Avery Leigh Russell – Principal Investigator


Avery is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Missouri State University. He is a behavioral and evolutionary ecologist interested in how flexibility in foraging behavior shapes the ecology and evolution of plant-animal-microbial interactions. His current work focuses on how plant-pollinator reciprocal exploitation shapes foraging behavior, floral traits, and microbial associates.

View Avery’s CV
Twitter handle: @DrAverbee
Tweet about us: #RussellLab @MissouriState @MOStateResearch #MOSResearch

Rachel Wilkins – Research Associate

Rachel WilkinsRachel received her Master’s degree in entomology from Kansas State University in May 2020. She is passionate about conservation and excited to learn more about plant-insect interactions. She will be researching how differences in anther morphology affect plant and bee fitness. In her free time, you can find Rachel outside playing with her dogs and chickens, collecting insects, or gardening! 

Twitter handle: @rvw1234

Parker Campbell – Graduate Researcher


Parker is a Master’s student who gets excited about all things outdoors. She is excited to get to keep playing around in the lab, and learning more about how the world works around her. She is specifically excited to learn more about both bee behavior and the bee microbiome and will keep polishing her microbiology skills and her budding interests in behavior and ecology

Twitter handle: @runnergirl_fane
Instagram: @parker_fane

Maggie Mayberry – Graduate Researcher

Maggie Mayberry

Maggie is a Master’s student studying wildlife biology with a strong interest in high school education. She spends most of her time outdoors with her dogs, Princess Bagels and Mac Aroniandcheese. Maggie has a passion for learning about animals of all sizes. She’s un-bee-lievably excited to study bee cognition and behavior!

Twitter handle: @maggiebaymerry

Jenny Burrow – Undergraduate Researcher


Jenny is an undergraduate studying wildlife biology with a minor in sign language studies. She loves nature and spends much of her time caring for her cat, snail, and several plants. Jenny is interested in animal behavior and conservation, and she is very excited to explore the world of bees with the Russell Lab!

Instagram: @jennyk.bee

Faith Dall – Postgrad Researcher


Faith Dall earned her B.S. in Fall 2020 studying biology with a minor in chemistry. She loves all things cute and small, including our lovely little bee friends! She’s excited to be able to work with live critters and learn new techniques in the lab! In her free time she likes to collect plants to add to her mini forest that’s slowly accumulating in my apartment (all plant cuttings welcome) *hint hint*

Twitter handle: @callmeDALLface

Dalton McCart – Undergraduate Researcher

DaltonMcCartDalton is an undergraduate student studying biology. His interests are in rehabilitation ecology, conservation, entomology, botany, and marine sciences. Dalton is excited to join the Russell lab to explore pollinator behavior.

Twitter handle: @SaltyBiologist

Abilene Mosher – Undergraduate Researcher

Abilene Mosher

Abilene is an undergraduate working in wildlife biology with interests in ecology. She is excited to learn more about bee-havior!

Twitter handle: @AbbyMosher1
Instagram: @spookyabilene

Katie Naumer – Undergraduate Researcher

Katie is an undergraduate student with a biology major and chemistry minor. She loves hiking and being outdoors, and is excited to find out what the buzz is on behavioral ecology!


Kate Trebing – Undergraduate Researcher

KateTrebingKate is an undergraduate studying microbiology with a minor in chemistry. Her primary
area of interest is microbiomes and how they impact animals, especially bees! When Kate’s not in the lab, she loves to backpack in the mountains, cook new foods, and watch Jeopardy reruns.

Twitter handle: @micro_forensic
Instagram: @katee.treb

Liam Wilson – Undergraduate Researcher


Liam is an undergraduate currently studying for his degree in environmental and evolutionary biology. His primary area of interest is behavioral patterns in animals, which he hopes will be furthered while working in Dr. Russell’s lab. Liam also really enjoys being outdoors, specifically northern regions, playing music in the MSU PRIDE band and has an almost obsessive love of penguins.

Twitter handle: @Simple_Liam
Instagram: law1wilson

Lab Alumni

Former lab members who have gone on to bigger and better things! We miss them dearly!

Evelyn VanDenBerg – Visiting Undergraduate Researcher

Evelyn VanDenBergEvelyn is an undergraduate student (visiting from Drake University) studying biology and environmental science. She is looking forward to learning more about pollinators and how interconnected the relationship is between the species richness of pollinators and the health of ecosystems surrounding them.


Vanessa Morales – Undergraduate Researcher

Vanessa Morales

Vanessa earned her B.S. in Spring 2021 studying wildlife biology. She loves animals of all kind, and likes to observe and identify those she finds around her family ranch. Vanessa is especially excited to learn about the behavior and life of some of our planet’s smallest workers – bees!


Steph Sanders – Undergraduate Researcher

Steph Sanders

Steph earned her B.S. in Spring 2021 studying wildlife biology with a minor in biochemistry. She is very interested in animal behavior and training. Steph also loves bees! She’s been keeping bees for three years now and is excited to expand her adoration for bees by learning about their cognitive abilities as well as expanding her bee pun vocabulary! Steph’s buzzing with excitement!

Twitter handle: @steffsandwich
Instagram: @steffsanders

Randie Rogers – Undergraduate Researcher

Randie Rogers

Randie is studying evolutionary biology and chemistry. She is fascinated with insects! She is ecstatic to research bees! She loves hiking and adventuring all around the country. Her hobbies include mushroom collecting in her hometown and identifying insects for all of her friends from poorly taken photos. She is currently taking a temporary break from her undergraduate studies.

Twitter handle: @Randsherm
Instagram: @randsherm