Searle Lab

Aquatic disease ecology at Purdue University

Welcome to the Searle Lab website!

We are located in the Lilly Hall of Life Sciences room G-366. Phone: 765-494-9016


July 20, 2023

Congratulations to JLo for being selected for the Outstanding Grad TA Honor Roll! 


June 2023

We have three REU students joining us this summer! Ethan Muñiz joins us from the University of Puerto Rico - Humacao, Paula Galindo joins us from the Universidad de los Andes, and Alahana Gonzalez joins us from the University of Puerto Rico - Aguadilla. We also have three of our Purdue students staying for the summer (Emileo, Ethan, and Megan). It's going to be a fun and busy summer!


Top row: Cat, Kurt, JLo, Ben, Alahana, Ethan M

Bottom row Emileo, Ethan G, Paradyse, Paula, Aura, Megan


April 19, 2023

Spring semester is almost done and we managed to get a lab photo with almost everyone! Also, congratulations to graduating senior Maggie!


Top row: JLo, Aura, Kurt, Ben, Paradyse, Cat

Bottom row: Koby, Emileo, Megan, Maggie, Kayla

Missing: Ethan


February 27, 2023

Field season has begun early this year! We found a lot of spring peepers at the Ross Reserve. 

Swabbing-peeper.jpgSwabbing a spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) to test for Bd infection


August 22, 2022

Fall semester has begun and we have several new students joining the lab!

Aura Muñiz Torres is a new Ph.D. student who joins us after recently completing her masters degree at UMass-Boston. 


Kurt Lutz is a new Ph.D. student who joins us after conducting his master's research at the University of San Francisco. 


Maggie Kelly and Megan Lawson join us as new undergraduate students. 


Welcome to the lab everyone! 


July 22, 2022

Summer lab group photo!

Summer-2022-lab-photo2.jpgTop row: JLo, Ben, Cat, Emily, Stephanie
Bottom row: Alana, Amirah, Paradyse, Luke

(Missing: Emileo and Ilinca)

June 13, 2022

We are excited to have Jonathan Lopez ("JLo") join our lab as a Ph.D. student. JLo recently received his undergraduate degree from Sewanee: The University of the South and is supported over the summer by the BRIDGE program. He is interested in the intersection of infectious disease and behavior and will be working on field sampling of amphibians and Bd this summer. Welcome to the lab JLo!


June 6, 2022

Alana Lopez-Cruz has arrived to join the lab as an SROP student this summer. She is currently an undergraduate student at the Univeristy of Puerto Rico - Aguadilla and will be studying population rescue using Daphnia as a model organism. Welcome to the lab Alana!


June 1, 2022

Our new technician, Ben Beggren started today! Ben recently received his undergraduate degree from Austin College and will be working on various projects in the amphibian-Bd system. 


May 31, 2022

Amirah Nieves-Medina has arrived to join the lab as an REU student this summer. She is currently an undergraduate student at the Univeristy of Puerto Rico - Humacao and will be studying host competence in the amphibian-Bd system this summer. Welcome to the lab Amirah!


May 16, 2022

Summer session has begun! Emily and Luke will be continuing their research over the summer and Emileo Peralta, who is a Summer Stays Scholar, started today to help with amphibian field work. Welcome to the lab Emileo!


May 8, 2022

Congratulations to the five lab members who are graduating this fall: undergraduate students Emily Martin, Lulu Davis, Maggie Bui, and Nicole Perry, plus Ph.D. student Spencer Siddons. We will you all the best!



Top: Emily, Lulu, Cat, Spencer

Front: Nicole, Maggie, Luke, Paradyse

April 27, 2022

Spencer successfully defended his Ph.D. today! Congratulations to the newly minted Dr. Siddons!

Spencer-dissertation.jfifApril 12, 2022

Great job to Emily, Lulu, and Nicole, who presented their honors research at Purdue's Undergraduate Research Conference today!


Nicole presenting her poster titled "Investigation of COVID-19 variants in symptomatic and asymptomatic cases" (in collaboration with Giovanna Carpi and Ilinca Ciubotariu).


