Bentleigh Asboth’s eclectic interests include dragon literature, computer games, creative writing, and rats. She studied language and international relations.

Will Bader

Will Bader is an Orthopedic Surgery Physician’s Assistant. While with the DRC, Will created the original maps of the fossil and castle sites.

Mason Bader

Mason Bader studied biology at Roanoke College. He is from Salem Virginia. Mason studied the role of auxin in axis formation in plants but supported all DRC exhibits and festivals by partaking in Supergroups and meetings. Currently, Mason is studying pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jack Beedle   

Jack Beedle was a Patrick Henry High School student when he worked with the DRC. He explored the genetic connections between local populations of lycopodium.

Taylor Briese studied history and education and is from Falls Church, Virginia. She collaborated with the DRC on a civil rights era history activity book. Recently licensed to teach middle and high school social studies, Taylor is completing her work with a national civil rights project.

Nicholas Brown studied mathematics. He created a computer-based dragon game and collaborated on the original fossil-folklore maps.


Andrew Cariens was a Creative Writing major at Roanoke College. He’s worked with the DRC group to develop a Tabletop RPG game, with many adventures centered around dragons.

Shannon Cavender   

Shannon Cavender is from Monaca PA and worked on dragon folklore.


Alexa Chapman was a double major in biology and philosophy. Alexa explored dragonfly mouthparts, ethnobotany of the dragontree, and liverworts from the Triassic. Currently, she also investigated how culture values fossils.


Emma Clark was a field hockey goalie and a biology major. Emma explored algae fossils from Carmel Church Quarry near Richmond VA. Her work is only tangential to this project, but her interests in Supergroup interactions is critical to thinking outside of the box!  

Emma Clarke was a biology major from Asheville NC. Emma became a leader in the mapping of DRC data but her interest in how words form and evolve took her into “dragon” etymology.

Jen Coulombe   

Jennifer Coulombe studied biology at Roanoke College. She explored reptile evolution in relation to dragons. Jen was one of the first DRC members.

Becca Conter

Rebecca Conter studied Biology at Roanoke College and graduated in 2017. She worked with the plant chemistry of Lycopodium. She also created an educational activity book to plant biology for children. Rebecca currently works for Valley Star Credit Union.

Diamante Cornish

Diamante Cornish was an art history major from Wilmington Delaware. Diamante has examined ethnobotanical connections of plants with the name “dragon” attached, but this has led to her further exploring these plants across art history.


Anna Denisch studied Creative Writing at Roanoke College and graduated in 2016. She worked with literature about dragons and published a children’s book about African dragons titled Restoring Dragons: Africa. She recently graduated from Western Connecticut State University with an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing.

Ryan Dill

Ryan Dill studied Business at Roanoke College and is from Raleigh NC. Ryan brought an interesting insight into the DRC. He has worked alongside the ethnobotany team to explore how dragon products have moved around the world. Ryan strives to see if the fossils and dragon plants are linked to the lore!

IMG_2980 Claire Drummond studies education at Roanoke College but she has contributed to the DRC as a photographer. Claire has an exhibit of “Dragons in the UK” in our larger dragons natural history-art crossover exhibit.


Amanda Grady is a Roanoke College alumni who studied Environmental Studies along with Biology and Chemistry. She is worked to create a database of dragon descriptions from all over the world.

Jordan Haga was a biology major from Lynchburg VA who looked for major trends in reptiles around the world and their connection to dragons. She created a database to explore physical features and fossil appearances.


Leah Harbison is from Blue Ridge, Virginia. She studied biology at Roanoke College and is currently in medical school. Leah’s project explored the role of algae in a red tide event during the Triassic. She was a major player in the Supergroup discussions and supported all DRC events.


Morgan Heckman, a physics major, created a matrix of dragon characteristics that was used for literature analysis. She also worked to digitize the Roanoke College Herbarium collection.


Isabel Hildesheim was a biology major who has a strong interest in pollution, especially air pollution. Her work examined how moss can be used as a bioindicator for air pollution.

Rebecca Horton is developing a sight-impaired exhibit on plant biology. Her major in psychology, interests in biology and education, and desire to attend medical school are a perfect trifecta for this project.

Eesha and Rebecca H

Eesha Imam was a creative writing major who did biology research as she prepared for entry to medical school. Eesha explored lycopod and fern spore physiology.

Evan Jamison was a computer science major from Roanoke, VA. He is worked with Matthew Kelly to create a dragon inspired video game.


Nathanial Johnson was a student of geography at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Nate helped the DRC by creating a GIS map of several key locations.

Matthew (Maui) Kelley   

Matthew Kelley was a computer science major who worked with Evan Jamison to create a dragon inspired video game.


Erin Langheim was a biology major with a strong love of dragons. Her interests include Viking culture and religion, dragons in literature, dragons in media, and the biological connections to animal evolution. Erin brings a zest that is critical to the group’s energy.

Travis Lumpkin     

Travis Lumpkin was a biology major from King William, VA who explored the paleobiology and paleoecology of Carboniferous plant fossils from Beckley WV.  Travis received his Masters of Science in Applied Geoscience from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently teaching Earth Science in Manassas Park, VA.

Matt Myers studied History at Roanoke College. In the DRC Matt researched the history of dragons in art, explored the DRC as an educational model, and helped create media content for the group.

Sarah Petrosky

Sarah Petrosky was a biology major from York Springs PA who enjoys blowing things up! Sarah examines the modern plant Lycopodium, to understand the evolutionary reason this plant would maintain flammability during spore development. Her work connects to the dragon project because she studies a modern relative to the Lepidodendron tree.

Jane Pugh was a biology major at Roanoke College. Jane used her artistic talents to design book covers for the DRC literature students.

Ben Schwartz was a biology major from Midlothian VA with a passion for natural medicine. Ben began his journey with Team Dragon researching the origin of “dragon” plants and determining if any of them had valuable therapeutic properties. The research narrowed, and Ben worked with Antirrhinum majus, more commonly known as snapdragon plants. Ben is currently studying to become a chiropractor.

Anna Siburn   

Anna Siburn studied psychology at Roanoke College and is from Redding CT.

Katie Simmons 

Katie Simmons, a Literary Studies major from Roanoke, Virginia, worked on development of secondary curriculum related to the DRC hypothesis. She is now an Admissions Counselor at James Madison University.

Bree Smith   

Bree Smith was one of the first DRC members. She studied business at Roanoke College but focused on dragons in art as a DRC member.

Lydia Weltmann

Lydia Weltmann Studied Creative Writing at Roanoke College and graduated in 2016. She worked with literature about dragons and wrote a middle-grade book about dragons titled The Epoch of Dragons: ConvergenceShe currently works at BMI Educational Services.

Caitlin Wright

Caitlin Wright studied art history at Roanoke College and then pursued her Masters in Archeology. Caitlin produced the first dragon mascot, Herman, for the DRC. Herman remains a staple to the group!

Ashley Wolfe     

Ashley Wolfe, a Literary Studies major and education minor, created elementary level curriculum based on the DRC hypothesis and aligned all curriculum with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). Currently Ashley is a teach for Richmond City Schools.


Shuhang Wu is a Chinese exchange-student who provided Chinese culture and history to the group. She also translated other student’s work.