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Hope Lab

Hope Lab

Mailing Address
Kansas State University
Division of Biology
116 Ackert Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506

office 785-532-0155
lab 785-532-0157





Consider joining us in the Division of Biology! Check for available Open Positions, and feel free to contact me.

Principal Investigator

andrew_trapping_KansasAndrew G. Hope
Read about my current research projects and collaborations. Also follow links to my K-State Division of Biology webpage, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate pages.






Graduate Students


Basant Sharma (Ph.D. program)
Basant joined the lab in Fall 2022 and is a bat enthusiast! He traveled to Kansas from Nepal and is interested in exploring the diversity, biogeography and systematics of Nepalese bats distributed across a country with extreme gradients in elevation, associated climate and environmental heterogeneity.






Brandon Bernhardt (M.S. program)
Brandon arrived in summer 2023 to begin field data collection for his MS thesis focused on the ecology of southern flying squirrels. This is a four year project funded by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to assess both ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a species of greatest conservation needs in the state. Brandon is co-advised by Dr. Adam Ahlers, Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprises Management program, who is also the project co-PI. 




Research Technicians


Morgan Skinner (B.S.)
Morgan joned the lab early in 2022 as an undergraduate student and hails from eastern Kansas. Morgans primary interest is with large mammals, particularly marine mammals. Following her graduation in May 2023, Morgan was hired as the official Collections Manager for the Kansas State Biorepository for mammals and parasites.



Lydia Robbins (B.S.) and Amanda Bishop (B.S.) are newly hired technicians working on the southern flying squirrel project with Brandon Bernhardt. Both are stationed in Pittsburg, KS, and will be performing camera trap and live-trapping surveys for flying squirrels through the end of 2023.


Undergraduate Students



TJ Hafliger
TJ is Kansas born and bred from the vicinity of Trego, KS. He joined the lab in 2021 and is interested in working with wildlife disease. He is currently becoming an expert preparator of small mammal museum specimens in addition to helping with our ongoing genetic analyses of Kansas deer for chronic wasting disease susceptibility.










Kaitlyn Headlee
Kaitlyn joined our lab in Fall 2021 as part of the Developing Scholars Program. She is working on a study of the rangewide phylogeographic history of northern bog-lemmings associated with a conservation genetics initiative for Synaptomys borealis sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildilfe Service, Alaska region.

Ryan Grutsch
Ryan joined the lab following her mammalogy class experiences in early 2023 and is an active member of the student curatorial team working on archiving mammal and parasite specimens in the Kansas State Biorepository. Ryan is aiming to graduate in May 2025.

Nathan Meyer
Nathan comes from eastern Kansas and joined the lab in early 2023. Graduation is in sight at the end of Fall 2023 semester, but in the meantime, he is a member of the student curatorial team and like Ryan has gained extensive experiences in both the prep lab and through fieldwork.

Kenzie Davis
Kenzie started working with mammals in summer 2023 and is learning specimen processing skills up to the highest standards as one of the student curatorial team associated with KSB. Kenzie is also currently taking mammalogy to hone knoelwdge of the Kansas mammal fauna.

Luke Carney
Although Luke works most of his hours in the Entomology Department, he continues to contribute his mammal skillset when there is time to spare and have been an integral part of Konza small mammal field crews as well as participating in specimen preparation. Luke was the recipient of Division of Biology Most Promising Student award for 2023.

Brianna Nece
Bri N. came to the Hope Lab in Spring 2023 to gain experiences in biodiversity sciences and has gained skills associated with mammal specimen processing and data management. Bri also works in Geology to broaden her experiences. 

Brianna Fields
Bri F. also joined the Hope Lab in Spring 2023 and is ramping up her research experiences with a strong interest in mammals. Bri was also recently accepted into the K-State Developing Scholars Program and we are in the process of developing a dedicated research project

Abbreviated list of Current Collaborators

Joseph A. Cook - Professor and Curator of Mammals at the University of New Mexico and Museum of Southwestern Biology - Home Page
Molecular ecology of small mammals, diversification of South American small mammals, North Pacific Coast endemism, and host parasite co-evolution across the Holarctic.

