Current Members


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KIRSTIN N. STERNER (she/her/hers)
email: ksterner@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@KNSterner

KIRSTIN is an Associate Professor in Anthropology, and she is interested in how genes and environment interact to shape primate traits. Specifically, she combines an evolutionary framework with functional genomics to address why humans are more vulnerable to certain types of disease, what genomic regions underly distinctive human traits, and how environmental factors shape biological age in primates. She is also actively involved in science education and outreach, particularly in regard to increasing diversity in STEM and communicating the role of genetics in society. Read more about Kirstin here…


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NELSON TING (he/him/his)
email: nting@uoregon.edu

NELSON is an Associate Professor in Anthropology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. While broadly interested in natural history, evolution, and genetics, he is primarily concerned with generating and implementing knowledge to aid in endangered species conservation, with a focus on medium-large sized mammals in the tropics of Africa. He is a scientific advisor on the Red Colobus Working Group, and he is a member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group and the IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group. Read more about Nelson here…


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ELISABETH A. GOLDMAN (she/her/hers)
email: egoldman@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@eeeli_g

ELISABETH is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a member of the Sterner Lab. She develops bioinformatic workflows and builds predictive models using omics data to tackle questions about the forces that shape variation in human and non-human primate aging and longevity. Elisabeth is driven to find effective ways to improve ‘healthspan’ and extend quality-of-life for today’s aging population. She is also passionate about STEM outreach and developing creative ways to teach coding and quantitative science. Elisabeth was awarded an NSF-DDRIG and a 2020-2021 UO CAS Dissertation Fellowship for her research. Read more about Elisabeth here…


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DIANA M. CHRISTIE (she/her/hers)
email: dianamchristie@gmail.com
twitter:
@DianaMChristie

DIANA is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and is a member of the Ting Lab. She is interested in microbial ecology, host/microbe interactions, primate behavior, and disease ecology. Her dissertation research focuses on the role of social interactions in shaping development and plasticity in the primate gut microbiome. To pursue this work, she was awarded an NSF-DDRIG entitled, “Social environment and gut microbiome plasticity in a black-and-white colobus monkey (Colobus vellerosus).” Diana is also passionate about science education, public outreach and increasing the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM.


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SAMANTHA QUEENO (she/her/hers)
email: squeeno@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@SamanthaQueeno

SAM is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a member of the Sterner Lab. She is interested in human evolutionary genomics and the evolution of adaptive phenotypes; specifically those traits that distinguish humans from other primates. Her dissertation research is on the genetic mechanisms underlying myofiber development and the evolution of hominin endurance locomotion. She received the 2019 AAAG Outstanding Trainee Presentation in Anthropological Genetics Award and her research is funded by an NSF-DDRIG and a Leakey Foundation Grant. Sam is also passionate about science outreach and student engagement, and has been a part of the UO COVID-19 Monitoring and Assessment Program.


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CLAIRE GOODFELLOW (she/her/hers)
email: cgoodfel@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@ckgoodfellow

CLAIRE is a PhD candidate in Biology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and is a member of the Ting lab. She is interested in conservation genetics and evolutionary genomics, with an emphasis on integrating new molecular techniques to inform conservation efforts in natural populations. Her dissertation research is focused on the causes and consequences of interspecies hybridization between African forest and savanna elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis and L. africana), with an eye towards the implications of this process for the conservation of both species. Claire’s research is funded by a National Geographic Society RFP Award on long distance migration.


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JENNECA MCCARTER (she/her/hers)
email: jennecam@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@JennecaMcCarter

JENNECA is a PhD Student in Anthropology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and is a member of the Ting Lab. She is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to conservation, particularly of wild primate populations. Her dissertation research explores how climate change impacts habitat for the Zanzibar red colobus monkey and subsistence crops on the island of Unguja, how this may shape future human-wildlife interactions between monkeys and farmers, and ways this information could be used to inform conservation efforts. Jenneca is passionate about continually learning how her research practices can be decolonized and contribute to more equitable conservation outcomes. She is also interested in finding ways to make STEM research more accessible and safe, and is a certified trainer for Building A Better Fieldwork Future.


