Current members

Dr. Dennis Lavrov, PI

  • I was born in a city and in a country that do not exist anymore (Leningrad, Sovjet Union).
  • I did my undergraduate studies at St. Petersburg State University in the laboratory of Prof. Zavarzin.
  • Jeff Feder (University of Notre Dame) can be blamed for my interest in evolutionary biology.
  • I got my Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan, where I worked in Wesley Brown group on arthropod relationships based on mitochondrial genomic data.
  • I did my postdoctoral work with Franz Lang at the University of Montreal, working on mtDNA of demosponges.
  • My current interests in biology are phylogenetics, mitochondrial biology, and animal evolution
  • In my spare time I practice Taekwondo and Hapkido with the Cyclone Martial Arts club and dance Argentine tango.
Katrina Lutap, graduate student

I am from the Philippines, a country of 7,107 islands. I earned my BS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at University of the Philippines, Diliman. I was a microbiologist at a private corporation for some time until I decided to go back to the academe. While pursuing my masters studies I was involved in a couple of research projects at The Marine Science Institute, investigating marine bacteriophages and their hosts, and marine sponges and their symbionts. I am interested in studying host-symbiont interactions. I love to travel and at the top of my bucket list is to explore all the beaches in the world.
Viraj Muthye, graduate student
I did my Undergrad in Bombay University, India in Biotechnology. After that I came to the US and did my Masters in Biotechnology at Northwestern University, Illinois. 
Evolution has fascinated me since I was a child and does now as well. When I am not trying to debug my code or trying to figure out what my PERL code from a year ago actually does, I write poems and have published a book in India as well. I love working in NGOs and work for an NGO called Sankalp here at Iowa State where help raise funds to improve literacy in India. 


Graduate students

Xiujuan Wang
Ph.D. in Genetics and Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, 2009. Did a postdoc at Cornell university. Currently at Dow Agrosciences.
 Karri Haen
Ph.D. in Genetics, 2010. Currently a lecturer at the Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology. Iowa State University.
 Romulo Segovia
MS. in Genetics, 2010. Currently a Ph.D. student in Genetics at the U. of British Columbia.
 Ehsan Kayal
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2012.  Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History.
Will Pett
Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 2014. Currently a postdoc at the Laboratoire de  Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive in Lyon, France.

Benjamin Sheller 
B.S. in Mathematics with minor in Biology. Currently a graduate student at ISU.