Julia Halo, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: I am interested in the influence of various types of retroelements have on large- and small-scale genomic structural variation, the study of host-virus evolution using paleogenomics of ERVs in vertebrates, and the mechanisms of and biological impact of continued transposable element mobility in vertebrate genomes.



Masters’ Students

Savanna Spitnale (ONU ’22)

Research interests: Evolution of antiretroviral genes/gene products

Abby Grady (BGSU ’23)

Research Interests: Evolution of antiviral gene families in vertebrate genomes

Undergraduate Students

Aaron Deutsch (BGSU ’25)

Research Interests: Function and mobilization of vertebrate TEs

Genny Pyles (BGSU ’25)

Research Interests: ERV discovery in vertebrate genomes

Molly Buffenbarger (BGSU ’25)

Research Interests: Characterization of proviruses 


High School Visiting Students

Lucy Nomaguchi (BGSU H.S. ’25)

 Research Interests: ERVs in wild canids

Past Lab Members and Students

Abigail Jarosz, Ph.D. (BGSU ’16; M.S. ’18; Ph.D. ’23)

 Presently: Assistant Professor, Biology, Lorain County Community College

Sarah Pavuk (BGSU ’23)

Research Interests: Impact of ERVs to gene expression in vertebrate genomes

Emily McKeen (BGSU ’23)

   Research Interests: SINE secondary structure and links to function

Savanna Spitnale (ONU, ’22)

 Visiting undergraduate from Ohio Northern University, 2021 Summer Capstone Project

Baileigh Laipply (BGSU ’21) … with Dunkin:) 

Research interests: SINE evolution and structure-function relationships. Currently: Medical School 

Lindsey Davis (BGSU ’20) 

Currently: Clemson Program in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Jordyn Ladikos (BGSU ’18, M.S. ’20)

AttachmentResearch Interests: The impact and functional properties of mammalian SINEs. Currently: Research Laboratory Assistant, NC

Malika Day, BGSU ’19

Research Interests: Retroviral evolution in the canine model. Currently: 3rd Year Medical School

Tracy Chung, Yale University (Visiting Summer Student ’16) 

 Research Interests: Methods for identification of polymorphic retroelements in humans and non-human genomes.

Erica Cech, B.S. BGSU ’19

ericacech Research interests: ERV expression in normal tissues and tumors. Currently: 2nd Year Dietetics Nutrition M.S., Wayne State

Zach Jacoby (BGSU ’19)

20170605_000634 Research interests: Detecting evidence of novel ERV loci in mammalian genomes. Currently: 4th Year Ophthalmology, Ohio State University

Ben A. Sayer (BGSU ’20) 

Image uploaded from iOS (1) Research interests: SINE evolution and function

Carollynn Judge (BGSU ’20) … with Wilson:)

Research interests: DNA techniques in forensics applications

Kyle Hallowell (BGSU ’22)

Research interests: Marine genetics and genetic engineering; Currently: Doctoral Program in Photochemical Sciences, BGSU


BOSON (like the Higgs)



Honorary Mascots

Image uploaded from iOS  Sammy 

 Larry, Moe, and Curly  Tig

Zoey and Molly

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