Members of Our Research Group

Prospective Students & Post-docs

The focus of our research is biological diversity, ranging from the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain a wide variety of phenotypes and life-history strategies to the mechanisms that create and maintain temporal and spatial patterns of organismal distribution, relative abundance, and species richness. Members of our research group strive for mechanistic understanding of organismal traits and species interactions, per se, and to provide explanations for the structure and dynamics of populations and communities, primarily within tropical and sub-tropical latitudes.

Students and post-docs interested in joining our research group may contact Kyle via e-mail. Although our principal subjects of investigation are tropical and sub-tropical plants – often including their interactions with other organisms – Kyle encourages students and post-docs to develop projects that are tailored to and motivated by their own taxonomic and geographic interests.


Current Ph.D. Students

Carrie Barker working in the fieldCarrie Barker

Jamie Phelps working in the fieldJamie Phelps

Luis Santiago-Rosario working in the fieldLuis Y. Santiago-Rosario

Maggie VincentMaggie Vincent



Former Graduate Students & Post-Docs

Adriana Bravo working in the fieldAdriana Bravo
Ph.D. 2009, LSU
Collpas as activity hotspots for frugivorous bats in the Peruvian Amazon
Current position: Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Jane Carlson working in the fieldJane E. Carlson
Ph.D. 2007, LSU
Natural & sexual selection in the hummingbird-pollinated herb, Chrysothemis friedrichsthaliana
Current position: National Park Service Ecologist, Lafayette, LA

Paul Gagnon working in the fieldPaul R. Gagnon
Post-doc 2007-2008, LSU
Ecological processes that influence the dominant grasses of pine savannas
Current position: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute of Water Resources, Alexandria, VA

Sandra Galeano working in the fieldSandra P. Galeano
Ph.D. 2016, LSU
Ecological assembly of leaf-litter anuran communities across a Neotropical land-bridge archipelago
Current position: Research Scientist, Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, Colombia

Katherine Hovanes working in the fieldKatherine A. Hovanes
Ph.D. 2019, LSU
Spatial patterns of dominant bunchgrass species in pine savanna groundcover plant communities
Current position: Post-doc, School of Natural Resources & the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Robert John Chandran working in the fieldRobert John Chandran
Post-doc 2004-2006 with Dr. Jim Dalling, U. Illinois (Kyle was a co-advisor)
Soil-chemistry influences on tropical forest structure, dynamics, and diversity
Current position: Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata, India

Metha Klock working in the fieldMetha M. Klock
Ph.D. 2015, LSU
The role of rhizobial mutualisms in the establishment and colonization of exotic Acacia species in novel ranges
Current position: Assistant Professor, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Scott Kosiba working in the fieldScott L. Kosiba
Ph.D. 2019, LSU (Kyle was a co-advisor with principal advisor Dr. Bruce Williamson)
Dynamics of resprouting and forest regeneration following anthropogenic land use in the central Amazon Basin
Current position: Conservation Biologist, Jackson Hole, WY

Jonathan Myers working in the fieldJonathan A. Myers
Ph.D. 2010, LSU
Ecological assembly of high-diversity pine savannas
Current position: Associate Professor, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Tim Paine working in the fieldC. E. Timothy Paine
Ph.D. 2007, LSU
Ecological factors affecting the diversity of tropical tree seedlings in the western Amazon
Current position: Lecturer, University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Heather Passmore working in the fieldHeather A. Passmore
Post-doc 2005-2008, LSU
Processes that influence local biodiversity in pine savanna groundcover
Current position: Senior Data Scientist, GreatSchools, Oakland, CA

Ellen Reid working in the field

Ellen M. Reid
M.S. 2010, LSU
Patterns and mechanisms of the exploitation of mutualisms
Current position: Assistant Dean for Global Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA

Trash basket plant in lieu of photo of Maria Sanchez de StapfMaría N. Sánchez de Stapf
Maestría 2001, Universidad Santa María la Antigua, Panama (Kyle was a co-advisor)
Ecology and functional morphology of a litter-trapping tree, Capparis antonensis (Capparaceae)
Current position: Professor & Herbarium Director, Universidad de Panamá, Republic of Panama

