Photo by Faith Walker
Jeff Foster, Associate Professor
I work on pathogen evolution and disease ecology in wildlife and livestock. Recent research foci include white-nose syndrome in bats, brucellosis in a range of hosts, and avian cholera and malaria in birds. Much of my training was in avian ecology and conservation, focusing on native and introduced birds in Hawaii and elsewhere. I continue to work in the Hawaiian Islands on seed dispersal and native forest birds (vicariously through lucky students).
Katy Parise, M.S., Lab Manager
Katy oversees all aspects of day to day operations of the lab, particularly white-nose syndrome diagnostics (more specifically Pd detection). She is a qPCR master. Her cat is named Foster, no relation. He is unkind.
Marina Fisher-Phelps, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher
Marina grew up in Tucson, AZ but completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and her PhD in Biology at Texas Tech University in the lab of Tigga Kingston. Her work involves examining the effect roads have on endangered bats in New England. When not working she is usually hanging out with her dog Louise or playing video games.
Salman Ahmed, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher
Salman grew up in Bangalore, India and completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Microbiology from Bangalore University. He received another graduate degree in Medical Microbiology from Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He previously worked as Microbiologist in Erciyes University, Turkey. His work in PMI involves molecular and bioinformatic analysis of Brucella. He like to travel and camp in the woods on weekends.
Devon O'Rourke, PhD Student at UNH
Devon is working on projects describing the diversity and abundance of insects in bat diets - check out his work here and how bats may be evolving resistance/tolerance to white-nose syndrome. He spent his previous seven years as a high school science teacher, carpenter, and very amateur stand up paddle boarder.
Meghan Ange, PhD Student at UNH
Meg's interests are in disease ecology and she's working on projects involving the microbiomes of bats affected by white-nose syndrome and the population genetics of Myotis septentrionalis.
Katherine Ineson (Gillman), PhD Student at UNH
Katherine's project focuses on the demography of remnant populations of bats in the Northeast as they recover from white-nose syndrome.
Sara Gabrielson, PhD Student at NAU
Sara is interested in seed dispersal networks and is working on a project in Hawaii on how non-native birds are influencing native and non-native plant communities.
John Neddermeyer, PhD Student at NAU
John is studying resistance and tolerance mechanisms to avian malaria in Hawaiian Honeycreepers. His primary interests are in ecological immunology and disease ecology. Before starting at NAU, John worked in consulting conducting ecological risk assessments and supporting NEPA compliance. He hails from the Bronx, NY but we don't hold that against him.
Work in progress. Gone but not forgotten.
Kevin Drees, Ph.D.
Kevin worked as a bioinformaticist and microbiologist on the genomics of Pseudogymnoascus destructans and other pathogens. He is now a Research Scientist at UNH.
Ruby Hammond, Graduate Student
Ruby studied the breeding biology of native forest birds on Kauai, with a particular focus on ‘Akikiki and ‘Akeke‘e.
Pete Motyka, Graduate Student
Pete studied the ecology of a Hawaiian Honeycreeper, the Maui Alauahio, in non-native forests on Maui.