People in the David Pfennig Lab


David Pfennig

Professor, Department of Biology



Amber Rice (Ph.D. 2008; “Population genetic and phylogenetic studies of character displacement in spadefoot toads”); now 

an assistant professor at Lehigh U.

Cris Ledon-Rettig (Ph.D. 2010; “Phenotypic plasticity's role in the origins and diversification of feeding strategies in spadefoot toad larvae”); now a research assistant professor at Indiana U.

Eric A. Hoffman (M.S. 1997; “Proximate causes of cannibalistic polyphenism in larval tiger salamanders”); now an associate professor at U. of Central Florida

Tony Frankino (postdoc 2000-2001); now an associate professor at U. of Houston

Allison Welch (postdoc 2000-2004); now an associate professor at the College of Charleston

George Harper (Ph.D. 2006; “Evolution of a snake mimicry complex”); now an associate professor at Hendrix College

Ryan Martin (Ph.D. 2010; “Evolution of resource polymorphism”); now an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve U.

Mike Loeb (Ph.D. 2001; “Evolution of egg dumping in an insect”); now a science writer

Aaron Leichty (M.S. 2011; “Evolution of morph-specific genes in spadefoot toad tadpoles”); now a Ph.D. student at U. of Pennsylvania

Jeff Paull (M.S. 2012; “Competition as a cost of resource specialization”); now an Aquatic Scientist at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Graduate students

William Harcombe (undergraduate honors thesis 1998-2001); now an assistant professor at U. of Minnesota

Matt McGee (undergraduate honors thesis 2004-2007); now a PhD student at

UC Davis

Chris Akcali

(B.S., Hendrix College; “Evolution of precise versus imprecise mimicry”)

David Kikuchi (Ph.D. 2013; “Mechanisms of adaptation in coral snake mimicry”); now a PERT postdoc at U. of Arizona

Nick Levis

(M.S., W. Kentucky U.; “Plasticity first evolution in nature”)

Paul Durst

SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow 2014-2017

Now at Princeton U.

Georgia Titcombe (undergraduate honors thesis  2014; “Flicker-fusion as a defensive strategy in snakes”); now a Ph.D. student at UC-Santa Barbara

Bradley Allf (undergraduate honors thesis; 2015; “Evolution of the rattlesnake rattle”); now an educational events specialist at the NCMNS


Prof. Beren Robinson (sabbatical visitor 2012-2013); professor at U. of Guelph

Lisa Bono

(Ph.D. 2015; co-advised with Christina Burch; “Competition and the evolution of novel resource use in viruses”); now a postdoc at NYU

Sofia de la Serna Buzon

(B.S., UNC; “Behavioral and physiological consequences of resource specialization”

[co-advised with K. Pfennig])

Pat Kelly

(B.A., Cornell College; “Sexual selection and resource competition”)