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ASB 2022



Do you find what I do interesting? Would you like to work with me in the future?

I am currently looking into potential post-doc positions that would start Spring 2024. Although it is early, I am interested in starting collaborations that will lead to submitting an NSF PRFB in Fall 2023. Any questions? Contact me via e-mail or Twitter. Want to know what it would be like to work with me? E-mail my current PhD advisor, Jennifer Mandel (jmandel[at]memphis[dot]edu).


Mandel Lab heads to ASB!

Jennifer Mandel and Erika head to ASB 2023 conference in Winston-Salem, NC!

Check out their talks and posters if you get a chance:

Erika: Poster (P183 - 3/24 from 8:00-10:00am) + Talk (66 - 3/24 from 1:15-1:30pm)

Jennifer: Poster (P326 - 3/25 from 3:00-5:00pm) + Talk (160 - 3/25 from 10:45-11:00am)

March 23-26, 2023

Visit from Winthrop University

The Mandel Lab had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Kunsiri "Pum" Grubbs and her undergraduate student Zach from Winthrop University to learn about population genetics wetlab work. 

March 13-18, 2023

New grad student in Mandel lab!

The Mandel Lab is growing (again) with the addition of new Master's student, Sam. Sam was an undergraduate student in our lab for the last year and has decided to continue their science journey by working on the endangered, whorled sunflower, Helianthus verticillatus!

January 1, 2023

Mandel Lab in the news 😲

Erika's PI, Jennifer Mandel, made it on Memphis News for her new awarded NSF PGRP grant! In collaboration with Daniel Jones (Auburn) and John Burke (UGA), work from this grant will generate new genomic resources across Asterales, Dipsacales and Apiales to address broad questions related to capitulum development and evolution! A more complete description can be found here. 🌻

September 1, 2022


CAPITULUM Volume 2 Issue 1 is out now! Visit to see our latest issue(s)! Contact Erika, or any other handling editors, if you want to submit a manuscript to this up-and-coming peer-reviewed journal!

August 30, 2022

The Mandel Lab grew by one this semester, with the new addition of Serena from California State University-Sacramento! Excited to welcome another grad student to the lab! Woo! 🎉

August 2022

Mandel Lab heads to Botany 2022

Jennifer Mandel, Jorge Gomez, and Erika packed their bags and headed to Anchorage, AK to attend Botany 2022! Erika is giving a talk on the phylogenomics of Packera (link to presentation), Jorge presented a poster that compared two probe sets: Composite-1061 and 2424 (a new probe set designed for functional genes), and Jennifer presented the opening talk, along with Mauricio Bonifacino (Universidad de la República), at the Vicki Funk symposium organized by herself, Mauricio, Jun Wen (Smithsonian Institute), Warren Wagner (Smithsonian Institute), and Erika. 

July 24-30, 2022

Mandel Lab's first HMW  extraction

Erika, Sam Drewry (UG), and Keiana Fields (recently graduated UG) sent off High Molecular Weight (HMW) DNA extractions for a new and upcoming project! This was their first time doing these extractions, so they are extra nervous (😬) but excited to see how they went. Stay tuned to find out what this exciting new project will be!

July 12, 2022

Student visit in Mandel Lab

The Mandel Lab is hosting PhD student Brannan Cliver at the University of Memphis. Brannan is a recent addition to Dr. Daniel Jones Lab (The CapituLab) at Auburn University. The Mandel Lab will train Brannon on the lab work needed to sequence for Target-Enrichment data, while Brannan will show Mandel Lab members how to extract high-molecular weight (HMW) DNA.

June 27-July 1, 2022

Second TICA Talk of the year!

The second TICA Talk of the year was hosted by Dr. Makeli Garibotti Lusa, from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, who presented some of her work on phytomelanins within Asteraceae. Interested in TICA Talks or potentially presenting? Visit to learn more!

June 27, 2022

First TICA Talk of the year!

The first TICA Talk of the year was this recent Monday where Dr. Tim Collins, from New South Wales, Australia, presented some of his work in the Australian Gnaphalieae. Interested in TICA Talks or potentially presenting? Visit to learn more!

May 9, 2022

PGO 2022

Erika attended Plant Genomes Online (PGO), a new, free, virtual, 24-hour conference led by multiple plant researchers from around the globe. If you are interested in seeing the talks, visit their YouTube page that has all the recorded talks and lectures!

April 27-28, 2022

ASB 2022

Erika presented conservation genetic work on Helianthus verticillatus at Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) conference in Little Rock, AR. She also was a panelist for DEI workshop: “Hitting the ground running with your graduate school applications”. 
Erika was awarded 
the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society (SABS) Richard and Minnie Windler Award for “Best systematics paper published in CASTANEA during the previous year” (, the SABS Student Presentation Award for “Best oral presentation” at ASB 2022, the ASB Student Research Award for “Best oral presentation and associated published paper” at ASB 2022, and an SABS Conference Support Award.

April 1, 2022

Seminar Talk

Erika presented her updated work on Packera to the University of Memphis department. Currently, all of the specimens needed for her project are sequenced and now it's time to write!

March 29, 2022


CAPITULUM Volume 1 Issue 2 is out now! Visit to see our latest issue(s)! Contact Erika, or any other handling editors, if you want to submit a manuscript to this up-and-coming peer-reviewed journal!

January 29, 2022

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