Current members

Kevin Keegan

Kevin Keegan is a graduate student beginning his Ph.D. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. He has spent time in New England, Nevada, and Costa Rica studying Lepidoptera and their hostplants, all the while fostering a deep love for both. Kevin is profoundly concerned with the effects of climate change on biological communities, and is interested in the basic scientific research yet to be done with the myriad organisms, known and unknown, on extinction's precipice. When he is not lying awake at night fretting our current mass extinction, Kevin enjoys pretending to be a farmer, a city slicker, and guitar player.

Tanner Matson

Tanner Matson is the Wagner Lab's newest graduate student. He is interested in the life history and biosystematics of Nearctic Zygaenoid moths--primarily, the families Lacturidae and Magalopygidae. When not in the lab, Tanner enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing basketball.

Stan Malcolm

A 1981 UConn Ph.D. in evolutionary biology studying Hydrophilidae, Stan Malcolm retired from a career as a learning technologist and is re-immersing himself in entomology. Stan is studying "collaborative stridulation" and mating behavior in the Forked Fungus Beetle (Bolitotherus cornutus), and partnering with lab colleagues (Purbita Saha and Ben Olsen) to investigate mortality in late instar cercopia and overwintering Saturniid cocoons. Since 2001 he has developed "Along the Air Line..." , a photo diary of nature along the Air Line rail trail in eastern Connecticut.

Past members

Brigette Zacharczenko

Brigette Zacharczenko is a graduate student working toward her Ph.D. in entomology and evolutionary biology. She is studying the moth subfamily Acronictinae, which is known for having flamboyant caterpillars yet drab adults. She hopes to elucidate their phylogeny, document differing rates of phenotypic evolution between larvae and adults, explore evidence of larval mimicry within the genus Acronicta, and conduct field trials of the palatability of acronictines to birds. Brigette also enjoys making plush toys of her favorite creatures, keeps a blog Sabout her research, can clean and jerk her own body weight.

Marilyn Gould

Marilyn Gould is a graduate of the joint B.S./M.S. program in Biodiversity & Conservation Biology. In addition to conservation, Marilyn is extremely interested in topics of human-environment interactions, including ecosystem services and global climate change. This summer, Marilyn expanded on a previous project examining differences in abundance and diversity of bees under power-line right of ways relative to the bee fauna present in adjacent woodlands.

Ben Gagliardi

Ben Gagliardi is a M.S. student in ecology and evolutionary biology. In previous years with the lab, he worked on an invertebrate survey of the proposed route 11 extension in New London county and monitoring emergences in the lab's insectary. After an eye-opening trip to SE Arizona, Ben has developed an interest in moths of the family Zygaenidae: their life histories, systematics, larval stinging capability, and their involvement in some of North America's largest and most taxonomically varied mimicry complexes. When not in the lab, Ben plays traditional Irish music on concertina throughout the state.

Honey Suddapalli

Honey Suddapalli is a UConn graduate and a long-time member of the Wagner lab. She helped UConn become a considerable contributor to the multi-institutional bee database, while managing the rearing facilities in the lab. She also worked in the biological collections and with many other professors during her time as an undergraduate. Honey is an expert at making genitalia jokes and sleazy comments. It is highly possible that she was a queen bee in a former life.

Purbita Saha

Purbita Saha recently graduated from UConn with an ecology and a journalism degree. She works on an multi-institutional bee databasing project and sampled wild pollinators at a nearby preserve last field season. Purbita is interested in bird predation on lepidopteran larvae and cocoons, and where their interactions are relevant to conservation matters. She also wants to freelance as an environmental reporter on the side.

Kyle Macsuga

Kyle Macsuga has been working in the Wagner Lab since Fall 2010, where his main duties include curating Ecuadorian dragonflies and damselflies for an electronic field guide project and databasing specimen data from bees in institutional collections from the Northeast. His EEB-related interests include entomology, herpetology, invertebrate zoology, and ornithology. Outside of the lab, Kyle is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys fishing, hiking, swimming, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing.

Daniel Bruzzese

Daniel Bruzzese graduated from Hamilton College. He has collected insects for as long as he could remember and has recently become interested in larger ecological questions, genetics, and macro photography. One summer he worked on the Route 11 Extension project and a powerline plant survey for Northeast Utilities. In his free time Dan enjoys hiking and training for marathons.

Aine O'Sullivan

Aine O'Sullivan is a UConn graduate who majored in ecology and evolutionary biology. She participated in a wild pollinator survey at a nearby preserve as well as in an NSF-funded bee databasing project for a season. Aine, a long-time beekeeper, is interested in social insects, their behavioral ecology, and their parasites.

Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Franklin and Marshall College in 2011 where he worked as a lab technician in a limnology lab. He was a M.S. student in David Wagner's lab, where he studied the drivers of lepidopteran declines. He is also interested in using geographic information systems to study spatial and community ecology. In his spare time, Ben enjoys camping and home brewing.

Ben North

Ben North is a recent UConn graduate with a genuine interest for invertebrate conservation as well as biodiversity conservation. He began working on the multi-institutional bee databasing project last year, but then diverted his attention to an independent study in the biological research collections. Ben accompanied Dr. Wagner to a research station in Arizona where he learned a tremendous amount about field techniques, and assisted in collecting two species of microlepidopterans that are new to science.