Principal investigator

I am fascinated by the diversity and complexity of insect-microbial symbioses. My work integrates high-throughput sequencing, culture-based assays, and experimental manipulations to understand the composition and function of symbiotic communities. I employ both complex microbiota (e.g. butterfly gut flora, with dozens to hundreds of members) and pairwise relationships (e.g. the bug-Burkholderia symbiosis) as mutually informative systems.

I did my PhD at Stanford University, where I studied the structure and function of the butterfly gut flora with Carol Boggs and Kabir Peay. This work was funded by an NSF GRFP grant. I began exploring the bug-Burkholderia system during an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship with Molly Hunter at the University of Arizona. In September 2019 I started as a professor at the University of Texas, Arlington. Find me online: Twitter  CV


Graduate student

I'm Patrick Stillson, a new Ph.D. student in the Ravenscraft Lab. In my graduate studies, I am excited to study the interactions between Leptoglossus phyllopus and its microbial symbiont Burkholderia. My research plans are to study how the different strains of Burkholderia interact with L. phyllopus as well as identify some of the benefits Burkholderia may impart on the insect host. My research interests include studying the interactions between insects and their microbial symbionts, such as the bug-Burkholderia symbiosis, as well as plant pathogens and their associations with their insect vectors.I completed my M.S. at Michigan State University working with Zsofia Szendrei, where I studied aster yellow phytoplasma and its insect vectors. Find me online: Twitter  Website  CV


Undergraduate research assistant

I'm a junior microbiology major interested in symbiotic and parasitic relationships between microbes and their hosts. I'm also a part of the Campus Cat Coalition; we feed cats on the UTA campus and make sure they're fixed. I joined Ravenscraft Lab in Fall 2019 and have worked on projects researching plant microbiomes as well as a project rearing bugs with different Burkholderia strains. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, baking, and reading.


Undergraduate research assistant

I'm a senior, working on a double Major in Microbiology and Biology. I'm currently working on a project to calculate the growth speed of the lab's Burkholderia isolates at different temperatures. After graduating, I plan to go to graduate school to study Microbiology. Outside of the lab I enjoy walking my 2 dogs, going for runs outside and playing video games.

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