Jamie Kostyun

Bloomington, IN, US
Field of Work 
Indiana University
Job Title or "Student" 
PhD Graduate Student
Amherst College
BA, Biology and Anthropology
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I attended Amherst College for my undergraduate education, where I majored in Biology and Anthropology, as I intended to pursue a career in international conservation. However, following an introductory Evolution course with an amazing professor, I decided to work in her lab for a summer conducting research. The lab, run by Dr. Jill Miller and Dr. Rachel Levin, investigates plant mating system evolution, species relationships, and biogeography. I absolutely loved this initial research experience, and stayed in Dr. Miller and Dr. Levin's lab for the remainder of my time at Amherst (which included a Senior Honors Thesis, as well as a post-graduation summer research fellowship).
I knew I wanted to pursue my PhD in Evolution, but decided to take time off to further explore my research and career options. Thus, I worked as a lab technician at the University of Marlyand, College Park, where I established important personal and professional connections, and further developed my research abilities and skills. Although I planned to focus on basic research, I remained committed to conservation as an applied broader impact of my work.
I am currently a graduate student pursuing my PhD in the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior graduate program at Indiana University, Bloomington. My broad interests include mechanisms and genetics of reproductive isolation and speciation, comparative phyologenetics, developmental genetics of plants (primarily of flowers and seeds), and plant mating system evolution. In particular, I am examining the potential role of floral evolution in reproductive isolation and speciation within the flowering plants. In other words, do divergent floral features and/or underlying genetics contribute to the speciation process, by preventing or reducing successful mating between different groups of plants. As the precise mechanisms by which speciation occurs are only known in a very limited number of cases, I hope my research will contribute to understanding this fundamental question within evolutionary biology.
I am also still involved in conservation and 'green' awareness campaigns, as well as promoting continued education and equality in the sciences. Other passions include gardening, film and music.
Working outdoors, Pets, Reading
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
Online role model
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
No Preference
Career exploration activities, Identifying other role models
Program Affiliation 

 All Rights Reserved.   Privacy Policy »  Terms of Use »  
© 2022, National Girls Collaborative