PI: Erica Westerman, PhDEricaPaintingButteflies2009

Erica Westerman is an integrative biologist whose research is driven by a desire to understand how the developmental environment influences adult behavior, social interactions, and community composition.

Research in the Westerman Lab incorporates techniques used in multiple fields, including genomics, behavioral ecology, and neurobiology,  to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of environment in the development, evolution, and diversification of visual learning and visual communication.


Postdoctoral Fellow: Tim Sullivan, PhD
Tim Sullivan received his PhD in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, in May 2017. His research to date has focused on molecular ecology and population genetics of biotic and abiotic interactions impacting fish and crustacean populations. As part of the Westerman lab, Tim will be moving onto dry land to investigate genetic variants and patterns of gene expression influencing learned mate preferences, movements, and foraging decisions in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana.




Research Assistant: Dylan Meyer Dylan Meyer admiring the grasshopper diversity at Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary in Fayetteville, AR.

Dylan Meyer is happy to be joining the Westerman lab and putting down some roots (at least for now).

He has spent the last three years working on multiple field projects focusing on the evolution of social behavior in birds. This work has taken him to the South Western U.S., Sichuan China and across Australia’s outback.

Excited to explore the hills and prairies of NWA, Dylan is ready to jump into a new system and turn his focus to the brains and behavior of butterflies.




Graduate Student: Deonna “Nikki” Robertson

Nikki is a new MSc student in the Westerman lab, whose research interests include conservation (particularly tropical and marine), behavioral ecology, and taxonomy. She enjoys teaching and being out in the field, and loves to go snorkeling and caving.





Undergraduate Student: Peyton Rather

Peyton is an undergraduate biology/pre-med student from Nashville, AR. He enjoys technology and computers, playing the piano, and working as a surgical technician for a cataract and glaucoma surgeon. He also loves to volunteer in his spare time. He one day hopes to go to medical school and to possibly become an ophthalmologist.





Undergraduate Student: Abby Herzog

Abby is an undergraduate biology student from Nashville, AR. She hopes to attend medical school and to someday do medical research. Her interests include neurology and genetics. She enjoys tutoring and volunteering at the local VA, and is excited to be gaining experience in research in the Westerman Lab.





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