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About us

Jennifer Y. Lamb (P.I., Associate Professor)

Pronouns: She/Her (why pronouns matter)

I joined the St. Cloud State University Dept. of Biology in August 2018. I enjoy asking questions about the ecology, natural history, behavior, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. I also like using a variety of tools or different approaches to answer those questions



Google Scholar:


Photo note: Jen wearing chest waders while standing in a vegetated wetland.

Current Graduate Students

Andy holding a Western Painted Turtle

Photo note: Andy is holding an Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii).

Andy Fondren (M.S. Student)

Andy is pursuing their Masters in BIology at SCSU (start date: Fall 2021). For their Masters thesis research, Andy is exploring sexual dichromatism in toads in the family Bufonidae.

From Andy: "Hi, my name is Andy, I have lived in Iowa all my life but I’m a recent Minnesota transplant! Animal behavior has always been something that has interested me and guided my past undergraduate research focused on painted turtles and water anoles. I hope to be able to continue studying communication, specifically in relation to mate choice and color. I’m absolutely stoked to be able to branch out and work with frogs! Outside of research I enjoy crocheting, hanging out in nature, biking, and collecting badges on the Seek app." 

E-mail: andyfondren [at]


Photo note: Alyssa holding a blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) while working on the Chippewa National Forest.

Alyssa Roberts (M.S. Student)

Alyssa began her Masters in Biology at SCSU in Fall 2022. Her thesis research will ask whether detection probability for the Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) varies when using different survey methods (e.g., eDNA vs. traditional nest and larval sampling). This is a collaborative project that will involve working closely with the MN Dept. of Natural Resources. 

From Alyssa: "Hi there! My name is Alyssa, and I am a native Minnesotan. I’ve been working with the rare plants and wildlife of the Chippewa National Forest as a seasonal biological science technician over the past six years. I grew up hiking around in the woods catching bugs and frogs at my family cabin and love that now I can do much of the same professionally! I am so excited to begin studying the very special four-toed salamanders of northern Minnesota!"

     Email: alyssa.roberts.2 [at]

Current Undergraduate Students

Kerri holding an Eastern Snapping Turtle

Photo note: Kerri holding a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) caught during fieldwork in Summer 2022.

Kerri Beers (B.S. Student)

Kerri is an undergraduate in the SCSU Biodiversity, Ecology, & Evolution Bachelors program. She officially joined the lab in Spring 2022 and has been conducting research investigating color and pattern in salamanders.

From Kerri: "Hello, my name is Kerri! I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. Ever since high school, I have loved science especially biology and ecology. I have been interested in doing research and would love to learn more about Herpetology. In my free time I like to read, watch movies, and spend time with friends/family."


Photo note: Abbie with her dogs.

Abbie Halvorson (B.S. Student)

Abbie is an undergraduate in the SCSU Biodiversity, Ecology, & Evolution Bachelors program. She began working with the lab in Fall 2022. She is helping the lab collect data from camera traps used to survey for Blanding's Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in central Minnesota.

From Abbie: "Hello, my name is Abbie! I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. Ever since high school, I have loved biology especially working with animals through volunteering. I have been interested in doing research and wanted to learn/experience a little bit of everything. In my free time I like to watch Disney movies, spend time with family and friends, and explore the outdoors with my dogs. "

Savanna on a boat in a lake.

Photo note: Savanna in a boat on a lake with a grey dog. 

Savanna Droher (B.S. Student)

Savanna is an undergraduate in the SCSU Biodiversity, Ecology, & Evolution Bachelors program. She began working with the lab in Summer 2022 and helped us survey for Blanding's Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in central Minnesota.

From Savanna: "Hello! My name is Savanna. I am an undergraduate student at SCSU pursuing my degree in biology. I enjoy nature and relaxing on the lake as well as spotting all the wildlife there is to be found!"


Photo note: Nicole smiling while holding a Boreal Chorus Frog in a baggie.

Nicole Gruwell (B.S. Student)

Nicole is an undergraduate in the SCSU Biodiversity, Ecology, & Evolution Bachelors program. She began working with the lab in Spring 2022 and is helping us process camera trap images from our Summer 2022 field season.

From Nicole: "Hello my name is Nicole! Minnesota has been my home for the entirety of my life. Since I was a child I was taught to pay attention to the wildlife around me and that eventually grew into a want to pursuit a degree in this area! I'm hoping to gain skills in the lab to jumpstart my career in this field while also expanding my knowledge on herpetology and any animal pals! "

Curious about joining the lab?

Are you an undergraduate interested in our research and looking for experience in a field or laboratory setting? Reach out to me (Dr. Lamb; to introduce yourself and your career goals (they can be broad!). There may be positions available to contribute to or pursue independent, parallel research topics!

If you are interested in graduate school please check out the coursework-based and thesis-based Masters programs offered by our Department and email me.


In your email be sure to include the following information:

  • an overview of your research interests and how they might fit within our group,

  • your broader career goal(s), and

  • your Curriculum Vitae or Resume

Important!: Masters students can apply for graduate Teaching Assistantships (TAs) or Graduate Assistantships (GAs). I also encourage students to apply for external funding.

A black salamander with yellow spots sits in a tupperware on some wet vegetation.

Photo note: A female Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) from Central Minnesota. Handled with appropriate permits.

Bailey holds a large snapping turtle while smiling at the edge of a lake

Photo note: Bailey and a Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) captured during her Masters thesis research. Handled with appropriate permits.

Lab Alumni

Michael Lee (B.S. Student)

Michael worked with the lab from Fall 2020 - Spring 2022. He helped curate the herpetology teaching collection, and conducted research investigating non-native lizards in the upper Midwest and sexual dimorphism in Western Painted Turtles.

Ashley Kobernusz (B.S. Student)

Ashley worked with the lab in Spring 2022. She sorted fecal samples from and quantified sexually dimorphic characters in Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii).

Alex Seymour (M.S. Student)

Alex investigated biofluoresence in the Grey Tree Frog complex (Hyla versicolor, H. chrysoscelis) for his Masters thesis. He worked with the lab as an undergraduate, and then as a graduate student from Fall 2019 - Fall 2021.

Taylor Idland (B.S. Student)

Taylor worked with the lab in Spring 2021 and assisted in the field surveys for salamanders and turtles.

Maxim Kroll (B.S. Student)

Maxim worked with the lab from Summer 2020 through Spring 2021 helping with various projects involving amphibians and turtles. He also created occurrence maps for focal species in QGIS. 

Carly Portinen (B.S. Student)

Carly worked with the lab from Fall 2018 through Spring 2019 to help manage the herpetology teaching collection.

Michale using a hanging scale to weigh a turtle.

Photo note: Michael weighing a male Western Painted Turtle during fieldwork in Summer 2021. Research completed with appropriate permits.

Bailey Richards (M.S. & B.S. Student)

Bailey graduated in Summer 2022. Her thesis research asked whether reflected and fluoresced color varied between male and female Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii).

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