Student Spotlights


EVOTRAC: Evolutionary and Ecological Variability in Organismal Trait Response with Altitude and Climate

October 2012

Brian Gill: The first year of my doctoral program at CSU has been challenging and exciting.  I have taken many thought-provoking graduate courses and hit the ground running on research.  In the last year, we have sampled 26 streams in Colorado and 89 in Ecuador!  I have been working to identify dominant aquatic insect taxa along elevation transects in the Rocky Mountains and Andes using integrative taxonomy.  I have had the opportunity to present results from this work at the Society of Freshwater Science and in two taxonomic papers on Ecuadorian Plecoptera.  EVOTRAC has provided me with an excellent opportunity for graduate training, and with rich collaborations with researchers at other national and international universities.         

December 2012

Brady Kohler: In the midst of last summer’s epic wildfires and mudslides, I collected water samples from 15 streams in the Colorado Rockies – and also confirmed that peanut butter does indeed attract bears. This past fall I have been running those samples in the lab and finishing up courses at UNL.  Together with two other fellow EVOTRAC students, we are preparing to sample another 10-15 streams in Ecuador this coming January to gain further insight as to how nutrient uptake dynamics vary with elevation and temperature. I am excited for another opportunity to head to EVOTRAC’s gorgeous field sites and thankful for having such a pleasurable bunch of people to work along side and learn from.