Mission statement

In the Integrative Ecology Lab at the UT-Chattanooga, we investigate how organisms respond to human-driven environmental change and apply ecological principles to understand implications for human health. We use insects as our model species to explore developmental responses and microbial interactions in a rapidly changing environment.

Diversity statement

I believe that ecology, and science more broadly, can only be a vehicle for change, creativity and innovation when it reflects the diversity of the society it serves. To that end, my lab welcomes students, teachers and visiting scholars regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age or disability status.

What’s new?

August 2019

Excited to share the new logo for the Integrative Ecology lab at UT-Chattanooga! I’m particularly proud because it was designed by a senior graphic design student in the UTC’s Art Department. Now that the lab is getting involved in more community outreach, it’ll be nice to have a logo that represents what we do!


July 2019

The local news station interviewed me about the impacts of warming conditions on insects and spiders! Check out the video below:

June 2019

Our paper on bee wing morphology in urban habitats is now available! We explored whether bees were adapting how they fly in urban environments. Click here to learn more about the study!

April 2019

Congratulations to Itzel Guzman-Hernandez for successfully defending her honors thesis on oil dietary preference urban ants. Itzel will be spending the upcoming summer on a REU fellowship!

The Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science department was voted best department in the College of Arts and Sciences at UTC. I truly enjoy working with such kind and hardworking colleagues! Our department newsletter is now available. Check out the latest here on faculty and student achievements!

August 2018

The Integrative Ecology Lab participated in a symposium presented by the Black Ecologists section at the Ecological Society of America conference in New Orleans. It was a wonderful experience that serves as a reminder that representation matters. #blackecologists #blackecologistsmatter #ESA2018

June 2018

Urban buzz on SciStarter

We teamed up with SciStarter to launch a new citizen science initiative to explore the antimicrobial defenses in cicadas! Watch the video here to learn how you can participate!

May 2018

It was a busy and productive year for the Integrative Ecology lab group! Hao Brooks successfully defended his honors thesis, “Changes in ant biodiversity across an urban gradient.” Hannah Hightower won second place in the Research Dialogues undergraduate lightning talk competition. Click here to see her presentation! Itzel Hernandez-Guzman presented her ant diet research and will continue her work in the lab as an honors thesis. Congratulations to all students!!

Integrative ecology 2018

April 2018 

The Ant Ecology group presented their research along with art students at the Apothecary to an amazing turnout of university and community members. To read more about the interdisciplinary experience, click here for the article!

Ant ecology class

March 2018

Excited to announce an opening for a Master’s student in the Beasley Lab starting Fall 2018! If you’re interested in ants and fungi (or maybe just curious), please apply!

February 2018

Our paper “Urbanization disrupts latitude-size rule in 17-year cicadas” is now available online and open access! Click here to check it out!

Fig1M. septendecim

January – May 2018

Ant Ecology

I’m teaching an undergraduate, research-based course called Ant Ecology for the spring 2018 semester. Students will develop independent research featuring various aspects of ant ecology. This course is part of an exciting collaboration with Astri Snodgrass from the Art department. Science and art students will learn the importance of intentional observation in developing their research. Follow us on Twitter or Instagram to see how we’re doing!

Course is supported by a High-Impact Practices Development Grant from the UTC Walker Center for Teaching and Learning.

July 2017

Invisible pathogens

I took part in a fun radio story with the National Science Foundation called the Rules of Life where I discuss my research with ants and fungi. Click here to hear the story!

May 2017

Brood VI periodical cicadas are currently emerging across the Carolinas and parts of Georgia. The Beasley Lab is working with citizen scientists to collect as many individuals as possible to understand how environmental changes are impacting cicada population health. Click here to learn more about how you can participate in the Urban Buzz citizen science project!

April 2017

The Beasley Lab was featured in an interview with WUTC. Click here to hear what we have to say about undergraduate mentoring and ant research at UTC!