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.


Corentin Gibert-Bret

Corentin joined the SEPL in December 2022. He is working on the climate fidelity project to decipher the link between the distributions of North American mammals and plants in light of the extreme climatic fluctuation since the last glacial maximum (20 000 years ago). He is interested in how fossil mammalian communities were assembled and how niche and dispersal processes have shaped them over time. Corentin is focusing on using and developing analytical methods compatible with modern ecology and paleontology. He received his PhD from Lyon 1 University, France, in 2017 and conducted postdoctoral research in ecology, archeology, and paleontology labs.


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 warming periods, as well as their ability to estimate paleoclimatic conditions. She is interested in expanding the understanding of how small mammal communities have responded to past aridity events in order to better understand how modern and future communities will respond in the face of increasing aridity.

Katherine Slenker

Katie joined SEPL in the fall of 2022. She received her B.A. in Evolutionary Biology from Case Western Reserve University and her M.S. in Anatomy and Vertebrate Paleontology from Oklahoma State University. She has previously studied the response of large-bodied mammals to environmental drying, specifically looking at pronghorn headgear and the carotid rete. She is interested in the responses of large-mammal communities to increasing aridification under past and modern conditions.

Sydney Marks

Sydney joined SEPL in the fall of 2023 to work on the Stone Mountain camera trap project. She graduated with honors in 2021 from Georgia College & State University, earning her B.S. in Biology, and is currently working on her M.S. in Biology at Georgia Tech. Previously, she conducted research on the aquatic ecology of Lake Sinclair and the Oconee River and tested how environmental conditions affect the number of stomata within fast-growing plants. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, and trying new foods.


 [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

Anna Whitford

Anna began volunteering in with the lab in Fall 2019 at Fossil Fridays and started working in the lab in Fall 2020. She is a 2nd year majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. She is interested in maps, modeling, and species responses to climate change. In her free time, Anna enjoys visiting museums, drawing, and hunting for fossils. She looks forward to doing further research in the lab!

Eli Vazquez

Eli is a second undergraduate student majoring in the biological sciences. They began working in the SEPL lab in spring 2022. They have an interest in Ecology, Herpetology, Astrobiology and is excited to work on future ecology projects within the lab. In their free time, Eli enjoys drawing, running, and robotics.


Sir Linksalot


Link was born in Fall 2017. He enjoys playing soccer with his humans, hosting people parties (where everyone feeds him treats), chasing squirrels, and visiting his grandma and uncle (Barney the dog). He really dislikes it when Jenny is working on her laptop rather than petting him. He also quite dislikes bicycles and especially motorcycles. Link is a good boy (most of the time).


Sashi & Pele

Sashi (left) and Pele (right) are rescue cats from Seattle. Pele was born in 2012, and she gave birth to Sashi about a year later. Pele really enjoys being petted and scratched. She gets jealous if the dog is getting too much attention. She also enjoys playing with toys on occasion and especially sleeping. Sashi likes to hide in closets and sleep. She appreciates being groomed by her mom (that is, Pele... not Jenny), but otherwise would prefer to be left alone. They are good kitties.


Pippa was adopted by Julia in the winter of 2018 in Florida. She enjoys spending the day looking out of windows or sleeping in one of her cat trees. She thinks every hour of the day is feeding time and gets upset when you do not agree. Pippa acts like a dog by constantly following Julia around the apartment and greeting her at the door when she comes home. She loves attention more than anything, especially head and chin scratches as well as belly rubs. However, she is big into stranger danger and will hide when anyone knocks on the door or any new guests come to visit.

Rascal & Thelma

Rascal and Thelma were born in Milledgeville, GA in 2016 and 2017, respectfully. They met at the local county animal shelter and quickly bonded. Luckily, they were fostered by Sydney and her college roommate from 2019 until they were adopted by Sydney in 2021. Before they knew it, they were living in the big city of Atlanta! They love bird watching, mealtime, and chasing each other. Rascal loves to scream at his human, while Thelma loves cuddles.

Former SEPL People:

Graduate Students:

Benjamin Shipley (NSF Postdoc at University of Oxford)

Daniel Lauer (tbd)

Postdoctoral Scholars:

Silvia Pineda Munoz (Grant Writer at Amazon Conservation)

Yue Wang (Associate Professor at Sun Yat-Sen University)

Rachel Short (Assistant Professor at South Dakota State University)

Leila Siciliano-Martina (Assistant Professor at Texas State University)

Lab technicians:

Aaron Woodruff (now at Florida Museum of Natural History)

Rukumani (Ruku) Rimal (GIS Analyst)

Undergraduate students:

Lily Turner, Audrey Dods, Amna Amir, Megan Wright, Jadyn Sethna, Kathryn McCarthy, Joe Miles, Amanda Meadows, Molly Guthrie, Victoria Contreras, Morgan Ganues, Tong Yu, Alissa Schlossberg (SoBS)

Riannon Colton (EAS)

Manu Regalado (CoE)

Daniel Do & Renee Bach (CoC)

Angelica Chukwudebe (Brown U)

Matthew Torres & Simone Siriani (Georgia State)

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