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TANNER ANDERSON (he/him/his)
email: tander10@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@tannerandrsn

TANNER is a PhD student in Anthropology and a member of the Sterner Lab. He is interested in evolutionary genomics, brain development and evolution, evolutionary medicine, and molecular features that distinguish humans from other primates. His Master’s thesis analyzed how different factors, like SIV infection and social rank, impact gene expression in red colobus monkeys. Tanner is also passionate about STEM education and outreach and hopes to integrate this with his dissertation research!


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SAVANAH BIRD (she/her/hers)
email: savanahb@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@bird4mammals; @UOsquirrelbot

SAVANAH is a first year PhD Student in Biology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution and is a member of the Ting Lab. She is interested in applying genetic and genomic tools to the conservation of wild mammals, focusing on the impact of anthropogenic disturbances on wild populations and better understanding human-wildlife conflict in the African tropics. Savanah is passionate about outdoor education and has spent her summers teaching natural sciences and field skills to K-12 students. She was awarded a UO Promising Scholar Award upon entering graduate school, and she is creator of UOsquirrelbot, which tweets live pictures of squirrels from a camera trap linked to a deep learning algorithm.


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JESSICA STONE (she/her/hers)
email: jstone3@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@jazzy_digs

JESS is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History and a member of the Ting Lab. As a bioarchaeologist, she is interested in the application of biomolecular techniques for exploring the process of initial human settlement and subsequent adaptation to island environments, particularly in the Caribbean and Micronesia. Her dissertation investigated initial human settlement at the Chelechol ra Orrak mortuary site in Palau, western Micronesia through a combination of ancient DNA, isotopic, and osteological analyses. She is also passionate about science outreach and communication. Read more about Jess here…


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COLIN BRAND (he/him/his)
email: cbrand2@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@colinmbrand

COLIN is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a member of the Ting lab (primary advisor: Dr Frances White). He is primarily interested in the evolutionary ecology of humans and our closest living relatives. His dissertation research uses population-level genomic data to better understand the evolutionary history of bonobos and chimpanzees, and he was the lead author on a recent paper on selective sweeps in the genus Pan. Read more about Colin here…


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ALEXANA HICKMOTT (she/her/hers)
email: ahickmot@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@PrimateGirl174

ALEX is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a member of the Ting Lab (primary advisor: Dr. Frances White). She is interested in the evolution of primate diets and primate gut microbiomes. Her dissertation research is currently focused on how primate gut microbes change with shifts in diet in bonobos (Pan paniscus). Alex is passionate about engaging kids in STEM. She was recently awarded the Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award. Read more about Alex here…


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HANNAH WELLMAN (she/her/hers)
email: hpw@uoregon.edu
twitter:
@hannahpwellman

HANNAH is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a member of the Ting Lab (primary advisor: Dr. Madonna Moss). Her research interests include historical ecology and human-animal/human-environment interactions on the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest. For part of her dissertation, Hannah is using ancient DNA to understand the relations of the Oregon coast sea otter population that went extinct, with implications for future reintroduction. Hannah is also interested in indigenous rights and repatriation issues, and the application of zooarchaeology to wildlife management and environmental conservation.





