We are lucky to have a lab community that extends beyond USU and official roles – it includes people from many locations and institutions and of many different specialties and career stages.

If you are interested in joining the lab or in collaborating, please reach out to Carl!

Here is our lab’s Terms of Engagement document.

Graduate Students:

Maryam Sedaghatpour. For this photo Maryam opted to show off some of her Rothfels lab interpretive dance moves. Wine and plants–I think she nailed it!
David Adelhelm. David has given up his destiny of becoming the next Florida Man in favor of polyploid ferns, a valiant sacrifice.
Picture of Chinedum
Chinedum Anajemba. Chinedum’s quest to identify all the stunning polyploid ferns in Utah state seems to be a pretty daunting task but he is making progress.
Julia Hobbie. When not collecting and boiling tree blood, Julia enjoys manually adjusting alignments.


Jenna Ekwealor. Find Jenna in the desert, nose a few inches from the ground (looking at mosses). 



Lan Wei. Lan likes phylogenetics, photography, and phyto-anything.


Carl Rothfels. I don’t always like to have a mustache, but when I do, I like to have it finding ferns. (That white tuft by my hand is a plant of Notholaena brevistipes, known from one small population in Mexico.)

Esteemed Associates:

John “Game” Game. John left his position as a yeast geneticist to follow his true calling as photographer extraordinaire and connoisseur of all things pteridological (especially if they’re growing on Pacific islands). 
Alan Smith. Alan has been a pteridological tour de force since at least 1967, and aside from his dozens upon dozens of publications and such honors as being the namesake of Alansmia, he has made the UCJEPS fern collection into the world-leader that it is. 

Illustrious Alums:

Mike May. Mike is our resident statistical phylogenetics nerd. He enjoys birth-death models and Markov chain Monte Carlo, and so should you!
Priscilla Lau. Priscilla’s brain is overwhelmed by random (and most-of-the-time weird) thoughts. Now she joins the lab attempting to integrate these intriguing ideas into a decent research question!
Sraavya Sambara. Sraavya, a student of Dougherty Valley High School, is the youngest and probably most well-spoken member of the Rothfels lab. And the most determined: we keep telling her that she should concentrate on her schoolwork, but she’s caught the Azolla bug and will continue coming in weekly this semester.
Forrest Freund. (PhD student, 2015–2022). When not thinking about Isoetes Forrest is … well, he’s usually thinking about Isoetes. A corm of which he is dissecting in this photo. 
Abby Jackson-Gain. (Undergraduate researcher, 2017–2021). Among her many other contributions, Abby brought much-coveted geological expertise to the lab, as indicated by her enthusiasm for granodiorite (not to be confused with mere granite, oh nosiree). Abby is currently doing getting a Masters in Geology at the University of Chile in Santiago! 
Adia Tajima. Ethnobotany enthusiast, plant fan, and stem slicer extraordinaire. Known to dabble in monocots.
Olivia Jerram. Even though she’s an astrophysics major, Olivia is pretty sure she knows what a fern is. Her real passion, though, is science communication and telling people all about the lab’s great work!
Michael “Mick” Song. (Phd student, 2016–2021). Turns out, googling for “Mick Song” brings up a lot of Rolling Stones’ hits. Mick has been on vacation since filing in the summer of 2021…
Carrie Tribble. (Phd student, 2017–2020). Some people have a passion for underground storage organs. Carrie is one of those people. Look at that joy! Carrie is now a post doc at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, with Dr. Rosana Zenil-Ferguson.
Keir Wefferling. (Postdoc, 2018–2020). Keir loves the ploidy, and the ferns. Also the Ranunculales, which are ok. Keir now runs his own lab at the University of Wisconsin, Greenbay!
Dori Contreras. (Postdoc, ~2018–2019) She codes characters in her sleep! Dori is now a Curator of Paleobotany at the Perot Museum of Natural History.
Joyce Chery (PhD student, ~2017–2019). Joyce, a one-woman force of science. Cambial variants, beware! I think there’s even a copy of Tree Thinking being worked in here. Joyce is the first Rothfels Lab PhD graduate, and we miss her already.
Jonathan Qu (undergraduate student, 2017–2019). Jonathan is the most photogenic lab member, and also the only one with the inner fortitude to actually send the webmaster an embarrassing photo, as requested.
Ingrid Jordon-Thaden. (Lab manager/deity, 2015–2017). Looking intrepid, and slightly concerned, by a cliff. On which there are probably ferns, and possibly Draba. Ingrid was the Rothfels lab technician/research associate from the beginning until she got her current position at the University of Wisconsin — we miss you Ingrid!
Fay-Wei Li (postdoc, 2015–2016). Fay-Wei, father of the fern genus Gaga (among many other accomplishments) had a brief and memorable Rothfels lab sojourn prior to demonstrating a general lack of consideration by getting himself a job. Very sad for us!
Ben Dauphin (visiting student, 2015–2016). Ben, the Botrychium Whisperer, joined our lab from the University of Neuchatel for an all-too-brief stint in 2015 — 2016. We miss you, Ben!
Francisco (Paco) Perfectti. Paco visited the lab in 2016–2017 as a sabbatical scholar from the University of Granada, enriching us with his brassicaceous prowess and enthusiasm for messy taxonomic complexes.


Historical lab photos!


Here we are getting pumped for Fall semester 2021. We loooooove zoom! Top row, L to R: Sonia Nosratinia, Carl Rothfels, and Ixchel González-Ramírez. Middle row, R to L: Lan Wei, Mike May, and David Adelhelm. Bottom row, R to L: Forrest Freund. Not pictured: Maryam Sedaghatpour (doing fieldwork in Lebanon!) and Priscilla Lau.



Lab photo, 2019! Back row, L to R: Alan Smith, Mike May, John Game, Keir Wefferling, Maryam Sedaghatpour, Carrie Tribble, and Mick Song. Front row, R to L: Sonia Nosratinia, Carl Rothfels, and Forrest Freund. (Not pictured, L to R: Abby Jackson-Gain, Sraavya Sambara, Sarah Wetterer, and Shirley Zhang.)


This is us! Fall 2018. Late October is totally fall. From L to R: Keir Wefferling, Jonathan Qu, Forrest Freund, Carrie Tribble, Abby Jackson-Gain, Athyrium filix-femina, Mick Song, Sonia Nosratinia, Carl Rothfels, Dori Contreras, Maryam Sedaghatpour, and Joyce Chery. Missing (also L to R): Alan Smith, John Game, and Sraavya Sambara.)


The Rothfels lab and associates, circa April 2017. Standing, L to R: John Game, Alan Smith, Paco Perfectti, Forrest Freund, Ingrid Jordon-Thaden; crouching (tigers): Gahun Boo, Carl Rothfels, Mick Song. Forrest is excited about having his photo taken, and Mick–those boots! Amazing. (Note the artfully arranged Athyrium.)