Current Graduate Students
Dalton Allen, MS 2021
My name is Dalton Allen and I completed my undergraduate studies in Environmental Biology at Eastern Illinois University in 2018 prior to becoming a graduate student in the Jeffries lab. As my alma mater may suggest, I originate from the prairie state of Illinois, where I worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) for around two years as both an intern and research technician. My research at TCU focuses on the development of alternatives methods for assessing the toxicity of effluent discharged into marine receiving environments. In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, playing video games, and listening/collecting records. My current tentative goal for the future is to pursue a career in industry.
Austin Bryant, MS 2021
Julie Krzykwa, MS 2017, PhD 2020
My name is Julie Krzykwa and I am working on my PhD in Biology in the Jeffries Lab. I originally hail from Milford, CT, but spent seven years living in Florida before coming to TCU. I received my B.A. in Biology from New College of Florida in 2012, and spent three years working for the Environmental Protection Agency before coming to TCU to pursue my MS degree. My time at the EPA introduced me to environmental toxicology research through projects such as “Aquatic Species Toxicity Translators: Amphibian exposures to Bifenthrin” and “Developmental Toxicity of Louisiana Crude Oiled Sediment to Zebrafish”. These projects led me to become interested in helping develop more humane methods for aquatic toxicology testing. My thesis and dissertation research is part of the Animal Alternatives Project, looking at the fathead minnow fish embryo toxicity test as a replacement for current testing procedures and at the use of sub lethal endpoints, such as growth related gene expression and developmental abnormalities, to improve the sensitivity of the fish embryo toxicity test. When not in the lab, I am usually baking, creating something, or attending live music somewhere in DFW. When I lived closer to the ocean I spent as much time as possible SCUBA diving or just hanging out at the beach.
Lynsey Malin, MS 2020
Hi! My name is Lynsey Malin. I completed undergraduate degrees in Biology and Entrepreneurial Management at TCU in 2018 before starting as a graduate student in the Jeffries lab. As an undergraduate, I conducted a research project focusing on the relationship between estrogens and immunity as a part of Dr. Jeffries’ endocrinology course. I will be continuing the same line of research for my Master’s thesis, specifically utilizing an antiestrogen exposure to study the impact of estrogen levels on immune function in female fathead minnows. In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling, and trying new restaurants. After graduate school, I will be attending medical school! Ultimately, I hope to practice as a physician and conduct clinical research.
Former Graduate Students
Leah Thornton Hampton, MS 2015, PhD 2020
Leah completed her MS degree at TCU and PhD at University of North Texas (UNT) under the supervision of Dr. Jeffries and Dr. Barney Venables (UNT) after completing a Zoology degree from Miami University (Oxford, OH). Leah's MS research focused on elucidating the differential reproductive effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) exposures during early development and adulthood. The results of her work demonstrated the enhanced vulnerability of early life stage organisms to the reproductive impacts of PBDEs. As a PhD student, Leah's work focused on the development of the fathead minnow as a model system for immunotoxicity and on the effects of early life stage thyroid disruption on immune system development. Leah's research in this area expanded the utility of the fathead minnow as a model for immunotoxicity studies and provided evidence that early life stage thyroid disruption leads to alterations in various aspects of immunity, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels. When Leah isn't in the lab, she enjoys being outdoors and looks forward to traveling and pursuing her love of scuba diving. She is currently employed as a Scientist in the Department of Toxicology at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project in Costa Mesa, CA.
Abbey Johnson, MS 2019
Abbey began her MS degree at TCU after graduating from the University of Texas with a BS in Marine and Freshwater Biology. As an undergraduate, Abbey gained research experience in fish physiology while working on a research project studying the effects of hypoxia on the oxygen carrying capacity in red drum. As an MS student, Abbey was co-advised by both Dr. Jeffries and Dr. Matt Hale and worked on a project aimed at connecting developmental thyroid disruption in fathead minnows to impaired reproductive success. Specifically, she analyzed brain transcriptomes from males exposed to thyroid disruptors during early development to identify possible mechanisms that lead to the observed reduction in fecundity. Her work provided evidence suggesting that thyroid disruption during early life stages has the capacity to alter various aspects of brain development, including neurogenesis and brain sexual differentiation. It is hypothesized that such changes lead to alterations in male reproductive behavior and subsequent reductions in fecundity. In her free time Abbey enjoys traveling, reading, and being with friends and family. She is currently an ORISE fellow at the United State EPA in Duluth, MN.
Kyle Roush, MS 2018
Kyle Roush began his research in the Jeffries lab as a sophomore and recently graduated with an MS degree. As an undergraduate, Kyle completed a Senior Thesis project titled Enhancing the fish embryo toxicity test: Growth, developmental abnormalities and gene expression as additional endpoints, which focused on using sublethal measures as test endpoints for a relatively new alternative toxicity testing method, the fathead minnow fish embryo toxicity test. As a graduate student, his research focused on improving endocrine disruption screening assays by identifying biological factors that influence test outcome. Specifically, his MS thesis work sought to understand how the reproductive status of fish used in such assays influences their response to compounds that interfere with sex steroid hormone signaling. Kyle served as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Biology's Contemporary Issues in Biology course prior to taking a position as an Associate Scientist at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH.
Peter Bruns, MS 2017
Peter joined the Jeffries lab after graduating with a Zoology degree from Texas A&M where he conducted research in a plankton ecology lab. Peter graduated with a MS degree in Biology from TCU in 2017. His thesis project examined the effects of model thyroid disruptors on reproductive endpoints in fathead minnows and showed that early life stage exposures to thyroid inhibitors impair reproductive success later in life. After the completion of his degree, Peter enrolled in the Environmental Science PhD program at Baylor University. In his free time, he likes to play with his dog, watch sports, look at funny pictures on the internet, and SCUBA dive whenever the chance arises.