Dr. Hal Halvorson (he/him) - Assistant Professor
Hal earned a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry at St. Olaf College in 2011 and his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Arkansas with Dr. Michelle Evans-White in 2016. He spent 3 years as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Kevin Kuehn at the University of Southern Mississippi before coming to UCA in Fall 2019. In his free time, Hal loves to game, listen to contemporary rock music, and explore outside.
Dr. Felicia Osburn (she/her) - Postdoctoral Associate
Felicia earned her Ph.D. in Biology in 2021 from Baylor University in Dr. Thad Scott's laboratory. She has expertise in harmful algal bloom ecology, especially relationships between water quality and cyanotoxin production. Felicia is continuing this research on our Brewer Lake monitoring program as well as teaching courses like Freshwater Ecology and Ecology at UCA as part of the STOICH EPSCoR project.
Lydia Bradshaw (she/her) - M.S. student
Lydia joined the lab in August 2021 after finishing her Environmental Science (Biology track) degree at UCA. She is studying nutrient dynamics in Brewer Lake, the drinking water reservoir for Conway. Lydia has particular interests in external nutrient inputs into the lake and using GIS/remote sensing to analyze watershed effects on water quality.
Eli Wess (he/they) - M.S. student
Eli joined the lab in January 2023 after several positions with state and federal agencies in southern Arkansas. Eli is a member of the STOICH EPSCoR project and his project is focusing on ecological stoichiometry stream food webs across an agricultural gradient. His particular focus is on the stoichiometry of aquatic insects including both larval and adult insect life stages.
Haley Racioppo (she/her) - M.S. student
Haley joined the lab in June 2023 after graduating with a degree in Environmental Science (minor in Chemistry) from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Her research will revolve around our long-term Brewer Lake monitoring project, with potential focus on phytoplankton, storms, and/or trace metal dynamics in the watershed.
Other current affiliates:
Ethan Nettleton - M.S Student @ Southern Miss
Ethan is continuing his undergraduate research project as his M.S. Thesis in Kevin Kuehn's lab at Southern Miss. His project investigates the effects of light on wood decomposition in lake littoral settings. Ethan hopes to attend medical school after he finishes his degree.
Saysha Sebren - Ph.D. Student @ Southern Miss
Saysha began her Ph.D. in 2019 in Dr. Kevin Kuehn's lab at Southern Miss. Based on both past and future experiments, her project will use modern bioinformatics and 'omics' tools to study the interplay between microbial community dynamics and leaf decomposition under contrasting light regimes.
Current undergraduate students in the lab:
Past undergraduate lab members:
Noah Davis (2021-2022)
Celeste Johnson (2021-2022)
Aimee Dycus (2021)
Peyton Cook (2021)
Colton Dillon (2021)
Rebeka Bradford (graduated spring 2022)
Brandy Everett (graduated spring 2022)
Skye Embray (UArk EcoREU summer 2021)
Hunter Strom (graduated spring 2021)
Brittany Krug (graduated spring 2021)
Connor Tolly (graduated spring 2022)
Tyler Grandjean (graduated spring 2023)
Rachel Wilcox (graduated spring 2023)
Anthony Pignatelli (UCA) - current Ph.D. student with Dr. Tad Dallas @ University of South Carolina
Molly Wozniak (UCA) - education/outreach at Halberg Ecology Camp
Tori Hebert (UCA) - current Ph.D. student with Dr. Jon Benstead @ University of Alabama
Cody Pope (USM) - current M.S. student @ University of Florida
Taylor Price, M.S. (USM) - current Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Trinity Hamilton @ University of Minnesota
Cheyenne Brady, M.S. - Lab Technician in Hattiesburg, MS