Vasyl V. Tkach - Professor of Parasitology at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks - Home Page
Biodiversity, evolutionary history, and natural history of helminth parasites.

Kayce C. Bell - Curator of Mammals at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County - Home Page
Host-parasite co-evolution, chipmunks, all things mammal.

John R. Demboski - Department Chair and Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science - Home Page
Evoultionary ecology of western North American mammals.

Sandra L. Talbot - Research Wildlife Geneticist at the U.S.G.S. Alaska Science Center - Home Page
Molecular ecology and conservation of Arctic flora and fauna.

Stephen E. Greiman - Assistant Professor of Parasitology at Georgia Southern University - Home Page
Parasitic flatworm diversity, evolution, and distribution; metagenomics of helminths and their symbiotic bacteria.

F. Agustin Jimenez - Associate Professor of Parasitology at Southern Illinois University - Home Page
Historical biogeography and co-evolution of mammalian parasitic nematodes.

Chris Conroy - Staff Curator of Mammals, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC, Berkeley.
Phylogeography of Sorex trowbridgii and phylogenomics of Sorex.

Adam Ahlers - Associate Professor in the Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprises Management program, Kansas State University - Home Page
Wildlife ecology and management with a focus on fur-bearer mammals.

Past Lab Members

Sarah D. Mueller (Undergraduate - K-State Research Experience for Undergraduates Program - 2016)
Project - Sorex hoyi phylogeography: "Are there three species of pygmy shrews?" Resulting Publication.

Sabrina (Bia) F. Gragg (Undergraduate - B.Sc. 2018)
Project - Small mammal stable isotope analysis: "Isotopic trophic niche dynamics of small mammal communities reveal spatiotemporal complexity across an experimental prairie woodland mosaic." Resulting Publication.

Kailey R. Meacham (Undergraduate - B.Sc. 2021)
Project - Great Plains mammalian phylogeography, emphasis on ecto-parasites

Mary E. Schmidt (Undergraduate - B.Sc. 2021)
Project - Great Plains mammalian phylogeography, broad emphasis

Litsa T.P. Wooten (Undergraduate - B.Sc. 2021)Litsa
Project - Great Plains mammalian phylogeography, emphasis on Manitoba and Kansas small mammal sequencing. Photo: Litsa braving the mosquitos to pick wild blueberries in Manitoba in 2019.








Ben J. Wiens
(Masters - M.S. 2021) - Now in a doctoral program at KU in the Colella Lab
Thesis - "A multi-locus perspecitve reveals connections between island biogeography and evolutionary history of an endangered shrew (Sorex pribilofensis)." Website. Thesis. Photo: Ben and kangaroo rat at Cimarron National Grassland, Summer 2020.



Tommy M. Galfano
(Masters - M.S. 2021) - Now in a doctoral program at Western Ontario in the Coltman Lab
Thesis - "A conservation and taxonomic assessment of the least shrew (Cryptotis parvus) complex through rangewide phylogeographic analysis and population genomics." Thesis. Photo: Tommy certifies our campsite at Rio Grande-Bentsen State Park in southern Texas in March 2020.



Jacob Grimes (Undergraduate - B.Sc. 2026)
Jacob joined our lab in Fall 2021 as a freshman associated with the "Exploring Scientific Research" CATS program. He was working on a study of the rangewide phylogeographic history of northern bog-lemmings associated with a conservation genetics initiative for Synaptomys borealis sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildilfe Service, Alaska region. He's taking a break from research to settle into his degree and explore options, but he may be back! To be continued....



Tommy M. Herrera (Masters - M.S. 2022) - Now in a doctoral program at U.C. Berkeley and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in the Nachman Lab
Thesis - "Comparative phylogeography of small mammals across the Great Plains Suture Zone highlights repeated processes of speciation and community assembly coincident with the 100th meridian." Thesis.




Fraser Combe (Post-doctoral associate) - Now a bioinformatician for biomedical sciences in Kansas City.