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Trina Phan

Trina was an early college student and started working in the lab when she was 16! She was one of the student technicians supported by my NSF grant and she helped sort and organize thousands of specimens. She also worked on using various network reconstruction methods to test for reticulation between members of the fuscus clade. She won Derieux Awards for her 2017 poster and 2018 oral presentation at the NC Academy of Science Meeting and is currently Vice-President of the Collegiate Branch of the Academy. Trina transferred to NCSU and is earning a B.S. in Genetics. She is currently conducting research in the Aylor lab.

Tyler Scott

Tyler was one of the summer students supported by my NSF grant before he transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall of 2018 to pursue a B.S. in Biology. He is presently working in the Kuehn lab on the influence of nitrogen and phosphorous on fungal rates of nutrient cycling. During his time in the Beamer lab, Tyler worked on a range-wide phylogeographic survey of the three-lined salamander which was supported by a Yarbrough Grant. His poster presentation at the 2018 North Carolina Academy of Science received a Derieux Award.







Clayton Lynch

Clayton was extremely talented at the bench and in the field and he was a tremendous asset to my lab. He worked on a variety of projects including the NSF ROA tagged amplicon project at the NC Museum of Natural History and the Necturus phylogenomic project. He held an internship at the SePRO Research & Technology Campus for much of the time he was with my lab. Clayton served as Historian for the Collegiate branch of the NC Academy of Science and served as president of the Nash Community College STEM Club. He also led many public outreach events where he shared his passion for science with the community. Clayton transferred to NC State University where he has worked on a aquatic toxicology project in the Cope Lab and he was recently selected to participate in the CMAST program.




Adriana Cabrera Zurita

Adriana worked on a project examining Desmognathus fuscus lineage contact zones along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. She received a travel award to present this work at the 2016 Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference at Florida State University and a 2016 BEACON Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution scholarship to present at the Evolution Meeting in Austin, TX.  Adriana was really adept at field work (especially her aquarium net corralling technique) and she helped fill some important sample gaps on various trips. At NCC, Adriana was president and vice-president of the STEM club, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and served as lab technician and a tutor for Chemistry. In 2018 Adriana received a Goodnight Scholarship to attend NC State University where she is pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Technology & Management.

Marilu Salazar

During her time at NCC, Marilu enrolled in more courses that I teach (n=9!) than any other student ever has or is ever likely to. She worked with Adriana on the D. fuscus Blue Ridge Escarpment contact zone project which she presented at the 2016 SEEC meeting. Marilu held an internship at Bridgestone and was active in the STEM club where she participated in many public outreach events. She received a Goodnight Scholarship to attend NC State University where she is pursuing a degree in horticulture.






Liz was a student in my Regional Natural History and Biotechnology courses before transferring to East Carolina University. Towards the end of her B.S. in Biology she earned independent research credit at ECU by working in my lab. Liz helped with the massive task of migrating my dissertation sequence dataset from Sequencher into Geneious and she helped gather and analyze data for the seepage salamander and Necturus eDNA projects.  Liz is currently






Natalie was a student in the Career and College Promise program which allowed her to take some college courses as a high school student. She helped analyze some of the first Necturus eDNA samples in the lab and presented a poster about her eDNA work at the 2017 SEPEEG meeting and won an undergraduate poster award! After graduating high school, Natalie transferred to UNC-Wilmington where she is working on a degree in Geology with a minor in Oceanography.




Jason Webb

Jason was never technically a member of the Beamer Lab (he never conducted a research project). However, I have spent over 50 weekends in the field with Jason since 2012 which definitely qualifies him as an honorary lab member! Together we have traveled, hiked and collected scientific material all over North Carolina and the southeast. Jason recently graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Nash Community College and has been hired at Barbour Court Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.




Ismael Gomez

Ismael developed multiple nuclear markers while working in my lab on the seepage salamander project. He received a Barthalamus Research Grant to support this work and he won a Derieux Award when he presented this project at the 2015 Meeting of the NC Academy of Science. He was the President of the NCC STEM Club, Vice-president of the Collegiate branch of the NC Academy of Science, the recipient of a NASA Space Grant, served as a Student Ambassador and was selected for an internship in the Summer Biomedical Research Program at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Ismael transferred to the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He worked in the Gracz Lab on cellular plasticity and later he worked in the Magness Lab on cancer dynamics. Ismael graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 2018 and is currently applying to Ph.D. programs.




Zachary Privette

Zach worked on the seepage salamander and three-lined salamander phylogeography projects. During his time at NCC he served as a Student Ambassador and was elected as the Vice-president of the Collegiate branch of the NC Academy of Science. In 2016 he transferred to NC State University where he earned a B.S. in Genetics. While he was a student at NCSU, he worked in the Stuart Lab on systematics of Southeast Asian megophryid frogs. In the fall of 2018, Zach was hired as the Biology Teacher for the Early College at Nash Community College. He has been instrumental in helping Early College students transition into college level biology coursework and has supervised Early College students working in my lab and in the Biodiversity Center.






Indy worked on the two-lined salamander contact zone project, helped collect material in the field for the Necturus genomic project and participated in the NSF ROA tagged amplicon project at the NC Museum of Natural History. Indy transferred to NC State University and graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology in 2018. He has recently taken a position at Merck.




