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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.

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 started as a PhD student in Fall 2021. She is interested in urban pollinator ecology and is developing protocols for her first field season in summer 2022. She has a BS from UL Lafayette and an MS from the University of Florida.


Anna Espinoza (2022 - )

Anna is interested in bee ecology and behavior, particularly the relationships between specialist pollinators and their host plants. Anna completed an undergraduate degree in Entomology at Cornell in Spring 2022.

Undergraduate Students and Technicians


Rumaan Baloch

Rumaan joined the lab as a scholarship worker in Fall 2023. She has focused on learning bee identification and counting pollen grains. We are excited for her independent research as a 410 student in Spring 2024.


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.


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.

Lab Alumni

Ty Henley

Ty joined the lab as an undergraduate research volunteer in the Spring of 2021. He is interested in social insects, and completed an experiment asking how temperature affects ant species colony survival and growth. He is now a PhD student at Emory University.


Asia Dauntain

Asia worked in the lab in Spring 2021 as a BIOL 410 student. She worked with Andrew and to learn more about microscopy, plant seed maturation, and basic statistics. She works as a technician at Lafayette General Health.


Tina Harrison

Tina worked in the lab as a postdoc from 2019-2021. She studied how the ecological Price equation can be used to analyze biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships. Previously she 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. Her PhD work in Rachael Winfree’s lab (Rutgers University) was on conservation of native bee diversity in agricultural, urban and natural landscapes. 


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 currently working on oyster hatcheries at UL Lafayette.


2021 Field Crew

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


Previous Scholarship Workers

Scholarship workers are a key part of research in the lab. We were happy to have Allen Soileau and Seth Duet as previous scholarship workers in the lab.

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