Current Lab Members

Dr. Kier Klepzig

Director and Scientist

Kier is the Director and Scientist in Entomology for, and directs the conservation, research and educational programs of, the Jones Center at Ichauway in southwest Georgia. The program is sponsored by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The programs include the stewardship of the 30,000-acre Ichauway site, graduate student co-sponsorship programs, natural resource education and outreach to landowners, students, policy-makers, and public agencies, and five long-term research projects. His personal research interests include forest entomology, forest pathology, mycology, and insect and microbial diversity. Kier obtained his BS at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and his MS and Ph.D. in Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as a professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and as a Research Entomologist, Project Leader, and Assistant Director with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station. In his spare time, Kier acts in and directs local theatrical productions, plays guitar, and listens to a myriad of indie rock bands and podcasts. Also, his favorite color is definitely purple.

Thomas N. Sheehan

Research Associate II

Tom manages the day-to-day operations of the Entomology lab. In addition to assisting with graduate student projects, he has also aided in designing and executing the projects in our lab that deal with longterm arthropod monitoring,  southern pine beetle monitoring (SPB), pollinators and quail diet in milo fields, and the interaction between termites and fire in wood decomposition. Particular research interests of Tom’s include biodiversity, invasive species, and nutrient cycles, particularly when it includes members Scolytinae, Cerambycidae, or Carabidae. Tom grew up in Illinois but has lived in Georgia for the past decade. He has a BS from Berry College and an MS in Entomology from the University of Georgia. In addition to collecting insects, Tom also enjoys hiking, camping, cycling, reading, drinking tea, theatre (performing and observing), and hanging with his two cats: Basil Ferguson Jones Sheehan and Rosemary Raindrop Sheehan. 

Favorito

Christine Favorito

Research Technician II

Christine Favorito recently graduated with her MS from UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources studying native bee communities in Georgia’s working pine forests. She is excited to explore all the insect biodiversity the Jones Center has to offer, especially the bees! Christine’s research interests include comparing bee (and other insect) diversity in different environments and also telling everybody about native bees all the time. She enjoys hiking, spending time near water, and other people’s pets. Christine also has a BS in biology from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has previously worked at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and served in AmeriCorps with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Hackensack Riverkeeper.  

Mary McTeague

Seasonal Research Technician

Mary is a recent graduate of Luther College with a BA in environmental science and English literature. She started working as a research technician at Ichauway in May 2022. Mary has always been fascinated by the outdoors and everything that lives there, and she became especially interested in insects after taking an undergrad entomology class. At Ichauway, she has learned a lot about arthropod activity in longleaf pine ecosystems, and she is currently looking at diel activity of insects on site. She hopes to eventually continue to study entomology in grad school. In her free time Mary enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog.

Ben Gochnour

Ph.D. Candidate

Ben Gochnour is a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Kamal Gandhi, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. His research at Ichauway involves bark beetle population responses to different land management techniques including prescribed fire and salvage logging after severe wind damage caused by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. He is an avid hiker and biker, and he brings his dogs along whenever he can on adventures into nature. He has always loved being out in the woods, which is why he has tended to focus on ecological field studies in my career, and Ichauway has been one of his favorite places to work!

Lewis Marquez

Ph.D. Candidate

Lewis Marquez is a Ph.D. student at Emory University, under the direction of Dr. Cassandra Quave, Department of Dermatology and Center for the Study of Human Health, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. His research focuses on identifying and isolating antimicrobial compounds from plant species used in traditional medicine for skin disorders. From these plants, his lab has curated a unique natural product library composed of >1,500 plant extracts. Currently, his research projects include identifying antibacterial compounds for use against Gram-negative bacteria like drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, identifying antifungal compounds that are effective against pathogenic fungi like Candida Auris, and identifying compounds that resensitize drug-resistant microbes to conventional antimicrobials In his free time, Lewis likes to watch old Western movies and go on road trips exploring the East Coast with his wife Roxxette.

Alexandra Tsalickis

Alexandra Tsalickis

Ph.D. Student

Alexandra Tsalickis is a Ph.D. student at Clemson University, under the direction of Dr. Jess Hartshorn and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. Her research focuses on eye gnats (Liohippelates) and their biology, ecology, and management.

Gabriel Tigreros

M.S. Student

Gabriel graduated in May of 2018 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in general biology. He got his first taste of entomology during his senior year of undergrad, and spent many moments of his final semester as a volunteer in the university’s entomology lab. Here, he helped pin, sort and identify insects, and found that it was something he loved to do. After graduating, Gabriel spent some time in San Francisco working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy as a habitat restoration technician. While living in California, he would go on to develop a strong interest in mycology, where he would spend much of his free time hiking and documenting his encounters with many different fungi. Gabriel has also had the honor of helping out with a variety of rare plant/wildlife monitoring projects during his time in SF, giving him a wide range of memorable experiences as a naturalist. He hopes to eventually earn his Masters degree in forest entomology and microbiology, and wishes to be able to learn more about the relationships between beetles and fungi. 

Hunter Hodson

M.S. Student

Hunter’s interests include stream and wetland macroinvertebrate ecology and invasive species. In the spring of 2022, he graduated with a B.S. in Integrative Biology with an Organismic focus from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. During his bachelor’s, he studied aquatic macroinvertebrate communities found in invasive A. altissima (tree of heaven) and native Q. stellata (post oak) leaf litter in an urban freshwater stream. His current research focuses on benthic macroinvertebrates, insect emergence, and soil microarthropods in forested and herbaceous geographically isolated wetlands in southwestern Georgia. When not looking at insects, he enjoys birding, spending time with his partner and their dog, and has recently started learning to crochet!

