Current Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

Will Whitham
Will Whitham
Postdoctoral Fellow

wwhitham@tamu.edu   ResearchGate   Google Scholar  

Will is currently investigating the evolution of coloration in primates. His research examines whether the coloration of primate eyes influences gaze perception. He received his B.S. from the University of Alabama and his Ph.D. from Georgia State University in the Department of Psychology.


PhD Students

Melanie Florkowski
Melanie Florkowski
PhD Student

mflorkow@tamu.edu   Website   ResearchGate  

Melanie is interested in the influence of microbiomes on avian behavior. Her research examines whether the microbiome influences aggression, mating, cognition, and exploratory behavior in birds. She received her B.S. from the University of Michigan in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.


Master’s Students

Brandy Potter
Brandy Potter
Masters Student

katypotter12@tamu.edu  

Brandy is currently interested in the effects of artificial light at night on sexual selection. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston in the Department of Biology.


Monica Dooley
Monica Dooley
Masters Student

monica-dooley@tamu.edu   LinkedIn  

Monica is currently interested in primate coloration. She earned her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.


Kalina Eskew
Kalina Eskew
Masters Student

kalinaeskew@tamu.edu   LinkedIn  

Kalina is currently interested in the effects of perception of visual signals on sexual selection. They earned their undergraduate degree from Coe College in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Science.


Alumni Lab Members


Master’s Students

Alexis Earl
Alexis Earl
Masters Student

ade2102@columbia.edu   ResearchGate   Google Scholar  

Alexis completed her master’s degree in 2019 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in the Yorzinski Lab. She examined the relationship between female ornamentation and dominance status in a lekking species. After completing her master’s degree, she became a PhD student at Columbia University in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology.


Undergraduate Students

Samantha Argubright
Samantha Argubright
Undergraduate Student

samanthaargubright@gmail.com   LinkedIn  

Samantha completed her undergraduate degree in 2020 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined the blinking behavior of great-tailed grackles when they were exposed to windy conditions.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L. & Argubright, S. 2019. Wind increases blinking behavior in great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7: 330. PDF


Rebecca Cavalier
Rebecca Cavalier
Undergraduate Student

rebeccacavalier96@gmail.com   ResearchGate  

Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in 2018 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined the blinking behavior of great-tailed grackles when they are under threat. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became a M.S. student at Texas State University in the Department of Biology.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Walker, M.K., & Cavalier, R. 2021. A songbird strategically modifies its blinking behavior when viewing human faces. Animal Cognition. PDF


Kailey Chema
Kailey Chema
Undergraduate Student

kailey.chema@gmail.com  

Kailey completed her undergraduate degree in 2016 through the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University. She examined the effect of light pollution at night on problem-solving in peafowl. After completing her undergraduate degree, she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently working as an associate veterinarian in general practice.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Ordonez, K., & Chema, K. 2017. Does artificial light pollution impair problem-solving success in peafowl? Ethology: 1-7. PDF


Jeanee Coy
Jeanee Coy
Undergraduate Student

Jeanne completed her undergraduate degree in 2015 through the Department of Animal Science at Purdue University. She examined the influence of artificial light at night on vigilance behavior in peafowl. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became a zookeeper and went on to work as a research technician at Charles River Labs.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Chisholm, S., Byerley, S., Coy, J.R., Aziz, A.B., Wolf, J.A., Gnerlich, A. 2015. Artificial light pollution increases nocturnal vigilance in peahens. PeerJ 3: e1174. PDF


Amanda Gnerlich
Amanda Gnerlich
Undergraduate Student

amanda.gnerlich@yahoo.com  

Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in 2014 through the Department of Biology at Purdue University. She examined the influence of artificial light at night on vigilance behavior in peafowl. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became an animal care taker at Purdue University and went on to work as a zoo keeper.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Ordonez, K., & Chema, K. 2017. Does artificial light pollution impair problem-solving success in peafowl? Ethology: 1-7. PDF


Amy Harbourne
Amy Harbourne
Undergraduate Student

amyharbourne@gmail.com   Website  

Amy completed her undergraduate degree in 2020 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined the effect of iris color on gaze perception in humans. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of English.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Harbourne, A., & Thompson, W. 2021. Sclera color in humans facilitates gaze perception during daytime and nighttime. PloS One 16(3): e0249137. PDF


Jacob Miller
Jacob Miller
Undergraduate Student

jacob.t.r.miller@gmail.com  

Jacob completed his undergraduate degree in 2018 through the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University. He examined the influence of sclera color on gaze perception. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Social Security Administration.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L. & Miller, J. 2020. Sclera color enhances gaze perception in humans. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228275. PDF


Trezze Nguyen
Trezze Nguyen
Undergraduate Student

itstrezze143@tamu.edu   ResearchGate  

Trezze completed her undergraduate degree in 2020 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined the effect of iris color on gaze perception in humans.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Thorstenson, C.A., & Nguyen, T.P. 2021. Sclera and iris color interact to influence gaze perception. Frontiers in Psychology 12: 632616. PDF


M. Russell Nichols
M. Russell Nichols
Undergraduate Student

mrnichol@med.umich.edu   ResearchGate  

Russell completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees through the Department of Sociology at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He examined the ability of peafowl to discriminate among individual callers. He went on to earn his D.V.M. at North Carolina State University in 2019 and is a laboratory animal medicine resident at the University of Michigan.

Publication

Nichols, M.R. & Yorzinski, J.L. 2016. Peahens can differentiate between the antipredator calls of individual conspecifics. Animal Behaviour 112: 23-27. PDF


Maria Tovar
Maria Tovar
Undergraduate Student

LinkedIn  

Maria completed her undergraduate degree in 2018 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined how predator orientation influences attention in humans. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became a veterinary technician.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Tovar, M. E., & Coss, R.G. 2018. Forward-facing predators attract attention in humans (Homo sapiens). Journal of Comparative Psychology PDF


Mary Kate Walker
Mary Kate Walker
Undergraduate Student

marykatewalker19@gmail.com  

Mary Kate completed her undergraduate degree in 2019 through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She examined the blinking behavior of great-tailed grackles when they are under threat. After completing her undergraduate degree, she became an intern at the Dallas Zoo and went on to become an Ambassador Animal Specialist at the Dallas Zoo.

Publication

Yorzinski, J.L., Walker, M.K., & Cavalier, R. 2021. A songbird strategically modifies its blinking behavior when viewing human faces. Animal Cognition. PDF