Jess – principle investigator

Hi! I’m Jess Stephenson, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh (since July 2018). Before this, I was a post-doc in Zürich, Switzerland, and before that I was doing my PhD in Cardiff, UK. You can download my for more info, or just email:

Regina Patrick – lab manager

Regina keeps all the fish and parasites alive, projects running smoothly, and lab members happy. To find out most things about the lab, it’s better to email Regina than Jess… rlp70 [at] pitt [dot] edu

Mary Janecka – post doc

Mary is working on the guppy-gyro system from the parasite’s perspective, by addressing cool questions such as ‘What factors affect their transmission and mating strategies?’ To do this, she is applying her molecular biology skills, and developing some next-gen know how! For more info, email mgj17 [at] pitt [dot] edu

David Clark – grad student

David is new to the lab and is interested in host-parasite eco-evolutionary dynamics. More specifically, he wants to explore the cost of parasite infection, how hosts offset this cost, and what factors could influence this interaction. 

To learn more about David and his awesome research, visit his website:

Or email him:

Elizabeth Rudzki – grad student

Elizabeth is co-advised by the awesome Kevin Kohl, and is working on the role of the guppy microbiome in mediating its relationship with gyros. Elizabeth’s background working on the molecular biology of Toxoplasma, and now spanning two Ecology and Evolution labs, gives her a unique set of skills and perspectives! To find out more email elr82 [at] pitt [dot] edu

Undergraduate researchers

John Hansen

John is working on a few different things because he’s awesome and interested in everything. He’s been analysing behaviour videos, extracting data from published studies, and teaching himself R.

Maura Sackett

Maura has analysed lots of behavioural videos, read a lot about guppies, gyros, and behaviour, and has started writing a manuscript! She’s majoring in communications as well as biology so we shouldn’t be surprised (but still impressed!).

Stevie Kisty

Stevie also analysed a lot of videos (theme emerging!), reads a lot, and has brilliant ideas that improve our experiments.

Past lab members

Maya Jog – Pitt undergrad researcher

Maya analysed a lot of behaviour videos, reviewed the literature on social context and sickness behaviour, and then graduated early to go to med school. Sorry to lose you, Maya, but congrats again!

Here are some of our collaborators – lovely people!