The Schlenke Lab
University of Arizona

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University of Arizona
Department of Entomology
Marley Building
1145 E 4th Street
Tucson, AZ 85721

Office and Lab #s

Office room:    641D
Office phone:  520.621.7167
Lab room:       620
Lab phone:     520.621.3777




Todd Schlenke, PI
Todd received his B.S. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and his
Ph.D. in Zoology from UT Austin. He was an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral
fellow at Cornell University, an assistant professor at Emory University,
and a visiting associate professor at Reed College. He is now an associate
professor in the Entomology Department at the University of Arizona. The
Schlenke lab studies the evolutionary genetics of host-parasite interactions
using Drosophila as a model host.

Sergio Castrezana, lab manager
Sergio received his B.S. in Biochemistry with an emphasis on Marine
Biology and his Master's in Coastal Ecology from the Technological Institute
of Monterrey in Mexico. He got his PhD in EEB working with Teri Markow at
the University of Arizona and did a postdoc with Patricia Gowaty at UC San
Diego. He managed the Drosophila Species Stock Center and is interested
in sexual selection.

Shaun Davis, postdoc
Shaun received his B.A. in Biology from Lake Forest College and his Ph.D.
in Molecular and Human Genetics working with Herman Dierick from Baylor
College of Medicine. He is
interested in the genetic and neurobiological
mechanisms in Drosophila that mediate different behavioral responses
during exposure to parasitic wasps.

Meagan Ash, graduate student
Meagan received their B.A. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at the New
College of Florida. They worked as a research technician in Sara Burke's lab
at the University of Florida studying rat neurobiology. As a graduate student,
Meagan is interested in the role that the nervous system plays in regulating
fly immunity.   

Emily Burke, graduate student
Emily recieved her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University
of Arizona. She worked in Betsy Arnold’s lab investigating the effects of
wildfire on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi in pine trees in Arizona’s Sky
Islands. As a graduate student, she is interested in studying Drosophila  
immunogenetics and mechanisms underlying adaptive immunity.   

Madeline Hawley, undergraduate
Madeline is majoring in Environmental and Water Resource Economics with
a minor in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is interested in the sensory
biology of parasitoid wasp ovipositors and how wasps make decisions about
which hosts to infect.

Kayla Reddy, undergraduate
Kayla is majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is interested in how
fly hosts use fruit fermentation toxins like acetic acid as protection from

Adam Houston, undergraduate
Adam is majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Biomedical Sciences and
minoring in Chemistry and Psychology. He is interested in parasite
virulence gene evolution.


Lab Alumni

  • Earl Middlebrook
    Postdoc in the lab from 2018-2020. Moved to a new postdoc at the Los Alamos National Lab in Los Alamos, NM  
  • Alexandra Kruger
    Visiting grad student in the lab from 2019-2020. Became an associate scientist at the insect pheromone company
    Provivi in Bahia, Brazil. 
  • Jiale (Gillian) Wang
    Visiting grad student in the lab from 2018-2020. Became a researcher at Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Science
    in China.  
  • Kevin Ferro
    Postdoc in the lab from 2017-2019. Became an associate scientist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in
    Kansas City, KS.
  • Michael Martin
    Postdoc in the lab from 2014-2017. Became a lecturer in Biology at Emory University's Oxford College.
  • Kayla Hardwick
    Postdoc in the lab from 2015-2017. Became a bioinformaticist at Phylos Bioscience in Portland, OR.
  • Shelly Skolfield
    BS student in the lab and lab manager from 2013-2015. Became the Science Outreach Coordinator at Reed College.
  • Morgan Mouchka
    Postdoc in the lab from 2014-2016. Became an IRACDA postdoc in Justin Meyer's lab at UC San Diego.
  • Zachary Lynch
    Graduate student in the lab from 2012-2013. Moved to the De Roode and Morran labs after the Schlenke lab left Emory.
  • Nathan Mortimer
    Postdoc in the lab from 2009-2013. Became a professor in the School of Life Sciences at University of Warwick, then
    moved to the School of Biological Sciences at Illinois State.
  • Susanna Brantley
    BS/MS student in the lab from 2011-2013. Became a PhD student in genetics at Stanford University.
  • Erin Keebaugh
    Graduate student in the lab from 2008-2013. Became a postdoc in Andrew Neish's lab at Emory University and then in
    Bill Ja's lab at Scripps Florida.
  • Kate Hutchence
    Postdoc in the lab from 2011-2013. Moved to a new position at the Wales Cancer Trials Unit at Cardiff University.
  • Balint Kacsoh
    BS/MS student in the lab from 2009-2013. Became a PhD student in molecular and cellular biology at Dartmouth University.
  • Lindsey Fallis
    Postdoc in the lab from 2012-2013. Moved to a new postdoc at the USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in
    Manhattan, KS.
  • Lita Bozler
    Master's student in the lab from 2010-2012. Became a PhD student in molecular and cellular biology at Dartmouth University.
  • Neil Milan
    Graduate student in the lab from 2007-2012. Became a staff scientist in the Army.

Joining the lab

Potential postdocs are encouraged to contact Todd. We are often looking for new postdocs, preferentially with experience
in insect evolutionary ecology, molecular/cellular genetics, neurobiology, and/or bioinformatics. Interested applicants should
be ready to apply for their own funding, for example from the NIH or NSF.

Graduate students
Todd is affiliated with the EIS, EEB, Genetics, Neuroscience, and MCB graduate programs. Interested students should
contact Todd to talk about research ideas and which program best fits their interests.

Undergraduate students
There are frequently positions available for undergraduate students to conduct research in the Schlenke lab. Potential 
undergraduate researchers should email Todd a description of their science background and interests and should be able
to contribute at least ten hours a week to the lab.

Our lab environment
We are in the Entomology Department at the University of Arizona. Our lab interacts with multiple other labs inside and
outside the department, including the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Neuroscience
departments. We also take advantage of UA's abundant core facilities, such as the sequencing, proteomics, bioinformatics,
and microscopy cores. It's a great place to do science, and it's also a great place to live: UA is located in Tucson, AZ
(population 530,000) in the Sonoran Desert, and is surrounded by the "sky island" mountain ranges. The summer
monsoons and snowpack runoff from the mountains support a diverse fauna and flora, and there are hiking trails