Former PhD Students
Maria graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in May 2010. There, she worked on research projects through the Ramsey Lab, including documenting the composition of Rochester-area forests, studying meadow pollinator communities, and surveying woodland amphibians. She has also worked with loggerhead sea turtles through Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.
After spending two years in the Carnaval Lab as a Lab Technician, Maria joined the group full-time as a PhD Student in Fall 2012. She just defended her dissertation on the evolutionary consequences of past climate change, focused on montane lizards in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.
She is now working as the manager of the Science Research Mentoring Program at the American Museum of Natural History
Brandon graduated from Stony Brook University with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Spring 2012. While there, he worked at the Davalos Lab studying phylogenetics and diversification of cranial morphology in the bat family Phyllostomidae. During this time he also participated in the NSF REU program at the University of Alaska, where he studied the effects of climate and pigmentation on lichen physiology.
He joined the PhD program and the Carnaval Lab in Fall 2013, and is interested in the effects of climate on species diversification and conservation. He is currently investigating the phylogeography and niche evolution of various taxa of Neotropical herpetofauna.
In this Ph.D. research, Ivan has used genomic-scale data to reconstruct the history of South American rainforest lizards, asking how former climate shifts have affected the distribution and
demography of tropical taxa. Focusing on anoles, he is now testing for environmental correlates of genomic variation, and identifying genomic regions that have undergone selection during range expansions. Ivan also uses genetic and phenotypic data to assess the geographic distribution, phylogenetic relationships, and taxonomic status of poorly-known frogs and lizards that he has sampled in Brazil.
Amanda completed her MSc in Biology in 2015 and focused her research on bacterial community biogeographic patterns and the influence of host species on community composition. Her thesis was entitled, "How do amphibian skin-associated bacterial communities in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest vary across geography, host species, and time." She is presently exploring her love of all things pastry at culinary school in Washington, D.C.
Former Masters Students
Esmeralda graduated in Biology from FURB-Blumenau- SC, Brazil, where she spent most of her time studying behavior, cytogenetics, and biochemistry in primates and small mammals.
For her Master's thesis, she wants to study Phylogeography and Evolution of Howler monkeys (genus Alouatta), co-advised by Dr. Eugene Harris from Queensborough- CUNY.
Daija was investigating relationship between genetic variation and geographic distribution within and across Ecpleopus gaudichaudii. She aimed to compare genetic structure to climate and topography in order to understand the history of this species, mainly focusing on its responses to former climate change.
Kai Van Vlack
Kai investigated niche evolution in Gymnophthalmid lizards.
Danielle graduated from the City College of New York with a B.S. in Biology in 2013, and an MSc in Biology in 2015. For her undergraduate and Master's research , she described the phylogenetics and phylogeography of widespread South American Mabuya skink species, and the various effects that landscape heterogeneity and environmental differences have on genetic variation in these species. She is now a Ph.D. student in Dr. Matthew Fujita's Lab at the University of Texas - Arlington.
Maria completed her Master's with a thesis entitled "Biological reserves under climate migration: a case study in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest." She is now a Parks Analyst at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
For her Master's work, Barb studied host-pathogen dynamics in the Australian Wet Tropics in collaboration with Dr. Robert Puchendorf from James Cook University. Her thesis was entitled "Chytrid loads, pathogen prevalence, & contemporary host source-sink dynamics in dry vs. wet forests: evaluating refugia from disease in Australian torrent frogs". Barbara is now a NY Teaching Fellow teaching at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology.
Ivandy's work focused on phylogeographic patterns of Manakins, which are Neotropical passerines known for their sexual dimorphism, elaborate courtship display, and lek-breeding systems. Her thesis was entitled "Phylogeographic study of two Neotropical bird species, Red-headed manakin (Pipra rubrocapilla) and white-crowned manakin (Dixiphia pipra)". Ivandy now works with CUNY's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.
Zoe's dissertation focused on the spatial patterns of genetic diversity in glass frogs of the Atlantic Rainforest, as part of the lab's montane diversity project. Her thesis was entitled "Comparative phylogeography of glassfrogs (Vitreorana) endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest."
Danielle is exploring the link between climate stability and montane biodiversity by analyzing phyloendemism among multiple species' lineages, including amphibians, avians, herps, mammals, and invertebrates. She is now pursuing a PhD at Fordham University in Evolutionary Biology.
Former Undergraduate Students
Millicent graduated from City College in 2012. Her Honors project focused on the genus Placosoma. She developed a preliminary phylogenetic tree using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA as part of our montane phylogeography project.
Hina graduated in 2012. Her project focused on the biogeography of Anolis lizards in Brazil.
Joyce worked on the phylogenetics of the frog Hypsiboas albomarginatus.
Mariana M Vasconcellos
Mariana uses comparative genome-wide SNP data to investigate the demographic responses of different organisms (including frogs, lizards and plants) to the past climatic shifts faced by the Atlantic Forest. Mariana received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied the factors that promote diversification of treefrogs in the Cerrado savanna of central Brazil, both at the species level and the population level. Before that, she received her Master’s degree in Ecology and Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Universidade de Brasília.
Jason L. Brown
Jason’s ongoing projects with the Carnaval Lab are focusing on the integration of generalized dissimilarity models (GDMs), phyloGDMs, and using spatiotemporally explicit demographic and genetic models to investigate the explicit mechanisms underlying the diversification processes and patterns in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. He is now an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University.
Eric is an evolutionary ecologist interested in combining molecular methods and species distribution modeling to examine the drivers of spatial patterns of species and genetic diversity. He currently works at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center.
Former visiting students
Lilian Sayuri Ouchi de Melo
Lilian graduated in Biology from Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil, where she also developed her master and current is doing her PhD. During her master's she was interested in tadpoles diversity and distribution across microhabitats within Atlantic Rainforest ponds and streams. In her PhD she is interested in understanding how the composition, morphological traits and evolutionary history of anurans influence the structure of assemblages on Tropical biomes. She focuses on patterns and process involved on anuran community assemblage. Her PhD aims at integrating biogeography, functional and evolutionary ecology to (i) describe and explain how several facets of biodiversity are distributed on Brazilian biomes and (ii) how we can improve conservation strategies for the most threatened vertebrate group of the world (amphibians) applying a multi-faceted approach. She is visiting The Carnaval Lab to learn and understand better how the biogeographic and evolutionary process could be influencing the current diversity of anurans in South America.
Carolina de Barros Machado da Silva
Carolina did her Undergrad and Masters at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil). During this period, she investigated evolutionary dynamics of B chromosomes front the karyotypic characteristics of an endemic grasshopper from Northeastern Brazil.
Currently, Carolina is developing her PhD project at Universidade Federal de São Carlos (Brazil). She studies phylogenetics and phylogeography of Neotropical freshwater fishes. Her aim is to know which processes (ecological and/or historical) are responsible for actual ichthyfauna distribution pattern in South America.
Laryssa Sakayanagi Teixeira
Laryssa graduated with a degree in Biology from UNESP Rio Claro/SP-Brazil in 2013 and is currently a Masters student in the Haddad Lab.
For her undergraduate research project, she described the genetic divergence of Ischocnema holti (Anura, Brachycephalidae) a frog species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Her Master's project involved an expansion of her undergrad work, in which she includes more samples and increase the number molecular markers to understand the phylogeography of this species.