Principal Investigator

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Andrew Sweet

Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Arkansas State University
Jonesboro, AR USA


Graduate Students

Alex Worm
Ph.D. Student
(co-advised with Than Boves)

I’m a central Arkansas native that is turning a lifelong love of the natural world into a research career. I earned my BS in Wildlife Ecology and Management from A-State in 2013. During undergrad, I conducted research on over-wintering Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels. I joined the Boves Lab at A-State in 2014 to work on range expansion and hybridization of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Western Kingbirds for my MS in Biology. After graduating in 2017, I worked as an instructor at Hendrix College and A-State and as an avian tech with NC Wildlife Resources Commission. I returned to A-State to join the Sweet and Boves Labs to continue work with Tyrant Flycatchers for my Ph.D. Specifically, I will be continuing research on the hybridization between Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Western Kingbirds, incorporating whole-genome sequencing. Another aspect of my work will focus on comparing co-phylogenetic divergence of a clade of kingbirds and their ectoparasites.

Undergraduate Students

Paige Brewer

I am from Walnut Ridge, a rural town in northeast Arkansas. I am currently studying Wildlife Management & Conservation at A-State. After undergrad I plan to attend graduate school and work for a nonprofit or research organization. In Dr. Sweet’s Lab I am helping to build an ectoparasite database and collection to document the biodiversity of bird lice in Arkansas. Additionally, we are sampling birds in various environments to measure the interactions and dispersal of different lice species. I am also learning how to analyze genetic data to answer questions about the evolution of lice. In academia I enjoy learning about ecological interactions and evolutionary processes and how these impact conservation decisions. Aside from school, I like to spend my time being in nature, cooking, and exercising. 

Kendall Lee

I’m from Lonoke, Arkansas—a rural farming community. Majoring in Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation with an emphasis in Wildlife allows me to explore my passion for educating others on the importance of conserving and studying wildlife. In my free time you’ll find me in the gym or outside enjoying everything nature has to offer. In the Sweet lab, I play a critical role in field work to collect lice from birds in Northeast Arkansas. I’ll also be involved in processing and extracting DNA from lice.