PEOPLE


Neil Vickers
PROFESSOR AND CHAIRMAN

I was born in the United Kingdom and obtained my B.Sc. (Hons.) from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. I came to the U.S. to work on my Ph.D. in the Department of Entomology at U.C. Riverside with Professor Tom Baker (currently at Penn State University) in 1988. For my doctoral dissertation I focused on the pheromone-mediated behavior of the moth, Heliothis virescens. Following completion of my Ph.D. I continued as a postdoctoral associate for a couple of years during which time Dr. Baker relocated to Iowa State University. In 1995, I relocated to the University of Arizona to work with Drs. Tom Christensen and Dr. John Hildebrand in the then Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neurobiology (ARLDN). During a 4 year postdoctoral stint I learned the electrophysiological and neuroanatomical techniques for investigating the moth olfactory system. In September 1998, I joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at the University of Utah and was appointed Chairman in January 2008.


Seong-Gyu Lee
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

I was born and grew up in South Korea, and a graduate from the Korea University with a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Zoology. I earned my Ph.D. in Entomology from the Penn State University under the supervision of Dr. Thomas C. Baker. My thesis focused on the neurophysiological and morphological studies of sex-pheromone-related peripheral olfactory neurons on the antennae of male heliothine moth species. In the Vickers lab, my research interests have expanded to include central olfactory processing in the brain. My ongoing project is being undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Charlie Linn at Cornell University. Using interspecies antennal imaginal disc transplants between Heliothis virescens and Heliothis subflexa males, I am investigating how the same pheromonal signals are processed in different ways in these closely-related species, such that the signals elicit species-specific behavioral responses.


Josè Crespo
GRADUATE STUDENT

I graduated with an M.S. from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2005 and I joined the Vickers lab in 2007 following my interests in insect physiology and behavior. The focus of my Ph.D. research is to understand how sensory information (primarily olfactory) is interpreted in the central nervous system and how the corresponding behavior is elicited.

I have taken advantage of the current knowledge of Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to address general questions regarding sensory biology and odor-mediated behavior in these two species. I am specifically interested in how odor signal quality influences pre-flight warming up and subsequent flight performance in these insects.


Lindsey Enright
LABORATORY TEHINICIAN

I was born and mostly raised in Utah. We lived in Nevada for a year and then Guam for two years when I was a kid. After high school I moved to Portland, OR for school and then back to Salt Lake to finish my degree at Westminster College. I graduated in Dec. 2007 with a B.S. in Biology. I worked at Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project and I now currently a lab technician splitting my time between the Vickers lab and Ehleringer lab. I am thinking about going back to school to get my masters in education and teach science.






Undergraduate Students

Katy Schramm

I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Utah majoring in Biology and Psychology. I joined the Vickers lab in 2008 and have focused on the behavioral aspects of moths involving pheromones and wind tunnel experiments. I am now doing some work using the confocal to look at stained olfactory neurons. I hope to get at least one paper published before I graduate.

I became interested in research while in High School. During my senior year at the Academy of Math, Engineering & Science, I did a science fair project that investigated the human brain and handedness. I was awarded the Team finalist ticket at the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair and went on to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

My future plans are to get a Ph. D. in neuroscience or related area.


Vickers Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Associates

N. Kirk Hillier: former postdoctoral research associate, now an Assistant Professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada

Christoph Kleineidam: former postdoctoral research associate, now at the University of Konstanz in Germany.


Graduate Students

Christine Fogarty: former graduate student in Neuroscience Program. Christine received her Ph.D. in 2006 and now teaches Biology at the Juan Diego High School in Salt Lake City.


Divya Kondur Narasaraju
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

I am from Bangalore, India and am studying for my M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah. I am helping in the Vickers lab with projects that require computer programming and website design.


Undergraduate Students

Many undergraduate students have worked in the Vickers lab since 1998. Here are a few who we have kept in contact with.

Kim Iceman: graduated with B.S. in Biology, now Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Dave Kelly: graduated with B.S. in Biology and attended University of Utah medical school. Graduated with M.D. in . Now in residency program in North Carolina.

Brittany Sweeten: graduated with B.S. in Biology, now studying for M.S. at University of Southern Denmark.