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Department of Biology
258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2339

Biology Graduate Students

For additional information about the graduate program, please click on the link below:

Graduate Program


  • Sarah Hill
    Sarah Hill
    Graduate Student - O'Quinn's Lab
    SCI 242

    I am currently working on the education and outreach component of EWU's Palouse Prairie Restoration Project and have a passion for connecting people to the landscapes that they live in, and championing the conservation and restoration of threatened ecosystems such as the Palouse Prairie. My research will focus on the relationship of soil microbiomes to Palouse Prairie plant diversity and restoration projects.   


  • Veronica Albrecht
    Veronica Albrecht
    Graduate Student - Castillo's Lab
    291 SCI

    I am a graduate student in Dr. Castillo's lab where I will be studying the role of small regulatory RNA in regulating expression in Helicobacter pylori. My project will focus on characterizing a sRNA of the cytotoxin associated gene Pathogenicity Island. I am interested in microbial pathogenesis, microbial genetics and antimicrobial resistance.  Upon completion of my masters in spring 2020 I intend to apply for doctorate programs and continue researching clinically relevant microorganisms.

  • Ethan Bean
    Ethan Bean
    Graduate Student - Brown's Lab
    245 SCI

    I will be working on the Palouse Prairie restoration site. doing something with common gardens.

  • Christopher Brady
    Christopher Brady
    Graduate Student - O'Connell's Lab

    I am currently measuring the owl species richness and abundance on TNWR using autonomous digital recorders in non-commercially thinned treatment areas.

  • Anwar Bushnaq
    Anwar Bushnaq
    Graduate Student - McNeely's Lab
    SCI 275
  • Philip Campos
    Philip Campos
    Graduate Student - Walke's Lab
    289 SCI

    I received my B.S. in Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity from UC Davis in 2015. I plan to research beneficial relationships between honey bees and microbes and I am interested in how these relationships could be used for conservation of bees.


  • Josh Chastek
    Josh Chastek
    Graduate Student - Herr's Lab
    SCI 237

    Hello my name is Josh Chastek and I work with Dr. Herr. Our lab focuses on the development of technologies for endangered species preservation. My interest in biology started with cryobiology and has blossomed into a love of cell culture systems. During my time as a graduate I have worked on freezing fish sperm and insect embryos along with developing culture systems to grow the reproductive organs of fish, cats, dogs, drosophila, and silk worms. One of the coolest aspects of working at a university is getting undergraduates involved in real world research. Some of our research includes: 1) A study on ovovivipary using guppies to study the maternal effect on embryonic development. 2) Growing livebearer embryos in vitro for the entire gestation period using guppies as our model. 3) Looking at the effects of broad spectrum antibiotics on the fitness of zebrafish. 4) Optimizing tissue culture systems for growing feline testicles. 5) Methods to combat contamination in leaf disc punch cloning cultures using squash and banana plants. 6) In vitro fertilization of insects using Bombyx mori (silk worms). 7) Cryopreserving drosophila embryos using novel freezing fluids and techniques. 8) Optimizing conditions for the long term culture of various other species reproductive organs.

    Here is a link to a video about our labs research:


  • Jade Clinkenbeard
    Jade Clinkenbeard
    Graduate Student - J Matos' Lab
    240 SCI

    "In my research I am looking at the impact different wetland restoration techniques used at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (TNWR) have on aquatic plants and macro-invertebrates abundance and diversity"

  • Lily Crytser
    Lily Crytser
    Graduate Student - Spruell & Black's Lab
    190 SCI
  • Justin Donahue
    Justin Donahue
    Graduate Student - Magori's Lab
    210 CNH

    I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and also a B.S. in Environmental Science from EWU in 2016. My research is focused on ticks and the potential presence of the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. I hope to create a GIS based model to show tick density and potential infection risk within the refuge. 

  • Shelby Fettig
    Shelby Fettig
    Graduate Student - Walke's Lab
    289 SCI
  • Brandon Flatgard
    Brandon Flatgard
    Graduate Student - Castillo's Lab
    291 SCI

    My name is Brandon and I am a graduate student in Dr. Castillo's lab.  I am studying the role that sRNA has in regulating expression in Helicobacter pylori.  I am interested in experimental therapeutics and clinical applications in microbiology.  After completing the graduate program I play to work on toward PhD in microbiology.

  • Amber Framstad
    Amber Framstad
    Graduate Student - Ashley's Lab
    238 SCI
  • Darren Ginder
    Darren Ginder
    Graduate Student - Daberkow's Lab
    189 SCI

    I received my B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry from Western Washington University in 2015. While studying for my Bachelor's Degree I discovered my love for research and my desire to continue in academia. I work in Dr. Daberkow's lab studying the role of dopamine on behavior through the use of voltammetric methods. My graduate work is centered around how changes in reward seeking behavior is influenced by dopamine neurotransmission.

  • Amy Joy Hess
    Amy Joy Hess
    Graduate Student - O'Quinn's Lab
    242 SCI
  • Coty Jasper
    Coty Jasper
    Graduate Student - Spruell's lab
    190 SCI

    My name is Coty Jasper and I am a graduate student in the fisheries laboratory. I plan to study the genetics of brook stickleback in the Turnbull national wildlife refuge to see if there is a genetic component that correlates to an increased fitness of any one family of stickleback. 

