R. Graham Reynolds, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology, UNC Asheville
Associate, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology
I use laboratory genetic, field-based, and computational techniques to study the evolution and conservation of vertebrates on islands. Most of my work is on reptiles in the Caribbean, particularly in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Puerto Rico. You can see more about individual projects on the Research or Publications pages.
Shannon is a Biology major with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. She also manages the UNC Asheville Roots Garden, which teaches students about sustainable agriculture. Her research focuses on habitat use of Plethodon welleri, a high elevation salamander found on mountain tops in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. She is surveying the biotic and abiotic conditions in which these salamanders reside in order to build a more comprehensive understanding of their habitat and range. Shannon was awarded a UNC Asheville Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for her work.
Ari is a Biology major with previous research experience working on paleotropic Lamprophiid (Psammodynastes) snakes, focusing on species from Myanmar and Southeast Asia. He has already published two papers from work completed with George Zug at the Smithsonian, one on the morphology of Asian Mockvipers (Miller and Zug 2016) and one on a potentially new species of Lygosoma from Myanmar (Miller and Zug 2016). Ari is especially interested in Pan-Asian tree frog (Rhacophoridae) phylogeny, particularly the “flying frogs” of the Rhacophorus genus, as well as the herpetofauna of Myanmar and Southeast Asia. He is currently working on a number of projects related to the biodiversity and systematics of Southeast Asian reptiles, as well as studying morphometrics of Caribbean Anolis lizards.
Emily is a Cell and Molecular Biology major with an interest in herpetology, especially snakes. She is focusing her research on assessing genetic diversity in captive lineages of the Federally Endangered Puerto Rican Boa, Chilabothrus inornatus. By collaborating with managers of public and private collections of this species, she hopes to provide information that will contribute to management plans regarding the maintenance of genetic diversity in U.S. captive populations. Emily also volunteers as a snake educator for local school groups.
These students are helping generate morphometric and meristic data for a large collaborative dataset on the Festive Anole (Anolis sagrei).
Ally B.; Maaian E.; Danielle P.; & Megan R.
This could be you! Are you a highly motivated UNC Asheville undergraduate interested in vertebrate biology? The lab is currently full for 2017, but Contact Dr. Reynolds to find out about future opportunities or for more information.
Interested in studying Biology at UNC Asheville? You are welcome to contact Dr. Reynolds to discuss our program.
UNC Asheville does not have a graduate program in Biology.
I am not currently hiring technician or postdoc positions. Please check back in the future for possible updates.
Students can check out books from a library of over 600 titles (and growing!) ranging across many topics in science- with emphasis on genetics, natural history, and global herpetofauna.
Our lab is fully stocked with equipment and supplies for both field work and laboratory genetic analysis. We are in the process of installing computational resources as well.
Former Lab Members
Amy Castle ’17
Amy is a Biology major with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution and an athlete on the UNC Asheville cross country and track & field teams. She is currently doing research on Anolis fairchildi, a green anole species found on the remote Cay Sal Bank of the western Bahamas. Amy is developing molecular markers and genetic data to contextualize the species within the larger Anolis phylogeny. Amy was awarded a UNC Asheville Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for her work.
Robert Chambliss ’16
Robert was a senior Biology major, a Laurel Scholar, and a 2016 McCullough Fellow. He is interested in herpetology and population genetics. Robert studied the salamander Plethodon welleri, a species with a disjunct distribution in the Southern Appalachian highlands. By characterizing the elevational range and genetic relationships of isolated populations of this species, he plans to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the conservation status of these salamanders.