Erica Tsai working in the fieldYi-Hs Tsai
NSF Bioinformatics Post-doc 2010-2012 with Dr. Bryan Carstens, LSU (Kyle was a co-advisor)
Current position: Data Scientist, Boulder, CO

Charles Zartman working in the fieldCharles E. Zartman
Post-doc 2004-2005, Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) & Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP)
Diversity and dynamics of an Amazonian forest
Current position: Research Curator of Cryptogams, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil


Current & Former LSU Undergraduates

Natalia Aristizabal at LSU graduationNatalia Aristizábal
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity, 2007-2009 &
Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar: Avian morphological variation along the principal Amazonian productivity gradient, 2009-2010


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Jordan Bantuelle
Improving local energy-use efficiency

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Andrew Browning
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Sarah Colosimo
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Melissa Day
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Felicia Emery
Seed dispersal in a Louisiana pine savanna

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Zachary Goodnow
Chancellor's Future Leader in Research Scholar

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Brooke Hopkins
Geographic distributions of Neotropical trees

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Morgan Kerns

Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity (assistant to Jonathan Myers)
& biology of invasive acacias in California (assistant to Metha Klock)


Ally Lazar portraitAlly Lazar
Phytochemical landscape of sodium (assistant to Luis Santiago-Rosario)


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John-Michael May
Regeneration of longleaf pine & savanna biodiversity

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Stephanie Norman
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Ikenna Onyenekwu
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Getorian Reed
Gender-biased nectar production (assistant to Jane Carlson)

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Christian Savoie
Factors affecting regeneration of longleaf pine

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Phuong Truong
Louisiana pine savanna biodiversity

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Abigail Vinson
President's Future Leader in Research Scholar: Ecology of Louisiana pine savannas

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Colleen Wallace
Seed dispersal in a Louisiana pine savanna

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Pamela Weisenhorn
Dispersal- and establishment-limitation of rainforest trees in Peru (assistant to Tim Paine)

Elizabeth Weltman - LSU graduationElizabeth Weltman
Chancellor's Future Leader in Research Scholar: Ecology of Louisiana pine savannas







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Rachanda Wilson
Seed dispersal in a Louisiana pine savanna


Our Research Group

Harms Lab 2020

Luis, Kyle, Maggie, Carrie, Jamie
(clockwise from upper left)
Zoom lab meeting 
Fall 2020






Harms Lab Group - 2 Oct. 2019Carrie, Jamie, Luis
Camp Whispering Pines, LA
Fall 2019












Harms research group at Eglin A.F.B.Luis, Carrie, Katherine
Eglin Air Force Base, FL
Spring 2019









Our research group at Abita Springs, LACarrie, Kyle, Katherine, Luis
Abita Springs Nature Conservancy Preserve, LA
Spring 2018







Sandra, Zach, Metha, Kyle, Katherine, Elizabeth at LSUSandra, Zach, Metha, Kyle, Katherine
(back row)
(front row)
Fall 2013






Amanda & Christina at Eglin A.F.B.Amanda, Christina
(Eglin field team)

Eglin Air Force Base, FL
Winter 2013









Harms research group; Blackwater, FLKatherine, Paul, Kyle, Susan
Blackwater River State Forest, FL
Spring 2012

Photo © J. A. Myers 







Harms research group in Baton Rouge, LANatalia, Jonathan, Metha, Kyle, Sandra
(back row)
(front row)
Baton Rouge, LA
Winter 2009






Harms research group in Baton RougeAdriana, Ellen, Kyle, Heather, Paul, Jonathan
Baton Rouge, LA
Summer 2008









Adriana and Jonathan at Camp Whispering Pines

Adriana, Jonathan
Camp Whispering Pines, LA
Spring 2007

Photo © J. A. Myers







Heather & Jonathan at Camp Whispering PinesHeather, Jonathan 
Camp Whispering Pines, LA
Summer 2006









Harms Research Group at annual crawfish boil, LSUKyle, Adriana, Tim, Jane, Jonathan
Annual LSU Department of Biological Sciences Crawfish Boil
Spring 2006








Tim Paine and Jane Carlson, Panama, 2003Tim, Jane