  • Katie Johnson
    Katie Johnson
    Graduate Student - L Matos' Lab
    293 SCO

    In 2016 I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of North Dakota, later earning my national certification as a MLS. My lab work in the Microbiology department encouraged my want to not only identify species but also pursue research specifically in pathology progression and transmission. I will be working with 2 species of fruit flies, a native and novel host, to study the host shift of Drosophila C virus. The virulence and evolution of the virus will be tested over the duration of the experiment to better understand host shift occurrences.

  • Abigail Keever
    Abigail Keever
    Graduate Student - Ashley's lab
    238 SCI

    In 2017, I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eastern Washington University. My background in general dentistry and orthognathic surgery contributed significantly to my desire to study disease, with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology. I enjoy studying signal transduction pathways, anomalies within such pathways, and how they relate to the initiation and progression of disease. My project examines how alternative glycosylation of transmembrane and soluble proteins are influenced by cellular differentiation and sex-specific gene expression. After I graduate with a Master of Science, I intend to apply to doctorate programs and eventually continue research in industry.

  • Jared Lamm
    Jared Lamm
    Graduate Student - Bastow and Brown's lab
    SCI 245

    I am interested in the interactions taking place in semi-arid grasslands between native and invasive grasses, soil microbial communities, and soil elemental composition. My previous studies suggest that Ventenata dubia is altering soil food webs and negatively impacting future plant growth. My research will focus on identifying the aspects responsible for these impacts.




  • Taylor Mauzy
    Taylor Mauzy
    Graduate Student - L Matos' Lab
    293 SCI
  • Marissa Medina
    Marissa Medina
    Graduate Student - Bastow's lab
    235 SCI

    I received my B.S. in Biology at EWU in 2016, focusing on wildlife studies. As a graduate student, I am now focusing on topics in soil ecology. Specifically, I am interested in the effects of warming on soil organic carbon and soil biodiversity in wetlands at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. In the future, I would like to work in conservation and restoration biology.

  • Erik Peterson
    Erik Peterson
    Graduate Student - Brown's Lab
    245 SCI

    In 2017, I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biology From Washington State University. During my time as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work with organizations such as P.C.E.I. and the City of Pullman on creek and field restorations. It was through these projects that I discovered a passion for restoration of native lands to preserve local biodiversity and invasion resistance. At EWU, I will be focusing my research on an upcoming project to convert former farmlands back to their original Palouse Prairie communities. 

  • Christina Ramelow
    Christina Ramelow
    Graduate Student - Daberkow's Lab
    189 SCI

    I obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology with an emphasis in molecular biotechnology and a minor in chemistry from EWU Spring 2018. During my time as an undergrad, I participated in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Program where I found a passion for scientific research.

    My graduate research focuses on evaluating the effect of oxytocin on dopamine neurotransmission in anesthetized and freely moving animals using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. I am also interested in understanding neuroimmunology and neuroinflammation, elucidating the cellular and molecular pathways that govern neurodegeneration, and designing novel treatments for neuropathologies. I plan to apply to PhD programs Fall 2019.

  • Ronald Scerbicke
    Ronald Scerbicke
    Graduate Student - Black's Lab
    252 SCI

    I graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2016. I have a background working at SEWRPC (Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission) involving environmental planning with lakes and streams. With my background in streams and lakes it has lead me to Eastern Washington University where I will be working in Dr. Black's lab. The research I will be conducting involves looking at the water quality at Deep Lake in Stevens County, WA and why the lake is having occurrences of early anoxia. 

  • Lacey Sell
    Lacey Sell
    Graduate Student - Ochoa Reparaz' Lab
    295 SCI

    I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from EWU. As a graduate student my research will explore novel therapeutics for the neuroinflammatory autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, by using mice models to investigate the relationship of gut microbiota dysbiosis with regards to the pathogenesis of the disease. 

  • Shawna Warehime
    Shawna Warehime
    Graduate Student - Spruell and McNeely's Lab
    190 SCI
  • Joseph Weirich
    Joseph Weirich
    Graduate Student - Brown's Lab
    245 SCI

    Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Eastern Oregon in spring of 2016 for an internship with the Bureau of Land Management. I began my career as a hydrology technician, collecting baseline water quality data (pH, LDO%, turbidity, etc.) as well as stream crosssection surveys for our long term monitoring program. My status as an intern granted me great fluidity within the BLM and I was able to work for multiple departments, including rangeland management, wildlife, fuels/invasive plant reduction and most recently as a wild land fire fighter. During my 3-year tenure with the BLM I worked in some truly wild and majestic places and grew to cherish our public lands. Thus, I could not ignore the vast tracts of land and waterways that have been degraded due to over-grazing, mining, invasive species, development and intense wildfire. I am attending EWU to better equip myself for a career in land management, with the hope of restoring the ecosystem functionality and natural beauty to degraded spaces of the western landscape. I am currently pondering how beaver dam analogues (BDAs) can help restore stream functionality by trapping sediment, reversing bank incision, and promoting healthy bank vegetation. Research is ongoing...

  • Alexa Whipple
    Alexa Whipple
    Graduate Student - Brown's lab
    245 SCI

    My interests bring together innovative sustainable agriculture practices, restoration of public range lands to address climate change resilience and local food/economic system security.  I am working with regional land managers and local livestock producers to advance the use of sustainable grazing practices on public lands.  My focus is particularly narrowed in on wildfire impacted riparian areas, the presence of beavers and the grazing management practices applied to sensitive riparian zones after fire. 

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