The Team

The Core Team

I am broadly interested in how interactions at different levels of biological organization drive the evolutionary process, from epistasis between loci within a genome, to social interactions among individuals in a population, to coevolutionary arm-races between species in a community. My work focuses on natural populations and field studies of selection and inheritance in taxa ranging from snakes to insects to flowers.

Edmund "Butch" Brodie III

BFD Runk Professor 

Director of Mountain Lake

Biological Station

My research focuses on the impact of animal behavior on ecological processes. I am particularly curious about how variation in animal behavior is maintained within a species and how the environment affects that variation. Using the forked fungus beetle as a system, I manipulate social contexts in both lab and natural settings to determine why individuals express consistent behaviors, even when those behaviors are disfavored in some contexts. You can find out more on my website here.

Liza Mitchem

PhD Candidate

I am a behavioral and evolutionary ecologist broadly interested in how an individual’s behavior can play a role in the selective processes that shape the diversification and maintenance of populations and species in nature. I am also engaged in science communication work to share what we learn about the fascinating story of evolution with all audiences. You can find out more on my website here.

Sarah McPeek

PhD Student

I am broadly interested in how social interactions impact evolutionary processes. My dissertation research uses experimental populations of forked fungus beetles to explore how social interactions differ across habitat structures and whether selection on social interactions acts at the individual or group level.

Robin Costello

PhD Candidate

I am interested in the evolution of complex social traits. Using forked fungus beetles as a model system, my work asks whether and how social network position can evolve in response to selection. 

Phoebe Cook

PhD Candidate

I am the lab technician for the Brodie lab. I help in managing and creating databases that the lab uses, as well as assist in executing and creating lab protocols. I also act as the lab's liaison.  I enjoy learning about ecology and interspecific interactions between insects and vertebrate animals. 

Savanna Emily Cabrera

Lab Technician 


Matthew Armstrong


Matthew is a second-year undergraduate who works primarily with the lab manager Savanna Cabrera on processing and analyzing forked fungus beetle behavioral assays. Matt majors in Biology and Environmental Science. He is interested in wildlife biology. Outside of the lab, he is interested in ancient history.

Olivia "Livi" Baker


Olivia is a third-year student interested in climate change and art. She's been a long-time worker in the lab and has been awarded the Double Hoos Award with Pheobe Cook in order to help study forked fungus beetle interactions. 

Austin Barlow


Austin is a fourth-year undergraduate who has a broad range of interests in biology including ecology, ichthyology, and animal behavior. He also enjoys hiking with his dogs. Austin is currently working with Liza Mitchem in studying aggression in forked fungus beetles.

Dawson Little


Dawson is a second-year undergraduate who is interested in animal behavior and taxonomy. He works with Liza Mitchem in studying forked fungus beetle aggression. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing music.

Gracen Betts


Gracen is a third-year undergraduate who is interested in biology and bioethics. She also works with Phoebe Cook. Outside of the lab, she greatly enjoys hiking. She majors in biology.

Past Members

Mike Hague

  • PhD 2018

  • Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cooper lab at the University of Montana

Eileen Butterfield

  • Lab Manager 2018

  • Now works as a business analyst at Silverchair

Hannah Donald​

  • Lab Manager 2012

  • Now works as a Lab Manager for Formica lab in Swarthmore College

Brian Sanderson​

  • PhD 2016

  • Postdoctoral researcher at the Oakley lab at Purdue University

Corlett Wolfe Wood​

  • PhD (2015)

  • Assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh 

Leleña Avila

  • PhD 2015

  • Undergraduate advisor at UC Berkley 

Vince Formica​

  • Postdoc 2012

  • Professor at Swathmore College

  • Still works with the Brodie Lab! 

Joel McGlothlin​

  • Postdoc 2012

  • Associate Professor at Virginia Tech

Helen Vasaly​

  • MS 2012

  • Program Associate for the Computing Community Consortium

Eric Liebgold​

  • PhD 2011

  • Associate Professor at Salisbury University

John Chuckalovack​

  • MS 2010

  • Field Application Scientist Regional Manager at Bio-Rad Labs

Bronwyn Heather Bleakley

  • PhD 2007

  • Associate Professor of Biology and Biology Department Chair at Stonehill College

Jason Kolbe​

  • Postdoc 2006

  • Associate Professor at University of Rhode Island

Mathias Kölliker

  • Postdoc 2005

  • Curator at the Museum of Natural History Fribourg

Liz Lehman​

  • PhD 2006

  • Associate Director of Science Companion Projects at UChicago. 

Ben Ridenhour​

  • PhD 2004

  • Professor at the University of Idaho

Stephanie Welter​

  • PhD 2004

  • Associate professor, chair of the division of natural sciences, and chair of the biology department at Kansas Wesleyan University 

Yoni Brandt​

  • PhD 2004

Aneil Agrawal​

  • PhD 2003

  • Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto 

Cerisse Allen ​

  • PhD 2002

  • Researcher and Lab Coordinator in the Emlen lab at the University of Montana

Maura "Maple" Denman​

  • ​PhD 2002

  • Naturalist at the Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center

Jen Sadowski​

  • PhD 1999

  • Professor and Chair of the biology department at Viterbo University

Jason Wolf​

  • PhD 1998

  • Professor at the University of Bath 

Chris Grill​

  • PhD 1998

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Brodie Lab

Department of Biology

University of Virginia

485 McCormick Rd.

Charlottesville, VA 22904

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