2017-Present   Ph.D, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; University of Virginia; Advisor: Dr.                                                                 Edmund D. Brodie III

2017                M.S., Ecology, Ethology and Evolution; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Advisor: Dr.                            Rebecca C. Fuller

2014                B.S., Biology: Emphasis in Ecology/Field Biology; Minor: Environmental Studies; University                                of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Cum-Laude


Mitchem, L.D., Debray, R., Formica, V.A., & Brodie, E.D. III (2019). Contest interactions and outcomes: relative body size and aggression independently predict contest status. Animal Behavior, 157, 43-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.06.031.

Mitchem, L.D., Stanis, S., Zhou, M., Loew, E., Epifanio, J.M., and Fuller, R.C. 2018. Seeing red: color vision in the largemouth bass. Current Zoology.

Mitchem, L.D., Stanis, S., Sutton, N.S., Turner, Z., and Fuller, R.C. 2018. The pervasive effects of lighting environments on sensory drive in bluefin killifish: an investigation into male/male competition, female choice, and predation. Current Zoology.

Rutzen, K., L. Mitchem, N. Rudolph, K. Katovich, and J. M. Kapfer. 2015. Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding’s Turtle): Juvenile Diet. Herpetological Review 46:79-80.

Kapfer, J.M., Lorch, J.M., Wild, E.R., Brown, D.J., Mitchem, L., Rudolph, N., Rutzen, K., and Vogt, R. 2015. Distribution records for amphibians and reptiles from Wisconsin, USA. Herpetological Review 46:587-590.


External Research Grants and Awards

2016                Student Research Grant; Animal Behavior Society; Awarded $1000

Internal Research Grants and Awards

2019                Distinguished Graduate Mentorship Fellowship; Biology Department; University of Virginia;                              Awarded semester stipend and $2000 in research funds.

2019                Jefferson Scholars Foundation Research Prize; University of Virginia; Awarded $1500

2017                Thomas Frazzetta Award for Outstanding Teaching in Animal Biology; Department of Animal                            Biology; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2016                R. Weldon Larimore Scholarship; Illinois Natural History Survey; Awarded $1200

2016                Odem-Kendeigh Research Award; Department of Animal Biology; University of Illinois at                                    Urbana-Champaign; Awarded $1000

2016                Francis M. and Harlie M. Clark Research Support Grant; School of Integrative Biology;                                            University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Awarded $1000

2014                J.A. Cummings Biology Scholarship; Biology Department; University of Wisconsin-                                                  Whitewater; Awarded $3000


2017                “Getting the Most Out of Your Teaching Assistantship.” Midwest Ecology and Evolution                                         Conference, Urbana


Oral Presentations

2018                “The causes and consequences of male-male interactions in a sexually dimorphic beetle                                       species.” SouthEastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetic, Pembroke, VA.

2017                “Why so blue? The effect of lighting environment on sexual selection in bluefin killifish                                         (Lucania goodei).” Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, Urbana


2018-Present   Austin Barlow; University of Virginia

How environmental context affects male-male interactions in Bolitotherus                                                                          cornutus

2018-Present   Arielle Wimmer; University of Virginia

Sex-specific effects of testosterone on display behaviors in Anolis sagrei

2018                Dana Homer; Swarthmore College

Repeatability of female-female interactive behaviors in Bolitotherus cornutus

2019                Zorimar Vilella-Pacheco: Mountain Lake Biological Station REU

Females discern the outcome of male combat using chemical cues 



University of Virginia

2019                Graduate Teaching Assistant; Introduction to Biology – Organismal and Evolutionary Biology                            (100 level)

2018                Graduate Teaching Assistant; Introduction to Biology – Cell Biology and Genetics (100 level)

2017                Graduate Teaching Assistant; Introduction to Biology – Cell Biology and Genetics (100 level)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2017                Graduate Teacher Certificate; Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

2017                Curriculum Developer; Progressing through the Ages: Global change, Evolution, and Societal                              well-being (PAGES); developed curriculum standardized for the Next Generation Science                                      Standards for K-12 programs in the Urbana and Champaign school districts.

2016                Teaching Assistant; Ecology (200 level)

Ranked as Outstanding (top 10% of teaching assistants) by students

2015                Teaching Assistant; Organismal and Evolutionary Biology (100 level)

Ranked as Outstanding (top 10% of teaching assistants) by students


2019                Research weekend at Mountain Lake Biological Station with the Environmental Studies                                          Academy at Western Albemarle High School

*Guided high school students through a two-day workshop that included the development                                    and implementation of small research projects at Mountain Lake Biological Station.

2018-2019       Science fair judge; Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair; Charlottesville, VA

2017                Conference volunteer and moderator; Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference; Urbana, IL

2016                PAGES Summer Workshop; Urbana, IL

*Assisted K-12 teachers in developing ecology and evolution curriculum.

2016                Boneyard Creek Clean-up Day; Urbana, IL

*Interacted with and educated creek clean-up volunteers on the fishes of local creeks using a                             live fish display.

2014                RIBBIT; Whitewater, WI

*Assisted in an afterschool program for elementary school students that taught wetland                                       ecology with emphasis on frog call detection and citizen science.


2018-2019       Committee Member, Graduate Student and Post-Doc Association, University of Virginia

2016-2017       Social Coordinator, Graduates in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Illinois


Animal Behavior Society

Society for the Study of Evolution

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology