Caiti Smukowski Heil, PhD

Asst. Professor, NC State University

Prior to my gig as a new Assistant Professor at NC State, I was a PhD student at Duke University with Mohamed Noor and a postdoc at the University of Washington with Maitreya Dunham. Outside of the lab, you can find me hanging out with my family and my cats, Monkey & Business. I like listening to podcasts, sampling from local breweries, and exploring the great outdoors.



Nathan Brandt

Lab Manager



Elizabeth Moore, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Elizabeth joins the Heil, Irwin, and Dunn labs as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, studying the costs and benefits of mutualisms between nectar yeasts and bee pollinators. Prior to starting at NCSU, Elizabeth was a PhD student with Joel Kingsolver at UNC Chapel Hill, where she investigated the effects of climate change and high temperature stress on host-parasitoid interactions. Outside of the lab, Elizabeth is an avid equestrian who serves as a barn manager at JoyRide Equestrian, LLC. She spends most of her free time training her horse, exploring nature to find interesting insects to identify, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.



Enrique Schwarzkopf, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Enrique is a dry lab biologist interested in the role of recombination in the evolutionary process. Before joining the Heil lab, he was a PhD student at Washington State University in Omar Cornejo's lab.



Lauren Bailey

PhD Student, Functional Genomics

Lauren is studying speciation in Saccharomyces uvarum



Margot Ruffieux

PhD Student, Functional Genomics

Margot is studying mito-nuclear incompatabilities in Saccharomyces 


Undergraduate Researchers


Alexxis Gutierrez 

Alexxis is a senior working on characterizing sourdough strains of S. cerevisiae and S. uvarum

Mili Jimenez

Mili is a senior working on prezygotic isolation in S. uvarum.

Lindsey Wilson

Lindsey is a junior working on characterizing local nectar yeasts.

You? We aren't currently hiring, but please email Caiti to keep in touch about future opportunities. See here for more information.


Former Lab Members

Anna Cormack, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-21

Amilcar Rodriguez, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-21

Caiti Lahue, Technician in Dunn and Heil labs, 2019-21

Musa Malik, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-20