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


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 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.



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 Margaret!


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

May 3, 2019

Congratulations to our two seniors who are graduating this spring, David Prather and Mariah Burgmeier. We wish you the best of luck with everything in your future! 

April 25, 2019

We finally got an updated lab photo!

 lab spring 2019

Back row: Cat, Kacie, Jeannine, David, Kiersten, Spencer
Front row: Marin, Mariah, Hector, Brittany, Isa

April 24, 2019

Hector's latest paper was just published in Ecology and Evolution. He found that Bd infection is common in tropical lowland ecosystems in Costa Rica. Check it out here

April 23, 2019

Gray is apparently the color of the day!


Left to right: Kiersten, Isa, David, Kacie, Spencer


April 9, 2019

We are very proud of the undergraduates in our lab who presented at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference!


Left to right: Brittany, Marin, Isa, Mariah, and David (misssing: Kiersten)


April 4, 2019

Congratulations to Spencer on being awarded the A.A. Lindsey Graduate Fellowship in Ecology. Spencer will be using the funds to support his field sampling at the Ross Reserve this winter.

March 1, 2019

Congratulations to Brittany for being awarded a research grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research! Brittany will be using the funds to study the effects of salinity on species invasions.

January 23, 2019

Isabel Adarve, a visiting student from EAFIT University in Colombia, just arrived and will be working in the lab through June. Isa will be studying the effects of leaf litter on Bd growth. Welcome to the lab Isa!


January 14, 2019

Abbie's first, first-authored paper just came out in Freshwater Biology! She looked at the effects of elevated salinity on host-pathogen interactions in Daphnia. Check it out here.


November 28, 2018

Laura's project investigating the interactive effects of salinity and duckweed on Daphnia is looking good!

Laura duckweed

October 24, 2018

Everyone worked hard to dig the artificial ponds today! We'll be looking at establishment of amphibians and their parasites in these containers through time.

artificial ponds

September 19, 2018

Kacie did a great job setting up the mesocosm experiment at the Ross Reserve today. She is studying the effects of salinity on freshwater communities. 



August 20, 2018

We've had a busy summer! Here are some photos from our summer field sampling and experiments:


August 2, 2018

Mariah did a great job presenting the results of her summer research at the SURF symposium today. Her talk was titled "Effect of salts on the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochhytrium dendrobatidis."


July 23, 2018

Congratulations to Hector on being awarded a Yeunkyung Woo Achieve Excellence Travel Award! Hector will be using the award to travel to the Amphibian Disease annual meeting in Arizona this October. There, he will present the results of his research on disease dynamics of two critically endangered Costa Rican frogs. 

May 14, 2018

Summer has started and we have three new undergraduates joining the lab. Jeannine and Mariah will be studying Bd dynamics in Indiana while Kiersten will be travelling to Costa Rica to study endangered frog populations. Welcome to the lab!


May 9, 2018

We have a new technician joining the lab, Kacie Jonasen, who comes to us from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Welcome to the lab Kacie! 


May 4, 2018

Congratulations to our graduating seniors: Juliana Ilmain, Mackenzie Chapman, and Prasanna Janakiraman! Juliana will begin graduate school at NYU this fall while both Mackenzie and Prasanna will continue their education at Purdue. Best of luck to all of you!

Purdue      NYU

April 10, 2018

Juliana, Mackenzie, and David presented the results from their honors theses at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference.

Ilmain 2018 poster
Juliana presenting her poster titled “The impact of infectious disease on toxic effects in a freshwater zooplankton model”
Chapman 2018 poster
Mackenzie presenting her poster titled “Resource competition and its effects on disease dynamics in freshwater zooplankton”
Prather 2018 poster
David presenting his poster titled “Antibiotic interactions with parasite host dynamics in freshwater ecosystems”


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