Current members

Current members of the scorpion lab.

Dr. Doug Gaffin
DougI lead this wonderful group of scientists. My interest in scorpions goes back to my time under the scorpion biologist Dr. Philip Brownell at Oregon State University, where I did my PhD. I am particularly interested in the chemosensory organs called pectines on the bottom of all scorpions. This work stems from my longstanding questions about navigation in bees, scorpions, and other other invertebrates. When not in the lab or office, I love to play volleyball and the banjo, and spend time with my wife, Dr. Marielle Hoefnagels. Contact me at ddgaffin [at] Curriculum vita.
Safra Shakir
SafraSafra is an honors student and biology major, and she is considering doing medicine. Safra’s research involves using electrophysiological techniques to understand synaptic interactions between the cells in the peg sensilla on ground-directed chemosensory organs on scorpions called pectines. Safra participated in URD 2020, and on the weekend volunteers at a clinic. Safra enjoys drawing and reading and spending time at home with her family.
Jacob Sims
JacobJacob is an honors student from Boston, MA. He is majoring in Physics and working on minors in Mathematics and Anthropology. He is studying how scorpion behavior relates to their fluorescence under UV light, especially under natural conditions. He also works in Dr. Grant Biedermann's lab in the Physics department, researching quantum information systems using the interactions between ultra-cold Rydberg atoms. When not in the lab, he enjoys backpacking, playing the guitar, and reading.
Maria Munoz
Maria is an OK-LSAMP scholar majoring in biology and studying for a public and communication health minor. In addition to her interest in public health, she would like to pursue a career centered around research on cell and molecular biology. She assists in the lab by collecting data related to how scorpion behavior is affected by UV light under natural conditions. She is also an undergraduate research assistant for the Research and Development department at the Oklahoma Blood Institute and enjoys art, writing, and listening to classic rock music.