PrincipAL Investigator: Nick Keiser

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622 Carr Hall

Department of Biology

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611

Email: ckeiser [at] ufl [dot] edu

Twitter: @HiDrNic

Nick is a behavioral ecologist that studies infectious disease. He is a self-admitted study system collector (17 species so far!), with an inordinate love for invertebrates. He is also a mega-nerd, juggler-in-training, and loves heavy metal.

     Graduate students     
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Steven Cassidy

email: stevencassidy [at] ufl [dot] edu

Steven is a PhD student interested in how behavior can influence species interactions. He completed his B.S. in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Pittsburgh studying plant ecology. As an undergrad, Steven studied mutualism disruption in understory plants, and then worked as a lab technician studying how herbivory impacts the evolution of the plant root microbiome. He has also worked with the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. He plans to study  how the nature of species interactions can covary with behavior and  diseases.

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Sam Shablin

email: samanthashablin [at] ufl [dot] edu

Sam is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow who received her B.S. in Ecology & Evolution and B.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. As an undergrad, Sam worked with the fungal pathogen Bd, and its interactions with glucocorticoids and frog behavior. During her PhD, she plans to study how an individual’s social behavior impacts their susceptibility to disease and how behavior may underlie both interspecific and intraspecific transmission, especially among more susceptible native species and more resistant invasive species. Outside of the lab, Sam enjoys scuba diving and taking her lizard for walks. Sam is co-advised by Dr. Ana Longo.

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Brittney Jabot

Yinlu Zhu.JPG

Yinlu Zhu

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Alice Gau


Sofia Valencia


Emily Stone

     undergraduate researchers     
lab alumni
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Allison Roth

Emily Durkin, PhD

Evolutionary Ecology of Symbioses

Postdoc 2019-2021

Assistant Professor of Parasitology

University of Tampa


Allison Roth, PhD

Consequences of Animal Sociality

Postdoc 2019-2020

Elise Richardson

MSc Student 2019-2021

Thesis Title: A multi-scale assessment of the effects on pathogen infection on tick host-seeking behavior

Currently a PhD student at NC State

     collaboration network     

Tim Colston, PhD

Affiliate Faculty Member, Department of Biology, University of Florida


Tim is a herpetologist by training, but his research integrates biogeography, evolutionary ecology, and host-microbiome interactions. Tim collaborates with the Keiser Lab on a project focusing on venom evolution and venom-associated microbiomes in social spiders.

Initiative for Venom Associated Microbes and Parasites (iVAMP)


Former undergraduates

  Emma Every

 Rice University

   Class of 2020

   Imani Butler

      Rice University

       Class of 2017

 Anu Dwarampudi

    Rice University

     Class of 2019

   Sara Geary

        West Virginia          

         School of   



       Evan Shegog

          Rice University

           Senior thesis


  Lizzy Sartain

      Rice University

       Senior thesis


 Taylor Shearer



 Michael Ziemba

   Univ. of Pittsburgh

      Class of 2018

Celina Tran

    Rice University

     Class of 2020

  Haley Uustal

      Rice University

       Class of 2018

 Krishna Kothamasu

     Univ. of Pittsburgh

       Class of 2018

  Alex DeMarco

    Eastern Tennessee

     State University

        M.S. Student

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Tram-Anh Tran

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Gloria Johnson

Arletys Leyva

UF bacteria.jpg

Alex Piriz

Nick Dolezal

Joshua Vildor

Samantha Stein

Dylan Vega

Former visiting students

 Mathew Luksik

      University of Virginia

       Class of 2022 


Iclal Yuksel

  University of Houston

   Class of 2020