Lulu presenting her poster titled "Assessing the effects of Bd reservoir species on susceptible frog species within their geographic ranges in Costa Rica."


March 7, 2022

Barsha Bhowal is a first-year PULSe student who will be doing a rotation in our lab for the next 7 weeks. Welcome to the lab, Barsha! 


November 3, 2021

Everyone has been busy in the lab! Some recent photos:





October 2, 2021

We had a great lab trip to the Lafayette zoo today!  



May 20, 2021

Summer has begun and we have one new undergraduate joining the lab, Luke Papai. Luke will be helping with Daphina field sampling and experiments. Welcome to the lab! 



May 16, 2021

It was great to celebrate in person the graduation of Hector Zumbado-Ulate and Meredith Scherer! Congratulations to you both!


Back: Cat, Emily, Spencer

Front: Paradyse, Meredith, Hector 


April 2, 2021

Hector successfully defended his Ph.D. research today! Congratulations to the newly minted Dr. Zumbado-Ulate!

Hector defense flyer

December 14, 2020

Our last lab meeting of the semester was today. Here's our lab photo for 2020!

lab meeting


October 13, 2020

We spent a beautiful day today working hard to remove the in-ground mesocosms from Martell. (supervised by Kira, the dog)



September 17, 2020

Congratulations to Spencer for being awarded the Graduate Teaching Award! Photo = Spencer training lab undergrads in methods of amphibian sampling.

Spencer field


August 24, 2020

Fall semester has begun and we have one new undergraduate joining the lab. Welcome Maggie!


May 25, 2020

We have two new undergraduate students joining us this summer. Lulu Davis is a Purdue student who will be joining us through the Summer Stays program. Fabiola Fontan is a student at the University of Puerto Rico Humacao, who is working remotely and supported through an NSF REU. Welcome to the lab Lulu and Fabiola!


 March 31, 2020

Congratulations to Paradyse on being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Paradyse will be studying the effects of abiotic stressors on disease susceptibility in amphibians.


Februrary 19, 2020

Kacie made the most amazing cookies for lab meeting today!



January 13, 2019

Spring semester has begun and we have one new undergraduate joining the lab. Welcome Allison!



December 13, 2019

Congratulations to our three graduating seniors, Brittany, Kiersten and Marin! Best of luck with everything in your future - we will miss you! 

fall seniors

Left to right: Brittany, Kiersten, Cat, Marin


November 18, 2019

Brittany presented the results of her honors thesis at Purdue's undergraduate research conference today. Her poster was titled "Effects of salinity on invasion in freshwater communities."

Brittany 2019 poster


September 4, 2019

Kacie has been leading efforts to collect Daphnia for our upcoming experiments on evolutionary rescue. There have been some beautiful (and not so beautiful) days! 

Fall sampling
Left: Kacie and Paradyse, Right: Cat and Kacie

August 19, 2019

Fall semester has started and we have several new people. First, Paradyse Blackwood is joining us as a new Ph.D. student. Paradyse received a B.S. from Binghamton University and is interested in studying the interactive effects of abiotic stressors on disease susceptibility in amphibians. Welcome to the lab Paradyse!

Paradyse Blackwood

We also have four (!) new undergraduates joining the lab. Welcome to Emily, Meredith, Diego, and Maddie!


August 16, 2019

Today's the last day of the Ecological Society of America meeting where Cat, Hector, Spencer, Stephanie, Kiersten and Mariah all presented. We had a great time!


Left to right: Spencer, Kiersten, Mariah, Hector, Cat


August 13, 2019

Hector's latest paper was on the cover of Diversity. You can see the image here

June 14, 2019

Today we said goodbye to Isa Adarve who has been an intern in our lab for the last six months. She will be missed!


Left to right: Marin, Isa, Kacie, Stephanie, Spencer, Emily, Mariah


May 6, 2019

Hector presented the results of his most recent paper at the Interdisciplinary Programs reception today. You can find more about his work here.

Hector conference



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