Ashley Keesling, MS


  • B.S. in Biology from Eastern Michigan University
  • M.S. in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology from The Ohio State University
  • Currently a first-year student in the MGG Ph.D. program

I received my BS in Biology from Eastern Michigan University, where my undergraduate research project involved investigating hybridization in a section of the genus Juncus. I completed my MS in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University in 2020. At OSU, I studied phylogenetics and host specificity in a group of parasitic plants, Monotropa. Using ecological, morphological, and molecular lines of evidence, my research showed cryptic speciation in this widely distributed group, which was previously considered one species. After graduation, I worked as a research technician in Dr. Jordan Shavit’s lab at the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology. In that lab, I researched the genetics of hemostasis and thrombosis using a zebrafish model. My main project involved looking into the role of coagulation factor VII and its zebrafish paralogs. My research experience has given me a passion for scientific inquiry, and this has driven me to pursue a PhD in the CMMG program. This program will help me gain the skills and knowledge necessary to further my career as a scientist and allow me to make important contributions to the field of biological research.