Dr. Riggins is originally from Nebraska. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. During his time there he studied tiger beetles, carrion beetles, and below-ground invertebrates of wet meadows along the Platte River. He received a Ph.D. in Forest Entomology under Dr. Fred Stephen at the University of Arkansas in 2008. His research in Arkansas used traditional field ecology and modern geospatial techniques to investigate an outbreak of the red oak borer in the Ozark mountains. His current research investigates how disturbances and symbioses influence forest biogeochemistry. In his spare time, Dr. Riggins spends as much time as possible with his wife, Erika and his children Ian, Isaac, Zoey, and Max. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and reading.
John is a Mississippi native born and raised in Vicksburg. He went into the work force straight out of high school as a deckhand on the Motor Vessel Dredge Jadwin for the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers. After several years in the work force he began to pursue a career in the ecological sciences. He received his B.S. in forestry with a concentration in wildlife management from Mississippi State University graduating magna cum laude in spring of 2014. His research under the guidance of Dr. Riggins is focused on the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis). He will be developing a cumulative degree-day model for predicting the peak spring dispersal, and studying host selection preferences. He has recently taken over the reigns as lab manager, and assists with all aspects of research ongoing in the lab. In his spare time, John enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, paintballing, and working with the youth of his home town church.
Hannah Bares is from Bozeman, Montana. She received her B.S. in Organismal Biology with a minor in Entomology from Montana State University graduating with highest honors in the spring of 2014. She is studying non-native woodborers and their hosts in southeastern coastal forests. Her hobbies include hiking, cross-country skiing and music.
Natalie Dearing is from northeast Mississippi. She received her B.S. in Forestry from Mississippi State University, and started working in the Riggins lab during her junior year. She is studying the effects of consuming ophiostomatoid fungi on subterranean termite physiology. Her hobbies include hiking, cats, and sarcasm.