Information for prospective students:

We are always looking for motivated students interested in the study of entomology! Research is a key part of the biology major at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and in addition to independent study credit, many small grants and assistantships are available to support undergraduate research during the semester or over the summer. The university also offers a comprehensive Master’s program in Biology. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing research in the lab are encouraged to contact Dr. Mitchell for more information.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert F. Mitchell

Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Curriculum vitae

Rob Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree in Biology at Duke University, a Master’s and PhD from the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed a 3-year postdoctoral tour in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona before joining the UWO Department of Biology in 2015. He studies the chemical ecology of insects, and is especially interested in the olfactory biology of beetles. He is also curator of the UW Oshkosh Insect Collection, a regional collection of approximately 200,000 specimens.

When he manages to have a life outside academics, he enjoys hiking, photography, fiddling with graphical editing software, and spending time with his wife and son, who are unbelievably tolerant of the frozen insects that fill their freezer.
Graduate Students

Lyndsay Poeschl

Lyndsay completed an undergraduate major in biology at UWO and joined the lab in Fall 2017.  She is presently completing her thesis on the form and function of stridulatory plates in longhorned beetles.

Kayla Hefner

Kayla completed an undergraduate major in entomology at UW Madison and joined the lab in Fall 2022.  She is using comparative transcriptomics to study the evolution and specialization of chemoreceptors across subfamilies of longhorned beetles.

Undergraduate Students

Jacob Udell

Jacob is a junior biology major who joined the collection team in Spring 2020. He assists in maintaining the pinned collection, as well as databasing and processing the Hymenoptera collection.

Mathew Price

Mathew is a senior biology/philosophy double major and joined the lab in Spring 2021. He is assisting in numerous projects, including electroantennography, olfactory gene annotation, and field collection of beetle specimens.

Geryd Steffek

Geryd is a sophomore biology major and joined the lab in Spring 2022 to study the chemical ecology of scarab beetles.  He wrote and received an Undergraduate Student/Faculty Collaborative Grant to support his research!

Josh Bowers

Josh is a senior microbiology major and computer science minor, and joined the lab in Fall 2022.  He is assisting in streamlining the bioinformatics methods used by lab members to annotate olfactory genes.

Lab Alumni


Mahad Osman
McNair Scholar and Independent Study, 2021-2022
Annotation of olfactory genes from burying beetles.
Brandi Dickinson
Independent Study, 2020
Potential of air handlers as insect sampling devices
Rachel McKay
McNair Scholar and Research Assistant, 2019-2020
Annotation of olfactory genes from numerous beetle genomes.
Hattie Bauer
Research Assistant, 2019-2020
Electroantennography of Colorado potato beetle.
Doua Yang
Graduate Research, 2017-2020
Antennal lobe structure of longhorned beetles.
Nicole Peters
Research Assistant, 2018-2019
Dissection and SEM prep of beetle stridulatory plates.
Audra Jenson
Research Assistant, 2018-2019
Annotation of ORs from lesser grain borer and mealworm genomes.
Maria Nummerdor
Independent Study, 2018-2019
Curation and analysis of calyptrate flies in the UWO collection.
Troy Schneider
Research Assistant, 2016-2018
Annotation of olfactory receptors from numerous beetle genomes.
Allison Clausen
Independent Study, 2017
Effects of flooding and drought on volatile production of wild lupine.
Sean Kirkpatrick
Independent Study, 2016
Urbanization effect on longhorned beetle populations.
Adam Schwartz
Research Assistant, 2015-2016
Annotation of olfactory genes from the emerald ash borer genome.

Collection Assistants

Velai Her, 2021-2022
Sara Rottman, 2020-2021
Douglas Mittelstaedt, 2020-2021
Nathan Nozzi, 2020
Ben App, 2016-2019
Evan Laplant, 2018-2019
Naomi Krawczyk, 2019
Kyle Kettner, 2017-2018
Amber All, 2016-2017