Past Members


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GEETA EICK was a Research Associate in the Sterner Lab from 2015-2018 when she led our work in functional genomics. Read more about Geeta here…



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CAITLIN P. WELLS was a postdoc in the Ting Lab from 2017-18
when she led our research on red colobus conservation genomics and African elephant hybridization. She is now a postdoc at Colorado State University.
Read more about Caitlin here…


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MARIA JOSE RUIZ-LOPEZ was a postdoc in the Ting Lab from 2012-15 when she led our research related to the Kibale EcoHealth Project. She is now a Marie Curie Fellow at the Estacion Biológica de Doñana. Read more about Mari here…


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NOAH D. SIMONS earned his doctorate in Anthropology from the UO in 2018 co-advised by Nelson Ting and Kirstin Sterner. His dissertation was part of the Kibale EcoHealth Project and focused on the evolution of gene regulation in red colobus monkeys. He is now a Data Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University. Read more about Noah here…


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EVA C. WIKBERG earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Calgary in 2012 co-advised by Pascale Sicotte and Nelson Ting. Her dissertation was on female relationships in the black-and-white colobus at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana. She is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Read more about Eva here…


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STEPHANIE FOX earned her M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Calgary in 2015 and was a member of the Ting Lab. Her research was on male-infant relationships in the black-and-white colobus at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana. She is now a PhD student working with Dr. Melissa Emory Thompson at University of New Mexico. Read more about Stephanie here…


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ANTHONY PULVINO earned his M.Sc. in Biology from the UO Bioinformatics and Genomics Masters Program in 2019 and was a member of the Ting Lab. He has interests in bioinformatics, human evolutionary genomics, and non-human primate genomics. He is now as PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences Program at Northwestern University.


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ROBERTA TORUNSKY earned her M.S. in Biology from the UO in 2015 advised by Nelson Ting. Her research was on the phylogenetic relationships among red colobus monkeys inferred from nuclear DNA loci. She now teaches Biology at Truckee Meadows Community College and is a healer / life / health coach.


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JOSHANIEL TAN earned his B.S. in Environmental Science from the UO in 2020 and was a member of the Ting Lab. His research was on dietary inference from metagenomic sequencing of elephant dung. He is now a research student at Hokkaido University working with Dr. Toshio Tsubota.


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ENRIQUE GOMEZ earned his B.S. in Biology (Anthropology minor) from the UO in 2019 and was a member of the Sterner Lab. His research was on host-virus relationships as well as the evolution of centromere-related genes. Enrique is now a PhD student at Washington University working with Dr. Emily Wroblewski.


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FRANKLIN (FRANK) LEWIS earned his B.S. in Biology (Anthropology minor) from the UO Clark Honors College in 2019. He was a member of the Sterner Lab and a senior writer for the UO’s daily newspaper (Daily Emerald). His honor’s thesis research was on the genetic regulation of skeletal muscle fiber type across primates. He is now a Genetic Counseling Assistant and a passionate science journalist/communicator.


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TABOR WHITNEY earned her B.S. in Biology and Anthropology from the UO in 2018 and was a member of the Ting Lab. Her honor’s thesis research was part of the Kibale EcoHealth Project and focused on the factors that shape the gut microbiome in red colobus monkeys. She is now a PhD student at Northwestern University working with Dr. Katie Amato studying disease ecology, gut microbial communities, inflammation, human-wildlife interactions, and conservation.


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ARLEIGH HITCHCOCK earned their B.S. in Environmental Science (Anthropology and Biology minors) from the UO in 2015 and was a member of the Ting Lab. Their honor’s thesis research was part of the Kibale EcoHealth Project and focused on the effects of forest fragmentation on red colobus monkey dispersal. Arleigh is now a Seasonal Wetland Technician for the City of Portland.


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TYLER FORDING earned his B.S. in Anthropology and Biology from the UO in 2015 and was a member of the Sterner Lab. He went on to complete his M.Sc. in the UO Bioinformatics and Genomics Masters Program, and he is now a Data Analyst and Product Manager at the startup mobile company Hiya Inc. in Seattle.


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KELSIE MCVEETY earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the UO in 2015 and was a member of the Sterner Lab. She went on to earn her M.S from the University of Michigan and is now a Genetic Counselor.


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DEVAN PENNINGTON earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the UO in 2015 and was a member of the Sterner Lab. She currently teaches pre-school in Eugene.


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