2011-present: Graduate Student in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics - Department of Biology, University of Missouri - St. Louis
2002-2006: B.A. in Sociology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA
I started a doctoral program at the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 2011. My broad research interest is on parasite - host relationships of wild primate populations in southeast Peru. By studying natural patterns of primate parasitism I hope to shed light on several interesting questions related to within and between species disease transmission, anticipation of emerging infectious disease, how parasitism relates to factors such as age, sex or group size, and the dynamic interplay of hormones, the immune system, behavior, and disease. The primates that I work with include three species of Callitrichids, the saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis), emperor tamarin (S. imperator), and Goeldi's monkey (Callimico goeldii), found in sympatry where the borders of Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia come together. Major goals of my research include greater understanding of primate disease ecology and also more effective conservation of natural rainforest habitat and biodiversity, which is threatened daily by large logging, mining, and agriculture industries, as well as ecotourism and selective hunting. The close proximity and relationships between primates and humans in the Neotropics highlights the importance of understanding natural parasite dynamics and strengthening disease prevention strategies for all parties concerned.
I am thrilled to conduct this research as a member of the Parker Lab at UMSL, and encourage anyone to contact me with questions regarding the program, the lab group, or my area of research. For more information regarding my work in Peru, or for recent undergraduates or graduates inclined to assist with a field program in physical anthropology and primate biology, visit PrimatesPeru.org.