Christian Gagnon, Ph.D. Anthropology (2018-current) #BUvervets18
Dissertation: The Evolutionary History and Adaptive Significance of UCP1-Mediated Thermogenesis in Primates
Christian's dissertation research focuses on the evolution of brown adipocyte function via studies of UCP1 gene evolution and function in wild and captive savanna monkeys (genus Chlorocebus).
Melissa Zarate, M.S. Biology (2018-2020), Ph.D. Anthropology (2020-current)
M.S. Thesis: Predicting suitable habitat for the Critically Endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) in Perú.
Dissertation: Landscape Mitogenomics and High-Altitude Adaptation in the Peruvian Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda).
Mel's dissertation research, funded by the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Primate Conservation, Inc., the American Society of Primatologists, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, will study the conservation genetics of yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, focusing on a new population discovered by our research group in Region Junín.
Warrenkevin Henderson, Ph.D. Anthropology (2021-current; co-advised w/ Prof. Eva Garrett)
Warrenkevin's research will focus on the morphological and genomic underpinnings of changes in craniofacial morphology associated with adaptation to cold temperatures, using model species to better understand variation in archaic humans, like Neanderthals.
Jessica Martin, Ph.D. Anthropology (2022-current)
Jess' research will focus on the primate microbiome.
Max Dippel, M.S. Biology (2021-present)
Max's research will focus on non-invasive fecal DNA metabarcoding to better understand the diets of endangered primate species, with a focus on the diets of wild yellow-tailed woolly monkeys (Lagothrix flavicauda) in Peru.
Mansa Asiedu, B.S. Biology (2020-present)
Research Project: Variation in the NPY gene and it's two major receptors in relation to
Tyler Crawford, B.S. Electrical Engineering (2020-present), UROP
Research Project: Comparative variation in the TMPRSS2 gene region in U.S. population of African and European Descent.
Alexandria Gilbert, B.A. Anthropology with a Specialzation in Biological Anthropology and Anthropology, Health, and Medicine (2021-present)
Research Project: TBD
Gianna Grob, B.S. Biology (2018-2022), UROP
Research Project: "Selection in the PPARG gene in relation to cold in South African vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Marta Hammers, B.A. Anthropology with a Specialization in Biological Anthropology (2021-present)
Research Project: "Variation in the ASPM Gene in relation to global variation in cranial measures among wild savanna monkeys (Chlorocebus spp.)"
Sophia Long, B.S. Biology (2021-present)
Research Project: TBD
William Pudlo, B.S. Biology with a Specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology (2021-present)
Project: "Behavioral ecology in wild Chaco night monkeys (Aotus azarai)"
Stephanie Williams, B.S. Biology with a Specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology (2020-present)
Research Project: "GIS-inferred determinants of elephant (Loxodonta africana) raids on local farmers in rural Botswana"
Amanda Wu (2022-present)
Research Project: TBD
Schmitt Lab Alumni
Former Postdoctoral Associates
Graduate Student Alumni
Laura Angley, M.S. Biology (2019-2021)
M.S. Thesis: Post-release survival rates and welfare of rehabilitated vervet monkeys in Malawi. (Winner, Denton Award for Outstanding Masters Thesis in Biology)
Laura's M.S. research focused on assessing how pre-release behaviors in a group of rehabilitant savanna monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus rufoviridis) at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi, affected survival upon release in Kasungu National Park. She is now a project manager for Project ChimCARE at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Benjamin Recchia, M.S. Biology (2021-present)
Ben's research focused on leveraging zoo-housed data collections and citizen science-based outreach prior to transferring to Kathryn Spilios' lab in Biology to focus more intensively on outreach.
Erica Sun, B.A./M.S. Biology (2020-2021), UROP
M.S. Thesis: Selection in the PLIN2 (Perilipin-2) Gene Among Wild Savanna Monkeys (Chlorocebus spp.)
Erica's research uses our established genomics pipeline to investigate variation and selection in the Perilipin-2 gene among wild vervet monkeys. She also helped investigate adipose volume in captive vervet monkeys using CT scans.
Undergraduate Student Alumni
Ishrat Chowdhury (2019-2020)
Research Project: "Evolutionary variation in the salivary amylase (AMY1) gene region in wild South African vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Eleni Constantinou (2017-2019), Honors in Anthropology
Honors Thesis: "Gene flow and juvenile Paget's disease in the Cypriot population"
Tennyson Cooper (2018-2019)
Research Project: "TRPM8 analysis suggests regional selection for cold sensitivity in South African vervet monkeys"
Becca De Camp (2017-2020), Research/Curricular Assistant, Honors in Anthropology
Research Excellence Award in Anthropology, 2020, Department of Anthropology
Honors Thesis (Garrett Lab): "Investigating the genetic evolution of olfaction in strepsirrhine primates"
Nicky Eleuteri (2016-2017)
Research Project: "Dental eruption patterns in captive vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus)"
Stephanie Inga (2016-2019), UROP
Research Project: "Postcanine dental variation in platyrrhine primates"
Morgan Farrar (2017-2018), UROP, Field Assistant #BUvervets18
Departmental Award for Scholarship in Anthropology, 2020, Department of Anthropology
Research Project: "Human proximity accelerates pubertal development in wild male vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Jane Hilsenrath (2020-2021)
Research Project: "Investigating selection in the CXCR6 gene in wild savanna monkeys"
Christina Lamagna (2020-present)
Research Project: TBD
Alexia Lancea (2019-2020)
Research Project: "Variation in the IRX gene region in South African vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Kimberly Louisor (2020-2021)
B.A. Conservation Biology, Hunter College, City University of New York
Currently Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at University of Buffalo
Research Project: "Variation in the ASPM gene region in South African vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Nicole Lukas (2016-2018), UROP, Field Assistant #BUvervets16
Research Project: "Relationship between 2D:4D and adult onset obesity in captive vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus)"
Diem Maxwell (2019-2021)
Research Project: "Variation in the FTO gene region in relation to body mass in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus spp.)
Nick Mikulski (2020-2021)
Research Project: "Social network analysis in rehabilitant/release vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus rufoviridis) in Malawi"
Joseph O'Sullivan (2018-2019), Honors in Biology
Honors Thesis: "Behavioral Indicators of Infanticide in Wild White-Bellied Spider Monkeys (Ateles belzebuth)"
Stacy-Anne Parke (2017-2019), UROP, 2019 AAPA IDEAS Fellow, Field Assistant #BUvervets18
Runner Up, Best Poster, 2018 Meeting of the Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists (NEEP)
Research Excellence Award in Anthropology, 2019, Department of Anthropology
Research Project: "Timing of reproductive onset among female vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in wild and human-impacted populations"
Evan Razdan (2017-2018), UROP, Field Assistant #BUvervets17
Research Project: "Human impacts on food-dependent conflict and body condition in wild South African vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)"
Marwa Sayed (2016-2017), UROP, Field Assistant #BUvervets16
Research Project: "Assessment of a novel method of photogrammetry not requiring lasers in parallel"
Elizabeth Shelton (2020-2021)
Akshata Shukla (2020-2021)
Xaulanda Thorpe (2018-2019), 2019 AAPA IDEAS Fellow
Dillon Travis, UROP, (2015-2016)
Research Project: "Assessment of 3-dimensional canopy use using GIS in wild lowland woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii)"