Current lab members

Christopher C. Witt, PI 

Curator of Birds & Director, Museum of Southwestern Biology 

Professor, Department of Biology, UNM

Ph.D. Louisiana State University, 2004

B. A. College of the Atlantic, 1997

Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter  

Chauncey Gadek, Ph.D. Candidate 

M.S. UNM, 2019 

B.S. UNM, 2016

Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter  

Oona Takano, Ph.D. Candidate 

M.S. Texas A&M University, 2016

B.S. University of Florida, 2010

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate

Peter Mattison, Ph.D. Student 

M.S. Cornell University, 2006

B.A. Cornell University, 2000

Google Scholar   

Kyana Montoya, M.S. Student

B.S. UNM, 2020

Andy Johnson, Collections Manager for MSB Division of Birds

M.S. University of Alaska 


Matthew Baumann, MSB Birds Research Associate

M.S. UNM, 2014

Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter   

Jessie Williamson, MSB Birds Research Associate

PhD, UNM 2022

Current NSF & Rose Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology, and Museum of Vertebrates 

Incoming Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter  

Ethan Linck, MSB Birds Research Associate

Former NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNM, 2020-2022

Current Assistant Professor, Montana State University 

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter  

Donna Schmitt, MSB Birds Research Associate


Greg Schmitt, MSB Birds Research Associate


Sandy Williams, MSB Birds Research Associate

Selected lab alums

Robert W. Dickerman, Curator Emeritus, MSB Division of Birds, 2007-2015

Benefactor, specimen preparator, mentor, role model (1926-2015)

Marialejandra (Malé) Castro Farías, M.S. UNM 2023 

B.S. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2017


Dani Wiley, Research Associate, B.S. UNM 2021 

Current M.S. Student, Barrow Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Lab at UNM


Tina Guo, Undergraduate Researcher 2018-2020



LyAndra Lujan, Post-Bac Researcher 2019-2020

B.S. UNM 2019 

Current PhD Student, Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon

ResearchGate  / Twitter 

Selina Bauernfeind, Post-Bac PREP Fellow 2017-2019

Current Computer Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratories


Lisa Barrow, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018

Current Assistant Professor of Biology, UNM & Curator of the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, Museum of Southwestern Biology

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter 

Rosario Marroquin-Flores, Post-bac PREP Fellow 2016-2017

Current Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Tech University

ResearchGate / Twitter 

Paxton Cruz, Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018

John Ford, Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018


Andrea Chavez, UNM M.S. 2016

Wildlife, Fish, and Rare Plants Program Manager for the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands, U.S. Forest Service 

Google Scholar / ResearchGate 

Ariel Gaffney, UNM M.S. 2016

Current Forensic Ornithologist at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Forensics Lab

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter 

Libby Beckman, UNM Ph.D. 2016

Current Staff Curator at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley 

Google Scholar / ResearchGate

Natalie Wright, UNM Ph.D. 2015

Current Assistant Professor of Biology, Kenyon College 

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter 

C. Jonathan Schmitt, UNM M.S. 2015 & UNM B.S. 2012

Current Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University

Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter 

Spencer Galen, UNM M.S. 2014

Current Assistant Professor at University of Scranton 

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate / Twitter 

Phred Benham, UNM M.S. 2012

Current Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley

Website / Google Scholar

Shane DuBay, UNM M.S. 2012

Current Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Arlington

Website / Google Scholar / ResearchGate

Sabrina McNew, Post-Bac Researcher

Current Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Website / Google Scholar / Twitter 

Matt Jones, UNM B.S. 2011

Current Research Associate, USGS Southwest Biological Science Center

Website / Google Scholar

Adrienne Raniszewski, Curatorial Technician, MSB Division of Birds

Current Collections Associate & Staff Coordinator at MSB Division of Mammals 

Matt Graus, Post-Bac researcher, UNM B.S. 2009

Current Ph.D. Student, Department of Pathology, UNM


Laura Pagés-Barceló, Post-Bac Researcher

Current Environmental Educator at the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program 


Stacey Scroggs, UNM B.S. 2009

Current Ph.D. Student, Department of Biology, New Mexico State University


Doug Whelan, UNM B.S. 2010

Matthew Segura, UNM B.S. 2014, Post-Bac Researcher

Current M.S. Student, UNM

Sebastian Restrepo-Cruz, UNM B.S. 2015, Post-Bac Researcher

Current Research Technician at Cancer Research and Treatment Center at UNM

Cole Wolf, UNM B.S. 2014

Current Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Bethany Abrahamson, UNM M.S. 2014, UNM B.S. 2012

Current Zookeeper at the ABQ Biopark

Gerald Bustos, UNM B.S. 2009

Jennifer Clark, UNM B.S. 2012, Post-Bac Researcher

Monica Lucero, UNM B.S. 2008

Current Biologist with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species 

Matthew O'Donnell, Post-graduate Research Associate

Iris Olivas, UNM B.S. 2013

Current Post-baccalaureate IRTA, Rocky Mountain Laboratories 

Julie Padilla, UNM B.S. 2016


Erika Pohl, UNM B.S. 2013

Current Emergency Veterinarian at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency & Rehabilitation Hospital

Angelica Portillo, UNM B.S. 2014

Liana Schmader, UNM B.S. 2011

Sarah Marie Sheldon, UNM B.S. 2008

Current M.S. Student at Cal State San Marcos

Ashley Smiley, UNM B.S. 2013 and Post-Bac Researcher

Current Postdoc, UC Berkeley


Rosie Steinberg, UNM B.S. 2013

Current Ph.D. Candidate at the University of New South Wales, Australia


Sarah Swiderek, UNM B.S. 2011

Current Family Medicine Resident, UNM School of Medicine

Raymond VanBuskirk, UNM B.S. 2014

Owner and Lead Guide at BRANT Tours; Sales & Marketing Manager at Redstart Birding

Geneva Williams, UNM B.S. 2009

Current Ph.D. Student at Washington University St. Louis

Nicholas R. Wilson, Post-Bac Researcher