Principal Investigator

Amber M. Rice, Ph.D. Amber attained a BA in Biology from the College of Wooster and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She completed her graduate research with David Pfennig, and investigated ecological character displacement and its consequences for population divergence and speciation. She then completed a postdoc on the genetics of speciation with Anna Qvarnström at Uppsala University in Sweden. Amber returned to UNC and completed a postdoc with Karin Pfennig on reproductive character displacement’s ability to initiate speciation. In 2011, she started her lab at Lehigh University. For information on the Rice Lab’s projects, please visit our Research and Publications pages. Contact Amber at: amr511 [at] lehigh [dot] edu

Graduate Students

Michael A. McQuillan, Ph.D. candidate. Mike joined the lab in 2012. Before coming to Lehigh, he attained his BS in Biology at Temple University. While there, he did research in a marine ecology lab, where he examined the effects of predation pressure on invasive species success. Mike is primarily interested in the causes and consequences of interspecific hybridization. Specifically, what intrinsic and extrinsic selection pressures do natural hybrids face, and what can this tell us about the integrity and stability of a species? Mike combines field and behavioral studies with genetic analyses and ecological niche modeling to address this question in hybridizing chickadees. In his free time, he likes hiking, barbecuing, and playing the saxophone. Contact Mike at: mam612 [at] lehigh [dot] edu

Alex V. Huynh, Ph.D. student. Alex joined the lab in 2015. Before coming to Lehigh, he attained his BS in Biology at Moravian College. Alex’s past research includes the chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions, plant polyphenolic chemistry, plant-pollinator ecology, and the ecology of invasive species. He is currently interested in chemical signaling, and the role that it may play in prezygotic isolation between hybridizing chickadee species. Alex combines field and behavioral studies with genetic and chemical analyses. Contact Alex at: avh210 [at] lehigh [dot] edu

Undergraduate Students

Jessie Brill


The 2016-2017 Rice Lab: L to R, Amber Rice, Olivia Mobarakai, Ryan Herbert, Jessie Brill, Joseph Skibbens, Alex Huynh, Mike McQuillan

Lab Alumni

Brenda Bukowiecki ’15 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2015, now in medical school

Sophia Dent ’13 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2012-2013, now in graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Thomas Fox ’14 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2013-2014, now at Tulane University School of Medicine

Ryan Herbert ’16 (BS-Earth and Environmental Sciences), undergraduate researcher and Presidential Scholar 2016-2017, now in graduate school at Princeton University

Ian Kelleher ’15 (BS-IDEAS), undergraduate researcher 2013-2015, earned master’s in biomedical sciences from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017, and now employed as a biodefense analyst

Elena Martin ’16 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2015-2016

Olivia Mobarakai ’17 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2016-2017

Chandler Navara ’13 (BS-Earth and Environmental Sciences) ’15 (MS-Earth and Environmental Sciences), Master’s student 2013-2015, now in veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania

Sean Nelson ’16 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2014-2016, now in graduate school at the University of Rochester

Jade Radigan ’16 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2016

Dr. Heidi Seears, postdoc 2013-2015, now a postdoc at the University of Virginia

Rebecca Silverman ’14 (BS-Biology), undergraduate researcher 2012-2014, now at Tufts University Medical School

Joseph Skibbens ’17 (BA-Biology and International Relations), undergraduate researcher 2015-2017, now employed at Lancaster Labs

Joanna Warren ’15 (BA-Biology and International Relations), undergraduate researcher 2012-2015, now in graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Rice Lab, 2014-2015: From left, Ian Kelleher, Sean Nelson, Heidi Seears, Amber Rice, Joanna Warren, Mike McQuillan. Not pictured: Chandler Navara

The Rice Lab, 2012-2013: From top left, Rebecca Silverman, Amber Rice, Joanna Warren. From bottom left, Mike McQuillan, Sophia Dent