Lab Alumni

Kelsea Young

M.S. Student

Kelsea Young graduated with her MS from Clemson University under the direction of Dr. Jess Hartshorn, Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. She studied dung and carrion beetles in longleaf pine forests in the absence of mammalian mesopredators. She grew up just a few miles down the road from Ichauway and is thrilled to be participating in research at the Jones Center. Her favorite pastimes include working with animal rescue organizations, going thrift shopping, and working on cemetery preservation projects. Research topics she is particularly passionate about include nutrient cycling beetles, biodiversity in longleaf pine forests, and implementation of museum collections in research.

Morgan Sandera

M.S. Student

Morgan Sandera is an MS student at the University of Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Dahlen, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. Her work will focus on assessing wood and fiber quality for sawtimber sized trees in planted longleaf pine from forest cutover and old agriculture field sites. She will be comparing the properties to naturally regenerated longleaf pine and planted loblolly pine. She is an avid hiker/ backpacker. She completed an Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2015 and has been on many other backpacking excursions since. In her free time, she enjoys foraging for wild mushrooms, watching documentaries, cooking, and learning how to bake bread.

Crystal Bishop

M.S. Student

Crystal Bishop is an MS student at the University of Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Caterina Villari, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Dr. Kier Klepzig, the Jones Center at Ichauway. She is currently studying hurricane damage and management practices implemented to mitigate wind damage for longleaf pine forests and how they might affect root and lower stem feeding beetles and their fungal associates. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, disc golf, and craft beer with friends. She can also be found at parks enjoying the flora or jogging down the street in the sunshine. 

Madi Dunlap

Seasonal Research Technician

Madison Dunlap is a recent graduate from the University of Redlands with a bachelor’s degree in general biology who started as an entomology technician at Ichauway in January 2022. She has always had a particular fascination with invertebrates but her passion for insects started before her senior year of college with a summer lab internship researching insect pollinator trapping methods. She continued this project during senior year and developed a love for bees and wasps that is still strong today. After college she worked as a plant ecology technician which helped her get outside and in nature where she learned to appreciate the beautiful interaction between plants and insects. In her free time she loves to roller skate, cook, grow gourmet mushrooms, and make rugs.

Victoria Cassidy

Seasonal Research Technician

 From a young age Victoria was captivated by nature, and knew she wanted to explore and work in the outdoors. Victoria graduated from Reinhardt University with a BS in biology where she played college soccer. Shortly after graduating she went on to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Victoria received her MS in forest resources at the University of Georgia studying the success of systemic insecticide treatments in reducing Nantucket pine tip moth (NPTM) infestations and damage to loblolly pine trees, the potential non-target effects from the treatments, and the phenology of NPTM. Hobbies she enjoys include hiking, helping others (especially dogs), reading, playing soccer, and listening/dancing to music.

Jasmine Cates

Research Technician I

In May 2020, Jasmine Cates started working at the Jones Center at Ichauway in the Entomology lab as a field technician. Jasmine graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Working as a field technician, she has gained experience with identifying insects, studying habitat preferences of bees, and documenting the behavior of the Eastern Fence lizard. Her research interests include the management of invasive species and the conservation of endangered/threatened species. Entomology and Herpetology are two fields of study that interest her the most. She intends to get her master’s degree in either field. In the future, she would like to work at a research institute as either an entomologist or a herpetologist. Her hobbies include herping, drawing, reading, and cooking.   

 

Christopher Terrazas

Seasonal Research Technician

Christopher Terrazas grew up in Hampton, Georgia where he spent most of his time hunting and fishing with family or playing whatever instrument he could make a decent amount of noise with. While completing his B.S. in Natural Resource Management at ABAC, he developed an interest in habitat restoration and management for imperiled reptiles and amphibians of the coastal plain. In the future, he would like to earn an advanced degree in wildlife ecology so he can continue to spend his time in the piney woods contributing to the conservation of such an incredible ecosystem.   

 

Adam Knapp

Seasonal Research Technician

Adam Knapp is an aspiring systematist with a specific interest in solitary hymenoptera and collections curation. He generally has a passion and preference for all things without bones. He graduated with a BS in Biology from Temple University.

 

Rob Finn

Seasonal Research Technician

Rob Finn’s research interests are in the natural history and ecology of the world’s invertebrates. In undergrad, he worked on a project rearing beetles as a potential food source at the University of Arizona, and he will be starting a Masters of Marine Science looking at disease ecology in marine invertebrates at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in August 2020. He hopes to be able to combine his experiences and passion for learning about the natural world and one day work with a museum.   

 

Stephen W. Golladay, Ph.D.

Scientist

Dr. Golladay’s interests include the ecology of streams and wetlands, the impact of human land use on water quality and aquatic invertebrates, and the impact of variation in hydrology on ecological processes and aquatic communities Recently, he has developed an interest in the ecology and conservation of rare and endangered freshwater mussel species.

Dr. Golladay has served as a technical advisor to the Sand County Foundation, Georgia EPD, DNR and Water Management districts in Florida. He has developed training activities for resource professionals in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Golladay also has assisted in the development of programs to enhance the
natural resource awareness of regional educators in cooperation with regional Georgia Youth Science and Technology.