Beasley 2016

DeAnna E. Beasley, Assistant Professor

Department of Biology, Geology, Environmental Science

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

I’m interested in how insects are responding to environmental changes associated with human activity, with a focus on climate change and urbanization. Primary research focus in the lab includes understanding changes in insect-fungi associations across urban habitats.

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Rachel Ayers, Undergraduate

Class of 2018

Summary of research:

My research consist of gathering soil samples across Tennessee and in turn isolate and sequence fungi. The end goal is to have an estimate of the fungal diversity of the different soil types across Tennessee.
Future plans:
My future goals consist of getting into occupational therapy school where I can encourage and help others achieve daily functional skills.

Hao Brooks 2017

Hao Brooks, Undergraduate

Class of 2018

Summary of research:

In my research, I will collect and classify ants to measure changes in ant biodiversity across an urban gradient, with a focus on the Chattanooga area.

Future plans:

My future plans include enrolling into medical school and doing more scuba diving.

Itzul Guzman Hernandez

Itzel Guzman Hernandez, Undergraduate 

Honors College Research Fellowship Recipient

Class of 2019

Summary of research:

My research will focus on the ant physiology as it relates to the diet and how it might predict species diversity in an urban environment.

Future plans:

My goal in life is to be able to travel the world and work with animals. After graduation, I plan to enter the JET program which helps teach English in Japan. My dream job would be working as a field researcher or work in a zoo in Australia.

Hannah Hightower 2017

Hannah J. Hightower, Undergraduate

Class of 2018

Summary of research:

I am assisting with Dr. Beasley’s citizen science project, specifically focusing on cicadas. I take various measurements of cicadas collected in and around Chattanooga and examine their biodiversity. After tabulating the data, we will analyze the cicadas for behavioral or physical changes that may be attributed to climate change.

Future goals:

It’s very “Miss America”, but I would love to put an end to world hunger. I am interested in sustainable agriculture, and am attracted to the potential of genetically modified organics as a means to end food insecurity.



Past Lab Members

Natalie Hawkins