Current Lab Members

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Johanna Harvey

Gerstner Postdoctoral Fellow

Johanna completed her Ph.D. in 2018 from Texas A&M University, where she worked with Dr. Gary Voelker. She is broadly interested in parasite and host evolution across geographic and environmental gradients. Her dissertation disentangles patterns of diversification and distribution of malaria parasites in birds across the African continent. By examining the influence of climatic data (e.g. rainfall, temperature, etc.) along with the diverse suite of transmitting vectors, she hopes to better understand the distributional patterns of avian malaria parasites across contrasting bioregions. She then did a post-doc in Dr. Sarah Knutie’s lab at the University of Connecticut. During her post-doc, she explored the effects of urbanization on reproductive success of Darwin's finches in the Galapagos and created a successful method for extracting RNA from bird blood. During her post-doc at AMNH she plans to examine the effects of climate change on avian malaria distributions and virulence while also examining the effects on avian host immune response. Her favorite pastimes include birding, spending time outdoors, watching Netflix, and spending as much time as possible with her family, including her two cats, Chewie and Lucy. 

Former Lab Members

Melissa Ingala
Melissa Ingala

Melissa was a Ph.D. student at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at AMNH. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Museum of Natural History and will be starting as an assistant professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in January.

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Natasha Hodges
Natasha Hodges
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Janus Borner
Janus Borner

Janus was a postdoc in the Perkins lab from 2018-2019 and is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics, Ulm University.

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Spencer Galen
Spencer Galen

Spencer was a Ph.D. student from 2014-2018. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Scranton.

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Liliana Dávalos
Liliana Dávalos

Liliana M. Dávalos is Professor of Conservation Biology at Stony Brook University’s Department of Ecology and Evolution. Her research interests include molecular evolution, phylogenetics and tropical biology. She leads the Tropical Biology group, which studies extinction and survival in deep time, functional genetics in non-model mammals, and deforestation.

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Eric Waltari
Eric Waltari

Eric is a PhD. biologist with broad expertise in genomics, evolutionary ecology, and host/pathogen research. His current focus is antibody discovery, particularly studying the adaptive immune repertoire, using a combination of lab and informatics techniques. His previous positions have all involved gathering and processing genomic or spatial biogeographic datasets, and creating Unix-based and R-based pipelines to analyze these datasets.

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Kelly Speer
Kelly Speer

Kelly was a Ph.D. student in the Richard Gilder Graduate School from 2015-2019. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithosonian National Museum of Natural History ,

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Alexis Brown
Alexis Brown

Lexi was a Master's student at Columbia University who worked on bat flies and the evolution of parasite specificity. She is currently a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University.

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Juliane Schaer
Juliane Schaer

Juliane collaborated with Susan throughout her Masters and Ph.D. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Humboldt University

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Renato Nunes
Renato Nunes

As an NSF REU Intern in the Perkins lab, I worked with Spencer Galen to explore the systematics of the avian malaria genus Leucocytozoon. We used novel nuclear markers, and coalescent methods to uncover the presence of cryptic diversity within the genus. He is currently a Ph.D. student in David Lohman's lab at City College - CUNY Grad Center.

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Bryan Falk
Bryan Falk

Bryan was a Ph.D. student in the Richard Gilder Graduate School from 2008-2012. He currently is an invasive species biologist at Everglades National Park.

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Allison Kerwin
Allison Kerwin

Allison was a technician from 2005-2008. She is currently an assistant professor at McDaniel College.

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Jennifer Wisecaver
Jennifer Wisecaver

Jennifer was an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates student researcher in 2005. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Purdue University.

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Greg Baillie
Greg Baillie

Greg was a postdoc from 2005-2007 and worked on St. Louis encephalitis virus genomics.

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Kevin Olival
Kevin Olival

Kevin was a postdoctoral fellow in the Perkins lab. He is currently Vice President for Research at EcoHealth Alliance.

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Diana Belanger
Diana Belanger

Diana was a Ph.D. student in the CUNY program. Her research was on the population genetics of canine heartworm in wild and domestic hosts. She is currently an assistant professor of science at Quincy College.

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Antoinette Piaggio
Antoinette Piaggio

Toni was a Ph.D student at the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated in 2004. She is a Research Molecular Biologist at USDA-APHIS.

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Miguel Pinto
Miguel Pinto

Miguel was a PhD student at the CUNY Grad Center.

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