Former Students

In 2018, Dr. Derr agreed to participate on the graduate committee of his 100th graduate student. Below are the graduate students to which he was chair or co-chair.


Sam Stroupe – BIMS – Chair
David Forgacs – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair
Caitlin J. Curry – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduating Dec. 2019)
Joseph Modarelli – BIMS (Genetics) – Co-Chair (graduated Dec. 2018)
Lauren Dobson – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated Aug. 2015)
Christopher M. Seabury – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated Dec. 2004)
Natalie D. Halbert – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated Dec. 2003)
Gretchen Zaunbrecher – VAPH (Genetics) – Co-Chair (graduated Dec. 2003)
Scott Dindot – VAPH (Genetics) – Co-Chair (graduated Aug. 2003)
Robert D. Schnabel – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated Aug. 2001)
Todd J. Ward – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated, May 2000)
Alex P. Rooney – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated, Aug. 1998)


Sierra Kay – BIMS – Chair
Ernest Fon – BIOT – Co-Chair (graduated Dec. 2017)
Kristen E. Streeter – BIMS – Co-Chair (graduated Dec. 2016)
Joseph Modarelli – BIMS (Genetics) – Co-Chair (transferred to Ph.D.)
Michelle Luster – BIOT – Chair (graduated Aug. 2016)
Ryan Fountain – COFD – Chair (departed for nursing school)
Jerad Dabney – BIMS – Chair (graduated May 2012)
Nathan Dewsbury – BIOT – Chair (graduated Aug. 2010)
Lacy Caulk – COFD – Chair (graduated Aug. 2006)
Timothy Novak – COFD – Chair (graduated Aug. 2003)
Greg Peters – ANSC (Genetics) – Chair (graduated Aug. 2002)
Jose Miguel Arriaga – VTPB – Chair (graduated May 2002)
Alice E. Keller – VTPB (Genetics) – Chair (graduated May 1996)

Student Workers:

Elise Grimland 2022 – present
Michaela Hummell 2021 – present
Taylor Woodall 2020-2021
April Rosales 2020-2020
Trevor Cook 2019 – 2019
Cole Bernstein 2019 – 2019
Lena Aryari 2015 – 2019
Daniella Julian 2017 – 2018
Kaylee Dixon 2016 – 2017
Micaela Johnson 2015 – 2017
Patrick Loundemilk 2015 – 2016
Kearns, Kristina 2014 – 2015
Connor McCurdy 2014 – 2015
Katherine Mull 2014 – 2015
Danielle Vaden 2014 – 2015
Alex Freeman 2013 – 2014
Colin Braden 2012 – 2014
Mason Bates 2012 – 2014
Jake Simpson 2012 – 2013
Ryan Fountain 2012 – 2013
Floyd Barns 2009 – 2011
Kristen Muller 2009 – 2011
Ashley Marshall 2009 – 2010
Tracey Angadicheril 2009 – 2010
Manju Mohan 2007 – 2009
Kavila Krishnan 2007 – 2009
Mellisa Hain 2009 summer
Laura Cox 2009 summer
Teryin Wixson 2009 summer
Jennifer Churchill 2005 – 2008
Kelly Orr 2007 – 2008
Amanda Gaither 2006 – 2007
Lance Shaffer 2006 – 2007
Kimberly Jeunen 2006 – 2007

Graduate Student Matriculation

Alex P. Rooney graduated with a Ph.D. in Genetics in December 1998. His dissertation title is “Assessment of Recent Bottlenecks: A Case Study of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas Stock of Bowhead Whales”. He completed post-doctoral studies with Dr. Masatoshi Nei, Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics; Pennsylvania State University worked as an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University for two years and now is employed by the USDA National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research in Peoria, IL.

Todd J. Ward began graduate work in September of 1995. His dissertation title is “An Evaluation of the Outcome of Interspecific Hybridization Events Coincident with Dramatic Demographic Decline in North American Bison”. Dr. Ward graduated in May of 2000, and he is employed at the USDA National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research in Peoria, IL.

Robert D. Schnabel joined the laboratory in the fall of 1997 and graduated in August of 2001. His dissertation title is “Developing DNA-Based Technologies in North American Bison: Parentage Testing, Linkage Mapping and QTL Scans”. He worked for 18 months for the USDA in Beltsville, MD as a research scientist and is now a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri.

Jose Miguel Arriaga completed his degree requirements for a Master’s of Science in genetics in August of 2002. His thesis title is “Detection of Rhodococcus equi by Polymerase Chain Reaction Using Species-Specific, Non-Proprietary Primers”. He is currently employed at a biotech company in the Woodlands, TX.

Greg Peters complete his degree requirements for a Master’s of Science in genetics in August of 2002. He completed the MBA program at Texas A&M University in 2003 and owns a private company in Austin, Texas that provides genetic testing services for livestock. He currently is employed at National Beef in Kansas City, Missouri.

Scott Dindot graduated in August of 2003 and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University.

Natalie D. Halbert joined the laboratory in September 1999 as a Ph.D. student in Genetics. Her dissertation title was “The Utilization of Genetic Markers to Resolve Modern Management Issues in Historic Bison Populations: Implications for Species Conservation”. She graduated in December of 2003. She was employed as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, TAMU until June 2010.

Timothy Novak graduated in August of 2003 with a Masters in Biotechnology. He was employed with Sigma-Genosys in Denver, Colorado until he was promoted and transferred to Houston, Texas in 2005.

Chris M. Seabury joined the laboratory in the fall of 2001 and graduated in December of 2004 with a Ph.D. in Genetics. His dissertation title was “Genetic Evaluation of The Ovine and Bovine Prion Protein Genes (PRNP)”. Chris is currently employed as an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology TAMU.

Lauren Dobson graduated in May of 2015. Her dissertation was entitled: “Sequencing the Genome of American Bison”. She is employed in the Department of Small Animal at Texas A&M University as a Post-Doctoral Researcher working with Dr. Brian Saunders.

Caitlin Curry joined the lab in 2013 to do research on lions. She defended her dissertation “A Century of Conservation Genetics of the Lion (Panthera leo)” in June 2019. She is currently a Post Doctoral Scientist of Conservation Genetics at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.