In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for several classes at the University of Illinois, I have also been a research mentor to several great undergraduate students:
Chris was member of the Cameron lab from 2013 to 2015. Together studied wing morphometrics in Bombus ephippiatus to see if differences in wing morphometry correlate with the distinct lineages within the group. For his undergraduate research project, Chris explored how wing morphometry changes across altitudinal gradients. I also took Chris with me to Mexico in July 2014 to meet our great collaborators at ECOSUR in Chiapas and to give him a taste of field work in the mountains of Mexico. He’s now a graduate student with Michael Dillon at the University of Wyoming studying bumble bee physiology.
Tanya worked in the Cameron lab in the Spring and Summer of 2012. She learned PCR techniques and how to troubleshoot PCR reactions. She also worked with me on the PCR detection of the microsporidian gut pathogen Nosema bombi in museum specimens of bumble bees. She’s now a graduate student with Marianne Alleyne at the University of Illinois and you can read about her research here.
Jacob Kacmar, Kelly Mehan and Brett Nelson
Jacob, Kelly, and Brett were freshman students in the Cameron lab doing research for their IB 199 Introduction to Research class in the Fall of 2012. These three learned the basics of bumble bee identification, DNA extraction, PCR, DNA sequencing, and phylogenetic methods while trying to find the phylogenetic placement of a recently re-discovered species, B. cockerelli, and a recently extinct species, B. cullumanus, within the context of the Bombus phylogeny.
Sylvia Nunez and Rebecca Trapp
Sylvia and Rebecca were freshman students in the Cameron lab doing research for their IB199 Introduction to Research class in the Spring of 2012. While they learned the basics of PCR, DNA sequencing , phylogenetic methods, and the use of wing morphometrics for species delimitation, together we collected some interesting molecular data for B. ephippiatus and B. wilmattae from Chiapas, Mexico (I got them to think bumble bees are pretty cool, too).