Principal Investigator


Mark Genung

Mark Genung

I study plant-pollinator interactions, at levels spanning organisms to ecosystems. I also study quantitative community ecology, especially the analysis of biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships and the scalability of experimental results to natural communities.

I completed my PhD at the University of Tennessee, where I worked with Jen Schweitzer and Joe Bailey. After that, I worked as a postdoc in Rachael Winfree's lab at Rutgers before starting at UL in January 2019.

Postdoctoral Researchers


Tina Harrison (2019 - )

Global change drives biodiversity loss and change, in local communities and across biogeographic spatial scales. Experiments show that small-scale biodiversity loss alters ecosystem functioning, but signatures of this process are difficult to isolate in large-scale observational data. In the Genung lab I am studying how the ecological Price equation may help solve this problem. Previously I worked in Neal Williams' lab (UC Davis) on applying optimization techniques to design restoration plantings that maximize support for pollinators and minimize support for crop pests. My work in Rachael Winfree’s lab (Rutgers University) was on conservation of native bee diversity in agricultural, urban and natural landscapes. 

Graduate Students


Andrew Buderi (2019 - )

Andrew has a broad interest in the world of pollination ecology and insect natural history. His current focus is on the ways that individual flower and pollinator traits influence larger scale patterns of community interactions. In particular he is interested in the ways that pollinator traits and flower morphology interact to affect pollination service.

Andrew graduated from Humboldt State in 2015 and then worked as a technician with Neal Williams at UC Davis and Rachael Winfree at Rutgers. He joined the lab in August 2019, funded by a University of Louisiana Doctoral Fellowship.


Blaine Pilch (2019 - )

Blaine is interested in plant-pollinator interactions and how they shape ecosystems. He is currently focused on how pollinator phenology and behavior impact plant fitness.

Blaine graduated from UC San Diego in 2017, where he studied pollinator efficiency on squash plants as a member of the Holway Lab. He then worked for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, investigating pollinator visitation preference on native vs non-native plants. He joined the lab in August of 2019.


Kimberly Hamm (2021 - )

Kimberly joined the lab as a research technician in summer 2020, and will start as a PhD student in Fall 2021. Right now she is working with Andrew on plant-pollinator interactions across a prairie habitat gradient in southwestern Louisiana. She has a BS from UL Lafayette and an MS from the University of Florida.


Joseph-Thomas "Dom" Casanova (2021 - )

Dom will join the the lab as a non-thesis MS student in Fall 2021. He is interested in preservation of the vanishing Louisiana Cajun Prairie. Dom created a micro-prairie on his family’s land right outside of Crowley, which consists of a wide range of native wildflowers and grasses. From January 2020 – May 2021, he worked as a research assistant at the UL Ecology Center, where he assisted in growing, studying, and distributing native milkweeds to aid monarchs, pollinators, and wildlife. He is specifically interested in native carnivorous plants like Sarracenia and Drosera.

Undergraduate Students and Technicians


Asia Dauntain

Asia joined the lab in Spring 2021 as a BIOL 410 student. She is working with Andrew and is interested in learning more about microscopy, plant seed maturation, and basic statistics.


Ryan Fontenot

Ryan has worked in the lab since 2019. He collected pollinators from native plants at the UL Ecology Center to understand which plant species are most attractive, which plant species host different pollinator communities, and the structure of plant-pollinator interactions. Now he is working with Blaine to understand the effects of predators on bee visitation patterns.


Ty Henley

Ty joined the lab as an undergraduate research volunteer in the Spring of 2021. He is interested in social insects, and is working with Blaine on a project testing how predators affect visitation patterns of social bees over time.


Joshua Ray

Joshua joined the lab as a scholarship worked in the Spring of 2021. He is working with Blaine and is interested in learning about the evolution of symbiotic relationships, the biology of arthropods, and in the ways species interact in nature.


2021 Field Crew

Hannah Kernen, Kristin Robinson, and Laura Taylor joined the lab for the Summer 2021 field season. We are very excited to have these experienced, creative technicians working with us!

Lab Alumni


Emma Weiser

Emma worked in the lab in 2019 and assembled a collection of pollinators from areas around the university to represent the diversity of campus insects. She is fascinated by the exchange between pollinators and their ecosystems, and wants to learn more about that relationship through further research. She is now working in Dr. James Nelson's lab.