Laboratory Members

Thomas Juenger | Principal Investigator

Tom Juenger is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Center for Computation Biology and Bioinformatics.




Tierney Logan | Lab Technician

I joined the Juenger lab in the fall of 2004, with a background primarily in genotyping human cancer genes at the Stanford Genome Technology Center.  I also had experience in the field of horticulture before I received my B.S. in Molecular Biology.  Current work includes several projects involving characterization of genetic variation in Arabidopsis, Ipomopsis and Panicum.  I am also interested in the fast-paced development of sequencing technologies and high-throughput methods.


David Des Marais | Post-Doctoral Researcher

Most of my work in the Juenger lab deals with the molecular evolutionary genetics of plant ecophysiology. The primary goal of my research program is to determine the molecular genetic basis of adaptation, and to use this information to determine the mechanisms that drive the process of evolution.



Kyle Hernandez | Post-Doctoral Researcher

In general, my research interests include the evolution of genotype-by-environment interactions and data analysis. My work in the Juenger lab focuses on the genetic architecture of plant tolerance. The primary goals of my research are to understand how tolerance changes in response to different environments and to identify genes associated with tolerance using the model species Brachypodium distachyon. My dissertation work focused on the role of phenotypic plasticity in biotic invasions, and I plan to balance both applied and theoretical work in my current and future endeavors.  


David Lowry | Post-Doctoral Researcher

My research is focused on understanding the ecological and evolutionary genetic mechanisms of adaptation to environmental stress across the natural landscape. I am particularly interested in determining how differential natural selection across geographic space contributes to the evolution of genome variation and new species. My current focus is on understanding the genetic variation in stress response in Panicum grasses through QTL mapping and gene expression studies.  website


Elizabeth Milano | Graduate Student

I am involved in two projects in the Juenger lab. My dissertation research focuses on floral variation and population divergence in two subspecies of I. aggregata that occur on the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. As a member of the Panicum group, I have been involved in resolving the phylogenetic relationship between P. hallii var. hallii and var. filipes. 


Juan Diego Palacio-Mejía | Graduate Student

My main research interest is focused on the knowledge and use of the agobiodiversity, using biotechnology techniques for the improvement of crops. In that sense I am interested in being a bridge between the basic research on model organisms such as Arabidopsis and the application of such research to the development of agriculture production. Currently I am part of the project focused on the physiological genomics of swichtgrass to use it in biofuel production in a global warming context.


Jacob Soule | Graduate Student




Jacob Heiling | Undergraduate Student

I have been part of the Juenger Lab for about two years, starting as an REU student and continuing on as an undergraduate greenhouse and field tech. I have mostly focused on the ecological basis of the divergence between the Panicum hallii var. hallii and Panicum hallii var. filipes subspecies and on growing our library of genetic diversity for the group through field accession creation. I graduated from UT with a BS in Biology; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior option in May 2013 and will be applying to graduate programs for Fall 2014 or 2015 admission.




<< Former Lab Members