Graduate Students

Javier Méndez Narváez joined the lab in 2015 and will receive his PhD in Jan. 2022. He did his Masters at Universidad de los Andes, on thermal ecology of leptodactylid frog embryos in foam nests. He studies the role of phenotypic plasticity in early life stages in the reproductive colonization of land by frogs. Much of his research focuses on how embryos and nest-dwelling larvae avoid ammonia toxicity under drying conditions. He is a co-founder of the conservation research NGO Fundación Calima. []

by Katherine Gonzalez

Brandon Güell entered the Warkentin Lab as a PhD student in 2017, after a STRI-REU project on hatching performance and behavior in 2015. His research focuses on the developmental and behavioral ecology of gliding treefrogs, Agalychnis spurrelli, a  congener of the red-eyed treefrog that differs in many ways, including  poor escape-hatching success and spectacular explosive-breeding aggregations. Brandon did his BS at UC San Diego, where he worked in collaboration with NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Lab studying foraging ecology and behavior of northern fur seal pups on the Pribilof Islands. []

María José (Majo) Salazar Nicholls entered the Warkentin Lab as a PhD student in 2018, after a STRI-REU project on the development of red-eyed treefrog hatching ability in 2016. Her research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the precise temporal and spatial control of hatching enzyme release in red-eyed treefrogs, with comparative work on hatching mechanisms in other frogs. María José did her BSc at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), where she did her senior thesis research with Eugenia del Pino and worked in the developmental biology laboratory of Andres Romero Carvajal after graduation. []

E. Caroline Guevara Molina is using escape-hatching to study effects of hydration on the thermal tolerance of terrestrial frog embryos facing climate change. She began her PhD at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) Brazil, in 2019, building on research she did as an intern in my lab. Caroline’s PhD research is co-advised by Fernando Ribeiro Gomes (USP, Physiology) and myself (embryo behavior). Caroline did her undergraduate degree at the Universidad del Quindio, in Colombia, working on glassfrogs, and MSc at USP on hydration and thermal physiology of invasive bullfrogs. []

Ben Johnson joined the Warkentin lab as a PhD student in the fall of 2021. His research focuses on sensory biology and risk perception in embryonic red-eyed treefrogs, with specific interests in integrating methods from biotremology and developmental biology. He did his undergraduate degree at Rice University, where he conducted research on fruit fly social behavior. He did his Master’s degree at Iowa State University, where his research focused on risk perception of bighorn sheep in Montana. []