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Watts Lab People
Heather E. Watts, PhD, Principal Investigator

Heather is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences. After receiving her BS from Duke University, she completed her PhD at Michigan State University with Kay Holekamp. She was as NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Tom Hahn at the University of California, Davis.

email: heather.watts [at] wsu [dot] edu

Jessica Tir, PhD student

Jessica joined the lab after completing her B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. At Tulane, Jessica participated in research on phylogenetics and vocalization behavior of songbirds in the Derryberry lab. Jessica is particularly interested in behavior and communication.

Adam Becker, PhD student

Adam received his B.A. in Biology from Coe College. He completed an M.S. in Biology at Portland State University with Michael Murphy. His thesis investigated “Survivorship and Breeding Dispersal Patterns of a Migratory, Socially Monogamous Passerine; the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus).” In the Watts Lab his research is focusing on the endocrine regulation of seasonal events, particularly migration.

Jon Aguinaga, MS student

(co-advised with Dick Gomulkiewicz)

Jon joins the Watts and Gomulkiewicz labs having completed his BA in Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz. He is interested in investigating the migratory ecology of songbirds as a means of influencing conservation decisions. He is currently using modeling to better understand migratory decision making.

Current undergraduate students

Jeffrey Rittenhouse

Lab alumni

Ashley Robart, PhD, Postdoctoral scholar (2015-2018)

Ashley received her BA in Biology from Reed College and¬†her PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the lab of Barry Sinervo. Ashley’s research focuses on the factors that influence the investment decisions within and the transitions between life history stages. She has worked with a variety of study systems, including freshwater fish and songbirds. Her research on the Watts lab investigated how facultative migrants time their migrations, examining the use of environmental cues and potential underlying endocrine mechanisms.


Undergraduate students

Hilary Zuniga, Guillermo (Willy) Navarro, Paige Campbell, Ella Cowan de Wolf, Samantha Dohrman, Amy Nigro, Maddie O’Connor, Michelle Laiolo, Melissa Morado, Mali McGuire, John Waggoner, Veronica Pacheco, Daniela Jimenez, Katherine Boyd, Mariele Courtois, Katherine Fu, Jasmine Chopra, Tauras Vilgalys, Carmela Asinas, Okensama (Kensie) La-Anyane, Jordan Rudack, Bruce Edley, Sarah (Nikki) Javier, Heather Garcia, Michael Lenihan, Amanda Wavrin