to fund her work with me in 2016!


Ellyse Cipolla

Ellyse was an MSU Zoology major with a concentration in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior who graduated in December 2013. She decided to stay on after graduation, which gave us tons of help in several lab projects. She went on to do an NIH Postbac and later grad school.

Savannah Foster

Savannah was an MSU Zoology major with a concentration in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior who graduated in May 2015. We met through the Graduate Women in Science mentoring program in January 2013, and she made a great addition to the lab! She went on to work her magic in animal training.

Felicia Harmon

Felicia was an MSU Interdisciplinary Studies-Health Studies major with an interest in genetics. While in the lab, she was responsible for caring for the lab-crossed fish for a larger study headed up by Dr. Boughman that looked at the genetics of behavior and sexual signals. Felicia is strongly devoted to a career in healthcare, switching from fish to humans!

Angela Marchand

Angela was an MSU Geology major who graduated in July of 2012. She actually predated me in the lab (thanks for being so welcoming!) and worked very hard on the female investment projects. She completed her Master’s in Paleontology at Marshall in 2015. So proud of her!

Anna Reh-Gingerich

Anna was an MSU Zoology major with a concentration Marine Biology who graduated in May 2013. She was instrumental in conducting my lab experiments on male nesting behavior in Summer 2012 and getting things off of the ground in Summer 2013. She also presented our work at the 2013 Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, at which she won the Best Undergraduate Poster Award! She published her undergraduate work in MSU’s ReCUR and completed her Master’s at UNC-Wilmington.

Gavin Rienne

Gavin was my student both in Intro Bio and in Genetics at MSU, and I’m glad he made his way into the lab! He graduated in spring 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Microbiology. He was funded to work in the lab through the competitive 2014 College of Natural Science Spring Undergraduate Research Scholarship. I’m also excited to say that he presented a poster on his scholarship-supported work at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, where he won an award for Best Poster Presentation! He went on to graduate school at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Marquita Tillotson

Marquita joined the lab in January 2014 to put her vast animal behavior experiences to work. Co-mentored by labmate, Robert Mobley, Marquita worked on a collaborative project addressing olfactory communication. She was also a winner of the 2014 College of Natural Science Spring Undergraduate Research Scholarship! Marquita graduated MSU in fall 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Zoology (Animal Behavior and Neurobiology; see her profile in the Zoology newsletter here), but we were lucky to have her hang around a bit longer! Now the Toledo Zoo has her as an excellent employee!

Benjamin (Ben) Wurst

Ben started in the lab back when he was a high school student at Waverly High School, and I’m happy to say he’s a now a Spartan! He interned in the lab at MSU in Summer 2012 to work on the male nesting behavior project, and this curious, smart guy went from popping in every now and then to explore what’s new with “da fishies” to a full-fledged undergraduate research assistant!

Former MSU Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

Jay Bundy

Jay joined BEACON in August of 2013 while finishing his master’s degree in Biological Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the evolution of human sexuality and human reproductive ecology, and his thesis was entitled, “Total Sexual Selection in Men’s Voices”. His research path lead him to Rich Lenski’s lab at MSU, but I’m excited to have worked with him in evolution education!

Former MSU Undergraduate Education Assistants (UEAs)

Michael Jaisle

Michael was an MSU Biomedical Laboratory Sciences major that graduated in December of 2012. He was a great UEA for my BS172:Organisms and Populations lab in Spring of 2012. He is now a Medical Technologist at Warde Medical Laboratory.

Selena Warminski

Selena was a Nutrition Science and Neuroscience double major who graduated MSU in May 2015. She was an awesome UEA for my BS172:Organisms and Populations lab in Fall of 2012. She went on to Tennessee to become a Pharmacy student!