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Scribner Lab Group

Principle Investigator

Kim Scribner, Professor

I am an evolutionary ecologist with broad interests in population genetics and vertebrate life history, demography and behavior. Research in my lab involves novel application of molecular genetic markers and evolutionary theory to examine important questions in ecological genetics and conservation biology including: levels of gene flow through heterogeneous aquatic and terrestrial landscapes, the evolution of life history traits as adaptations to thermal spawning environments, how environmental heterogeneity and mating systems affect inter-individual variance in reproductive success and genealogical relationships within populations, intra-specific and comparative phylogeography, and development of non-invasive DNA collection methods to estimate population abundance and spatial genetic structure. Graduate student research emphasizes both field and laboratory work and inter-disciplinary training in population and behavioral ecology, population genetics, molecular biology, and evolution. Emphasis is placed on managed or exploited populations and in the area of conservation biology.

Email: Dr. Scribner's Webpage

Graduate Students

Shairah Razak, PhD student

Shariah is a first year PhD student currently working in Scribner Lab focusing on community ecology in lake sturgeon. Her project is to study the environmental effect on the successional process of microbial community in the developing GI tract of larval sturgeon and how the processes interact with phenotypic and physiological response by fish. She is also interested in ecology, evolutionary, and quantitative genetics as part of her project and enjoys field sampling because it bring her closer to the nature.


Jonathan Hegna, PhD candidate

I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2011 at Palm Beach Atlantic University.  During my time as an undergraduate I was very active in conservation and research.

My current research primarily focuses on investigating downstream passage and survival of juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) at hydroelectric dams.


Lydia Wassink, PhD student

I have a B.S. in Biology and I am currently a Ph.D. student in Integrative Biology and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology.

My research focuses on how stress influences behavior.  Specifically, I am interested in how maternal stress may epigenetically influence offspring behavior by altering function of the HPI stress axis, with consequences for survival.




Justin Waraniak, Masters student

Masters student in Fisheries & Wildlife and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior. BS Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan 2014.

Studies predation of larval lake sturgeon incorporating genetic analysis of predator diet samples and community interactions between lake sturgeon larvae, predator fish, and co-distrubuted alternative prey items.


Robert Hunter, Masters student

I received my B.S. at Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in 2013.  Since that time I have worked as a contracted fisheries technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center on research focused on monitoring and ongoing remediation efforts throughout the St. Clair Detroit River System, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. 

My current research is using microsatellite markers and parentage reconstruction to assess the lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) population, and the effects of artificial spawning reefs in the St. Clair Detroit River System.  


Postdocs & Technicians

Jeannette Kanefsky, laboratry manager

Jeannette received a BachelorÆs degree in Biology from RutgerÆs College in 1991, and a PhD from the Ohio State University in Molecular Genetics in 2000. JeannetteÆs current research interests include nuclear rDNA and genomic evolution in the Aceripensiformes, an ancient and polyploid fish group.


Doug Larson, field research cooridnator

Doug graduated from Central Michigan Univerity in 2010 with a degree in General Biology and Environmental Studies. Doug is working to complete his graduate degree in Fisheries Biology at Central Michigan University where he is studying use of nursery habitat by larval fishes in the St. Clair River Delta, MI. Doug is now the project coordinator for the MSU/MDNR Black River Sturgeon Facility, a position he has held since March, 2016.


Nick Sard, Post-doctoral researcher

Nick is a molecular ecologist that uses genetics-based approaches to answer questions related to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife.


Former Lab Members

Kari Dammerman, PhD
Hope Draheim, PhD
John Bauman, MS
Lisette Delgado, MS
Paige Howell, MS
Katy Jay, MS
Jeanette McGuire, PhD
Jennifer Moore, postdoctoral fellow
Jan Hessenauer, MS
Jared Homola, undergraduate
Hao Yu, postdoctoral fellow
Bruno Guinand, postdoctoral fellow
Yen Duong, PhD
Meredith Bartron, PhD
Julie Blanchong, PhD
Kristin Bott, MS
James Crossman, PhD
Patrick DeHaan, MS
Patrick Forsythe, PhD
Stacy Gilmore, MS
Laura McKinnon, MS
Kevin Page, MS
Rainy Shorey, PhD
Jennifer White, MS
Bronwyn Williams, MS

Current and Previous Affiliated Graduate Students

Doug Bruggeman (Ph.D., Michigan State University) 
Mara Bryan (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Katy Califf (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Heather Dawson (Ph.D. Michigan State University)
Amy Derosier (M.S., Michigan State University)
Brian Dreher (M.S., Michigan State University)
Dan Grear (M.S., Univeristy of Wisconsin) 
Richard Lanctot (Ph.D., University of Ottawa)
Veronica Lopez (M.S., Michigan State University)
Rob Ollendorf (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Stacie Robinson (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin)
Anna Bess Sorin (Ph.D., University of Michigan) 
Chris Spencer (M.S., SouthWest University, Louisiana)
Lauren Stanchek (M.S., Michigan State University)
Sarah Sonsthagen (Ph.D., University of Alaska)
Pam Svete (M.S., University of Alaska) 
Alexander Topchy (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Russ Van Horn (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Heather Watts (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Andy Booms (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Nick Ballew (PhD, Michigan State University
Katy Califf (PhD, Michigan State University)

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