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 joins 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.

Jennifer Iacono

Jennifer started working in SEPL via Fossil Wednesdays in August 2016. She is working on her MS in Biology with a focus on animal behavior and conservation and is conducting her research at Zoo Atlanta. With a passion for all animals, living and fossilized, she hopes to one day work for a zoo or conservation fund in order to help save endangered species. Jennifer graduated from Clemson University in May 2016 with a BS in Anthropology.

 [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.

Former Lab Technicians

Rukumani Rimal

Ruku Rimal was a lab technician in SEPL from October 2017-August 2018. Ruku developed a GIS library and data management plan for SEPL while working on a project to examine the carrying capacity of gorillas given global change predictions at Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. She completed her MS in Geosciences at Georgia State University and she has a MS from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in Environmental Sciences.

Aaron Woodruff

Aaron Woodruff was a lab technician in SEPL from August 2016-December 2017. He is passionate about megafauna ecology during the Cenozoic and has a blog in which he writes about various animals from this time period. He is also a paleo-artist. In SEPL, he helped identify and catalog microfauna specimens from Natural Trap Cave. Aaron received his M.S. from ETSU.

Undergraduate Researchers


 Riannon Colton

Riannon is a 4th year EAS major who has worked on several projects in SEPL, particularly looking at microvertebrate specimens from Natural Trap Cave. In her spare time, she is a passionate caver and SCUBA diver.

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.

Former undergraduates:

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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