Dworkin Lab
Research People Publications Links

Ian Dworkin Dr. Ian Dworkin - Principal Investigator
Department of Zoology
Program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behaviour (EEBB).
BEACON center for the study of Evolution in action.
Program in Genetics
Phone/Office: (517) 432-6733
Phone/Lab: (517) 432-6730
Fax: (517) 432-2789
Email: idworkin "@"
Office: 328 Giltner Hall
Will Pitchers Dr. Will Pitchers - Post-Doctoral Researcher

Evolutionary Genomics of Wing Shape in Drosophila: From genetic association to predicting the response to selection.
Sudarshan Sudarshan Chari - Graduate Student
EEBB/Zoology Program
Email: charisud "@"

Sudarshan studies the conditionality of genetic interactions as well as the role of standing genetic variation in the dynamics of compensatory evolution. here.
See Sudarshan's work in Science News!
Mike Mike DeNeiu - Graduate Student
EEBB/Zoology Program
Email: denieumi "@"

Mike is Ph.D candidate in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior studing evolutionary and behavioral genetics of antipredation in Drosophila. More information about Mike's research can be obtained here . Check it out if you are hungry or curious.
Anne Sonnenschein- picture coming soon Anne Sonnenschein - Graduate Student (jointly supervised by David Arnosti)
Email: sonnens2 "at"

Anne is Ph.D candidate in Genetics studying the proximate mechanisms and functional consequences of natural variation in cis-regulatory modules in Drosophila.

Is highly skilled in the art of the Ninja. If you can read this, it's already too late...
Anne Sonnenschein- picture coming soon Amanda Charbonneau - Graduate Student
Graduate Student - BEACON & Genetics

Amanda is researching the evolution of weedy phenotypes, and works with the weedy and native and crop varieties of radish. By comparing the genomes and physical characteristics of these plants, she hopes to to determine which genes allow plants to become agricultural weeds, and where those genes originated. This research will help us to better understand the origin of weeds, and whether they are an inevitable consequence of plant domestication.
Anne Sonnenschein- picture coming soon Abhijna Parigi - Graduate Student

Abhijna is studying behavioral adaptations in Drosophila that have evolved under risk of predation.
Anne Sonnenschein- picture coming soon Anna Mammel - Technician

Undergraduate Students

cody Cody Porter - Undergraduate Research Aide

Cody is a Zoology major with a specific focus on evolution and ecology. Currently, he is spending the majority of his time in the lab assisting Sudarshan's genetic background effects project as well as researching the predatory behaviors of Salticidae spiders in preparation for his undergraduate research project. Through selection gradient analyses, he will examine the selective pressures placed on Drosophila by Salticidae predation. Cody plans to attend graduate school after completing his Bachelor's degree at MSU with plans of studying speciation in the context of geographical variation in birds of North America.
cody Emma Northrop - Undergraduate Research Aide

cody Allie Burnett - Undergraduate Research Aide

New Lab Member!
Laboratory Alumni

Alycia Alycia Kowalski - Laboratory Technician

Alycia joined the Lab in 2007, looking to get some hands on experience in science labs. It did not take long before she honed her innate skills, becoming an indispensible guru of wing dissection, imaging, and analysis. Verily a legend, with imaginal disc dissection skills beyond the ken of mortals.

Current Status:
Attending the Royal Veterinary College in London.
Helping all the cute baby animals!
Alycia Dr. Megan Fritz - Post-Doctoral Researcher

Megan pefected gustation assays for Drosophila, allowing investigation into scalloped's pleiotropic effects on taste perception between genetic backgrounds.

Current Status:
Post-Doctoral Position at North Carolina State University.
Chris Chandler Dr. Chris Chandler - Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Chandler graced the Dworkin Lab with his bench and bioinformatic skills, epitomizing the modern day researcher with his synthesis of both disciplines. Chris investigated the roles of standing genetic variation and opportunity for mate choice during compensatory evolution.

Current Status:
Assistant Professor at SUNY Oswego.
David David Tack - Research Technician and Lab Manager

David wandered to the mysterious and then nascent Dworkin lab in 2007 after graduating from the University of Michigan, having recently become interested in the evolution of development. Through many projects and experiments, this once young mind has been transformed into a grizzled veteran of science with a diverse array of skills.

Current Status:
Attending the University of British Columbia.
andrew Andrew Victory - Undergraduate Research Aide

Andrew studied human biology while assessing the epistatic effects of mutation combinations in different genetic backgrounds. Additionally, Andrew helped dissect wings, genotyped radishes, and advanced Sudarshan's background effects project.

Current Status:
Attending the Ohio State College of Medicine in Columbus.
Lin Lin Choi - Laboratory Technician

Lin has worked in the Dworkin lab since 2009, imbued with a curiosity of genetics, and interested in tissue regeneration. Since then she has picked up various laboratory skills, mastering RT-PCR and Antibody Staining techniques.

Current Status:
Attending Yonsei University College of Dentistry in Korea.
The CEO Justyne Matheny - Undegraduate Research Aide

Justyne surveyed many of the laboratory's techniques, learning everything from molecular cloning to the specifics of Drosophila care, helping greatly on many projects.

Current Status:
Attending Duke University.
The CEO Wonyoung Shim - Undergraduate Research Aide

Wonyoung worked on SNP identification and validation in both Drosophila and Raphaneus spp., learning many molecular techniques.

Current Status:
Attending Michigan State College of Veterinary Medicine.
The CEO Heather McGovern - Undergraduate Research Aide

Heather reared and crossed many mutant lines of Drosophila, while using various microscopy techniques to study them.

Current Status:
Attending Wayne State University School of Medicine.
The CEO Lindy Johnson - Undergraduate Research Aide

Lindy focused heavily on crossing and dissecting the progeny of mutant Drosophila crosses. Once dissected, Lindy added landmarks to digital images, allowing computers to precisely quantify the Drosophila wing.

Current Status:
Graduate school.
cody Kristen Hummel - Research Aide

Kristen joined the lab in the winter of 2011, and quickly integrated into the front-lines of several projects, including genotyping of wild radish populations, and multiple branches of the background effects project.

Current status: Michigan State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dissection/Extraction Mercenary.