Current Lab Members



Dr. Maria E. Orive,
Maria received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, and her Ph.D. from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She spent two years in the lab of Dr. Marjorie Asmussen in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia, followed by a year as an NSF NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, in the lab of Dr. Nick Barton. Maria came to the University of Kansas in 1997, where she is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While at KU, she spent one year as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Current CV

NABT 2018 talk: Mathematical models in evolutionary research

Graduate Students

Mayowa Ojo, M.S. (co-advised with F.B. Agusto)
Thesis: Modeling the effect of vaccination on meningitis in Nigeria

Undergraduate Researchers:

Anna Goddard

Anna Goddard, Mathematics
Anna is working on a research project that explores selection on the relative amounts of clonal and sexual reproduction in populations with mixed sexual/asexual reproduction and stage structure; Anna began working in the Orive lab in the Spring of 2018.


Caroline Hwang, KU Emerging Scholar
Caroline is working on a project that utilizes computer simulations to explore the effects of clonal interference; she began in the Orive lab in the Fall of 2017.


Past Lab Members

Graduate Students:

Dr. Tara Marriage, Ph.D. 2009 (co-advised with J.K. Kelly)
Adjunct Biology Instructor, Haskell Indian Nations University
Thesis: Mutation, asexual reproduction and genetic load: A study in three parts.

Qinqin Gong, M.S. 2007 (co-advised with J.K. Kelly)
Thesis: The effects of directional epistasis on molecular evolution.

Elizabeth Slade, M.S. 2007 (co-advised with J.K. Kelly)
Thesis: A comparison of models of persistent infection: Predicting key features of early HIV infection.

Linda Wachsberg, M.S. 2006
Thesis: Effect of population subdivision on the management of captive species: a computer simulation approach.


Dr. Scott Williamson, Ph.D. 2003
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, Cornell University (deceased)
Thesis: Detecting natural selection from patterns of polymorphism and divergence.


Undergraduate Researchers:


Mackenzie Johnson, Biology Honors 2017
Honors thesis: The effect of deleterious mutations and finite genome size on clonal interference and the rate of evolution.
Mackenzie is currently in the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas, Austin


Lauren Melcher, REU Student Summer 2017 (Texas A&M University, Commerce)
Project: Clonal interference: Gamma-distributed mutational effects.

Gabriel Haas, Biology 2015
Project: Mathematical modeling in epidemiology and population dynamics.


Carlos Fernandez, Mathematics 2015
Project: Models of the evolution of stage-structured populations with clonal reproduction.
Carlos is a co-author on a recent Orive lab publication:


Lei Wei, REU Student Summer 2014 (Wellesley College)
Project: Clonal interference: Combining multiple-loci and varying beneficial mutation effects.

Julio Ramirez, Biology Honors 2014
Honors thesis: Simulation studies of mutation-selection balance with sexual and asexual reproduction.

Stephen Rong, REU Student Summer 2013 (Washington University)
Project: Modeling host-endosymbiont population dynamics at the limit of low symbiont uptake.
Stephen is currently in the Ph.D. program at Brown University

Elisa Rosales, Mathematics 2010
Project: Dynamical models of host-virus interactions.

Rachel Debes, B.S. Mathematics Honors 2009
Honors thesis: Modeling dynamics of viral infection; combining within-host structure with cellular immune response.

Megan Denchfield, Biology 2006
Project: Numerical analysis of the effects of somatic mutation.