Purdue University

Bernal Lab

People

Dr. Ximena Bernal

Dr. Ximena Bernal

Principal Investigator

Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. University of Texas at Austin. 2007.
M.S. Physiology and Animal Behavior. Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. 2001.
BS. Biology. Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. 1998.

Google Profile


Stephanie Gutierrez

Graduate Student

Stephanie Gutierrez

I graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015 with a bachelors degree in Biology and Science Education. While earning my undergraduate degree I worked as a biology teacher at James Bowie High School and with the volunteer department at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. As a graduate student at Purdue, I am co-advised between Dr. Bernal and Dr. Minchella. I am interested in studying the effects of trypanosomes on the behavior of anurans as well as the population biology, evolution, and genetics of host-parasite interactions.

Email: gutier68@purdue.edu


Brian Leavell

Graduate Student

Brian Leavell

Brian comes from Dr. Jesse Barber's lab at Boise State University where he studied sensory ecology, behavior and evolution within bat-insect interactions. Here, Brian aims to continue along these lines of inquiry while focusing on frog-biting midges. He is particularly interested in understanding the auditory system of the frog-biting midges and the effects this parasitic eavesdropper has on sexual selection in anurans.

Email: bleavell@purdue.edu


Henry Legett

Graduate Student

Henry Legett

I am interested in the role of animal communication networks in the evolution of signaling strategies, and how animal behaviors change in response to anthropogenic pressures. Using field and laboratory experiments in Gamboa, Panama, I am investigating the selective pressures imposed by intended (females) and unintended receivers (eavesdroppers) on the calling strategies of túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) and pug-nosed tree frogs (Smilisca sila).

Email: hlegett@purdue.edu


Sara Zlotnik

Graduate Student

Sara Zlotnik

I completed my bachelors degrees in Molecular Environmental Biology and Psychology at the University of California Berkeley in 2013. Since then, I have worked as a field technician on various research projects involving reptiles, amphibians, and insects. At Purdue, I will be studying cane toad behavior with the aim of gaining insights into their extraordinary invasive success.

Email: szlotnik@purdue.edu


Samuel Freedlund

Undergraduate Student

Samuel C Freedlund

Sophomore, majoring in Biology with minors in political science and law and society. Hometown: Chicago, IL. My current research interests involve examining animal selection of competing stimuli, with experiments currently in progress examining response and selection of competing simultaneous allopatric and sympatric stimuli in the mosquito species U. lowii. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Purdue, I hope to go on to obtain a law degree and be involved with either law or environmental lobbying.

Email: sfreedlu@purdue.edu


Ryan Madden

Undergraduate Student

Ryan Madden

I am in general interested in the cost and benefits affecting anuran communication. I am currently working on a project analyzing the effects of anthropogenic noise on American toads, Anaxyrus americanus. In addition I am workign with graduate student Henry Legett to address questions about female choice and male calling strategies on the frog Buergeria japonica at Iriomote island, Japan.

Former Lab Members

Former Graduate Students (years and degree at Bernal Lab):

  • Lauren Leggett (2014-2015).
  • Dr. Priyanka de Silva (Ph.D., 2009-2014). Lecturer, University of Peradeniya
  • Sarah Candler (M.S., 2012-2014).
  • Lynne Beaty (M.S., 2010-2012). Doctoral student, Oklahoma State University. 
  • Amanda Miller (M.S., 2010-2012). Project Coordinator at 4-H CAPITAL, AmeriCorps.

Former undergraduate students:

  • Phillip Weldy (2015-2016).
  • Grace Higginbottom (2015-2016).
  • Christina Pennington (2015).
  • Alyson Bundy (2014-2015).
  • Tsun Lai Lam (2014-2015). 
  • Kata Rofl (2014).
  • Arnold Shir (2014).
  • Lara Vogel (2014). University of Cologne in Germany
  • Katherine Smith (2012-2014).
  • Bianca Rendon (2012-2014).
  • Katherine Jordan (2011-2012).
  • Meagan Phelps (2011-2012).
  • Kristyn McCoy (2011-2012). Research Technician, Cancer Center at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Benjamin Hawkes (2011-2012).
  • Kwesi Nyarko (2011-2012).
  • Mason Moreland (2010-2013). Biologist/Wetland Scientist at Benchmark Environmental Consultant’s, Lubbock, TX.
  • Erik Galindo (2010-2011). Medical student at Universidad Central del Caribe Medical School, Puerto Rico.
  • Cameron Smith (2010-2011). Patent Agent at Landrum Intellectual Property and Law Clerk at Heard & Smith, LLP
  • Anderson Li (2009). Territory Manager at Medtronic Diabetes.