Welcome to the Hope Laboratory at K-State!
We are an interdisciplinary lab group focused on understanding the evolutionary and ecological responses of biodiversity to environmental change. We incorporate theory and practice from the diverse fields of climate change, comparative phylogeography, conservation genomics, dynamics of hybridization, emerging infectious disease, host-parasite coevolution, natural history of mammals and their parasites, phylogenetic systematics, and speciation.
Our research has global scope, although there is a strong emphasis on northern hemisphere small mammal and parasite assemblages, conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and the dynamics surrounding ecotones between major biomes such as the boreal forest-tundra suture zone at northern high-latitudes and the Great Plains-eastern forest suture that bisects North America from west to east.
The techniques we use include molecular methods (Sanger sequencing and genomic sequencing of DNA), morphometrics, stable isotope evaluation of diet, and modeling of potential environmental niche through time. Our research relies heavily on specimen archives held in natural history museum research collections. Through extensive and ongoing field sampling efforts we strive to practice ethical holistic collection of all associated specimen parts to maximize future research potential for the broader scientific community, for informing wildlife managers, and for both public and academic education.
Please contact us with any questions.
We are an equal opportunity lab and actively strive towards anti-racism and dismantling all forms of discrimination against marginalized people. We also acknowledge that the lands on which Kansas State University thrives, as well as the land on which we conduct our research, are the home of First Nations peoples, here in Kansas and across North America.
Photos: Image 1: The Hope Lab at Lake Scott, KS sampling small mammals in the summer of 2020; Image 2: A high density site in coastal scrub of southernmost Texas, vicinity of Brownsville, in spring 2020 (2 days before pandemic declaration); Image 3: Hope Lab members preparing mammal study skins at Lovewell Reservoir, KS, in summer of 2020; Image 4: Loading field gear at Lake Clark, KS, summer 2021; Image 5: Mammalogy class on Konza Praire 2022; Image 6: Preparing possum specimens, Fall 2022; Image 7: Prep tent processing Marais des Cygnes, Spring 2023; TJ Hafliger, Andrew, Tommy Herrera, Litsa Wooten and Ben Wiens at White Sands National Monument on route to Tuscon mammal meetings, Summer 2022.