SEPL People

Principal Investigator

 Jenny McGuire

Jenny became an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech in August 2017. She uses both modern and paleontological specimens to identify how populations, species, and communities have responded to past climate change. Her goal is to identify strategies to conserve as much biodiversity as possible given rapidly shifting climates. She received her PhD from the Dept. of Integrative Biology at UC-Berkeley, and did postdoctoral research at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and at the University of Washington.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Yue Wang

Yue joined the lab in September 2017 to work on an NSF funded project that examines the idea of climate resilience on the landscape. Yue has expertise in fossil pollen data and quantitative community analyses. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

Sílvia Pineda-Muñoz

Sílvia joined SEPL in Fall 2018. She will perform community analyses on the fossil specimens from Natural Trap Cave. Prior to being in SEPL, she did a postdoc at the Smithsonian Institute, received her PhD from Macquarie University, and did a Masters degree at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont. In her spare time, Sílvia enjoys rock climbing and exploring the outdoors.

Graduate Students

Ben Shipley

Ben began working in SEPL in Fall 2018. He is interested in spatial ecology and is keen to find an exciting set of questions to address for his PhD. Ben graduated with honors from CU-Boulder in 2018 with a dual major in Geography and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. While there he worked in the McCain Mountain Lab studying the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity.


Daniel Lauer

Daniel joined SEPL officially in Summer 2019. He is interested in the interface between data science/machine learning and ecology, and looks forward to applying these disciplines to his PhD research. Daniel received his B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2017. In his free time, he enjoys singing, playing sports, and SCUBA diving.


Julia Schap

Julia joined SEPL in the fall of 2019. She received her B.S. in Integrative Biology from the University of Florida in 2016 and her M.S. in Geosciences from East Tennessee State University in 2019. She has previously studied small mammal community responses to past climate, as well as their ability to estimate past climatic conditions. She is interested in expanding the understanding of how fossil communities have responded to past climate events to help inform us about future community changes in the face of modern warming.


 [Your name here]

SEPL is looking for excellent PhD students. If you are interested in becoming a part of this growing group, please look through our "Opportunities" page and contact Jenny.

Undergraduate Researchers

Kathryn McCarthy

Kathryn McCarthy is a Dean's Intern in the SEPL lab this year. She is a first year student at Georgia Tech majoring in Biology. She worked as an American Fisheries Society Hutton Scholar at the Missouri River Management Station in Iowa this past summer. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and being outdoors. She hopes to use this experience as a foundation to a career in biology and paleontology.


Jadyn Sethna

Jadyn began in the lab as a 1st year biology major in Fall 2018. She has a passion for conservation biology and is excited to start working on projects in SEPL, specifically in Natural Trap Cave. She loves all animals, but has a special affinity for sea turtles and orangutans. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking and traveling.


Manuel Regalado

Manuel is currently an undergraduate student at GT who wishes to pursue a postgraduate degree in zoology with a concentration in conservation biology. He is excited to work in the different projects that SEPL has to offer (from Quaternary paleontology to spatial ecology of protected areas). His interests are animals (including dinos), bio-inspired design, sustainable development, and material science. Manuel was awarded a Fulbright Summer Institute Fellowship in spring 2018 where he was inspired to partake in outreach by integrating conservation into other disciplines. His life goal is the preservation of biodiversity. In his free time, Manuel likes to travel and experience different cultures and food. His favorite animal is the manatee.

Former SEPL People:


Lab technicians:

Aaron Woodruff (now at Florida Museum of Natural History)

Rukumani (Ruku) Rimal

Undergraduate students:

Riannon Colton (EAS)

Daniel Do & Renee Bach (CoC)

Joe Miles, Amanda Meadows, Molly Guthrie, Victoria Contreras, Morgan Ganues, Tong Yu, Alissa Schlossberg (SoBS)

Matthew Torres & Simone Siriani (Georgia State)

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