Who we are

The Ostevik Lab is committed to fostering an open and collaborative environment for scientific discovery. 

We value diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

Current Lab Members (in order of appearance)

Kate Ostevik

Assistant Professor (she/her)

Google Scholar / Research Gate / LinkedIn

Kate is the principal investigator of the Ostevik Lab. She is interested in all things evolution, especially how new flowering plant species arise!

Email her: kostevik@ucr.edu

Rebeca Hernández Gutiérrez

Postdoctoral Scholar

Google Scholar

Rebeca is interested in evolution, especially in how flowering plants diversify in number and form at macro- and microevolutionary scales

Email her: rebecahe@ucr.edu

alana Yamauchi

Undergraduate Researcher (she/her)

Alana is interested in genetics and genetic variation between different organisms. She is a biochemistry major, with an emphasis on premed, and is currently working towards a minor in computer science.

Natthinee sutJaitham

Research Assistant

My interest in studying life processes in molecular terms drives me to pursue a Biochemistry major. My main interests are how the body works and how humans evolved from primitive species to dominant creatures of the planet. I also enjoy observing local flowering plants, collecting, and dissecting flower specimens.

ALondra Ramirez

Undergraduate Researcher

Alondra is interested in genetics and molecular biology. She is currently studying as a Biology major on the Pre-med route and is looking forward to continue learning more about the field of research.

Rajesh Neupane

PhD Student

LinkedIn / ResearchGate / Google Scholar

I am interested in understanding the genomics of wild sunflower adaptation to climate-induced stress like drought. Through GWAS and resurrection experiments, I aim to address questions on contemporary evolution and potentially identify genetic variations that enhance sunflower resilience to climate change.

Email him

Brennan Silva

PhD Student

Brennan is interested in evolutionary genetics, including topics of speciation, and chromosome evolution. He is excited to begin exploring these questions in flowering plants like sunflowers and Clarkia.

Joanna Fuerte

Undergraduate Researcher

I'm interested in evolutionary ecology, especially in plants and fungi. I'm excited to expand my knowledge and study interests as an undergrad. In my free time, I like to rewatch shows and journal.

Aurora cullen

Research Assistant

Aurora is interested in the effects of climate change on wildlife and how organisms can adapt to rising temperatures. She is a 4th year Biology Major working towards a career in conservation and wildlife biology.

Rhiena Oliveira

Undergraduate Researcher

Rhiena (Rey-na) is interested in genetics which drives her interest to learn more about genes and understand their various effects in different species. She is currently a fourth year biology major with a desire to attend a masters program in genetic counseling. Rhiena is excited to learn more about genetics through an evolutionary lens. 

Linlin Liu

Undergraduate Researcher

Linlin is a fourth-year Statistics major and is interested in genetics and bioinformatics. She is excited to explore and learn more about life science research and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in biostatistics or bioinformatics.


PhD Student

Gangothri is interested in evolutionary ecology, where she plans on studying the role of hybridization in determining the parent species fitness and speciation in the genus Penstemon. Apart from that, she loves observing nature and playing the violin.

Alex McElwee-Adame

Joint SDSU-UCR PhD Student

Alex is interested in population and evolutionary genomics of plants and how this information can help us understand historical events within lineages and predict future outcomes. Her project focuses on exploring the evolutionary genomics of hops domestication and how hops will cope in the future under climate change.

Esther Adu

Undergraduate Researcher

Esther is interested in hybridization in flowering plants. She is a biology major on the pre-med route. Her project focuses on understanding fitness in Clarkia hybrids.


Undergraduate Researcher

Ghazal is a third-year CMDB major interested in genetics and its numerous effects on different organisms. She is eager to learn and build on her skills in the biological sciences as well as explore the wondrous aspects of the field. 


Undergraduate Researcher

Kiana is interested in genetics and evolutionary biology. She is studying as a biology major on the Pre-dental track and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge of evolutionary genetics.


Undergraduate Researcher

Virginia is interested in evolutionary ecology, with a specific focus on genetics and speciation. Currently in her third year as a Biology major, she is enthusiastically dedicated to expanding her knowledge through scientific research. Beyond her academic pursuits, she enjoys spending quality time with friends and indulging in a diverse array of shows.

Mariana Matar

Undergraduate Researcher

Mariana is a 3rd year biology major. She is very interested in learning more about evolutionary biology in plants. She hopes to one day go into the health field and implement the skills learned in the Ostevik Lab.

Previous Lab Members

Joshua Alexis

2023: Undergraduate Researcher

Monique Marquez

2023: Visiting Undergraduate Researcher

danielle Marcelin-stone

2022-2023: Undergraduate Researcher

Kyrollos Salama

2023: Honors Student


2022-2023: Undergraduate Researcher

Mariana Moreno

2023: Visiting Undergraduate Researcher


2022-2023: Undergraduate Researcher

Brinda Avadhanam

2023: Summer Research Volunteer

Kathy Le

2020-2021: Research Assistant

Harshini Lakshminarayanan

2021: Summer Research Intern

Banner photo: Penstemon collecting trip in the Sierra Mountains, CA. Photo by Kimmy Stanton.