Kabryn Mattison

During her time in the Beamer Lab, Kabryn conducted sexual incompatibility trial experiments with 40 salamanders in her bedroom! Her excellent work was incorporated into a section of one of my dissertation chapters. Kabryn was awarded a Barthalamus Undergraduate Research Grant to support this project and she received a Derieux Award for her oral presentation given at the 2015 NC Academy of Science Meeting. After graduating at NCC, Kabryn received an IAATE grant to conduct a population survey of the endangered Bali Starling. Upon her return from Bali, Kabryn was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. In Fall 2018, she transferred to Appalachian State University and has recently joined the Davenport Lab and will be traveling to the Arctic Circle this summer to participate in his research program there. !!




Jessica Avila

Jessica worked on the morphological homoplasy in mountain duskies project. She was an outstanding student inside and outside of the classroom. Jessica served as an officer for both the NCC STEM club and Phi Theta Kappa, and she participated in many community service projects and was a recognized leader in the study body. She received many accolades during her time at NCC including a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention (the only community college student that year). She was also awarded a Derieux Award at the 2013 NC Academy of Science meeting and her Barthalamus Undergraduate and Yarbrough Research Grants were both funded.




Alan Babineau

Alan was an excellent student in my Intro To Bio and Field Biology Courses. He has proven to be very adept in the field and has helped collect some very important material over the last five years. He transferred to East Carolina University where he earned a B.S. in Biology. Upon the completion of his B.S., Alan worked as a summer intern with the Peterman Lab at Highlands Biological Station. Alan has also returned to the Beamer Lab part-time to volunteer on his days off (he is employed at ThermoFisher). He has worked on the South Mountain Gray Cheeked Salamander project, the Necturus eDNA project and the fuscus lineage contact zones project. Alan is a leader in the lab group and has been my right-hand man in recent times. He is currently considering pursuing graduate school.




Nate Akers

Nate transferred to UNC-Wilmington, where he completed his B.S. and he is currently working on a M.S. in Biology in the Arbogast Lab. During his undergraduate studies, Nate held a position in a cooperative with the NC WRC and NC Aquarium head-starting endangered gopher frogs. For his M.S., Nate has been studying the genetics of this declining species. While in the Beamer lab, Nate worked on examining a contact zone between two-lined salamander lineages, he presented a poster of this work at the North Carolina Academy of Science in 2014 where he received a Derieux Award. Nate also participated in the Neuse River Waterdog population status survey.




Chelsea Crocker

In 2014, Chelsea transferred to UNC-Wilmington, where she earned a B.S. in Biology and conducted population genetics research in the Kamel Lab. Chelsea was award both a CSURF research grant and a fellowship and she was an author on two publications! Chelsea recently defended her Master's thesis which she completed in the Kinsey Lab and she has just taken a position as an associate pharmaceutical scientist at Alcami. In the Beamer lab, Chelsea worked on developing independent nuclear markers for use in our speciation studies. Her poster presentation at the North Carolina Academy of Science in 2014 received a Derieux Award.




LaShonda Caine

LaShonda was a tremendous help in getting the Beamer Lab off the ground. She was an outstanding student and served as president of the NCC STEM Club, a tutor for both math and biology and the lab tech for biology. She worked on a variety projects and her early work is the foundation that a number of the current research projects in the lab are built on. During her time in my lab, she won Derieux awards each year for her posters and oral presentations at the NC Academy of Science meetings between 2012-2014. LaShonda also received a Barthalamus Undergraduate Research Grant to support one of the projects she worked on in the lab. In 2014 LaShonda started an internship with Hospira (now Pfizer).




Bobbie Legg

Bobbie followed up on work that Thomas started with the two-lined salamander contact project. She received the labs first Barthalamus Undergraduate Research Grant to support her project. She graduated NCC with a 4.0 GPA and transferred to North Carolina Wesleyan College where she earned a B.S. in Mathematics.




Thomas Bridgers

Thomas was the first student in my lab at NCC. He started the project that uncovered the contact between two-lined salamander lineages near the NC/VA state line. He met George Barthalamus at the 2012 SNURCS meeting (several of my future students would be supported by Barthalamus grants). Thomas also started the NCC Biodiversity Center. He transferred to East Carolina University where he earned a B.S. in Engineering. He is currently employed as an engineer at SI Group in New York.




Courtney Morgan

I mentored Courtney's while she collected data for a project with dwarf salamanders during the time I was a graduate student in Trip Lamb's lab. She extracted DNA, amplified and sequenced two different genes and presented the work at the 2008 Association of Southeastern Biologists Meeting.




Dorothy Dobbins

Dorothy was the first student I ever mentored and it was this experience that made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career working with students. She worked with Courtney collecting DNA sequence data from dwarf salamanders across their range. This work would later be greatly expanded and published by myself and Trip Lamb. As she continued her undergraduate degree at East Carolina University, Dorothy began working in the Tran lab and in 2011 was awarded best undergraduate talk at ECU's Research Week. Dorothy went on to earn a M.S. at ECU and she is currently a Ph.D. student in the Godwin Lab in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest University.




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