PrincipAL Investigator: Nick Keiser
622 Carr Hall
Department of Biology
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Email: ckeiser [at] ufl [dot] edu
Nick is a behavioral ecologist that studies infectious diseases. In general, he is interested in spiders, flies, and their parasites. He also spends too much time reading sword & sorcery novels, watching horror films, juggling, and listening to heavy metal.
stevencassidy [at] ufl.edu
Steven is 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 is currently studying the the causes and consequences of polydomy in the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola.
email: eric.trotman [at] ufl.edu
Eric is a recent graduate from the University of Florida, where he earned his B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. During undergrad, through the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, he studied how habitat composition affects the provisioning rate of the Southeastern American kestrel. Eric also partnered with the San Diego Zoo Recovery Ecology team on their reintroduction study of the mountain yellow-legged frog, focusing on how early life history events may affect survival in the wild. During his Ph.D., Eric plans to study how multi-host parasites affect the behavior of intermediate hosts using a One Health framework.
Katie Van Havel
email: kathryn.vanhavel [at] ufl.edu
Katie received her undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), where she majored in biology and received her commission to the United States Air Force as an Intelligence officer. She is on scholarship to receive her masters degree to support a future teaching role at USAFA. Katie's research will focus on wolf spiders behavioral responses to biotic and abiotic stressors. She is an avid bookworm and flipped over too many rocks looking for bugs as a kid.
email: tklee [at] ufl.edu
Travis received his B.S. in Zoology from Colorado State University. During his undergrad, Travis worked with Trinidadian Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and their pike cichlid predators (Crenicichla frenata) where he became interested in predator-prey interactions and how predators and prey respond to each other through phenotypic plasticity. During his PhD he has expanded on this interest using empirical studies in various study systems and theoretical models to better understand how both predator and prey plasticity influence their interactions over time. Travis is an outdoor enthusiast who loves mountain biking, snowboarding, scuba diving, and just spending time outside with his wife and two sons. Travis is co-advised by Dr. Colette St. Mary.
SPDR Collection Webmaster
email: b.musuluri [at] ufl.edu
Emily Durkin, PhD
Assistant Professor of Parasitology
University of Tampa
Former undergraduate researcher
Currently in medical school.
Former undergraduate researcher
Currently working at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
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
MSc Student 2019-2023
Thesis Title: Assessing the interconnected behavioral and physiological underpinnings of host responses to infection.
Currently working at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the animal physiology group.
Tim Colston, PhD
University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Tim is a herpetologist by training, but his research integrates biogeography, evolutionary ecology, and host-microbiome interactions. We are currently collaborating on a project focusing on venom evolution and venom-associated microbiomes in social spiders.
Initiative for Venom Associated Microbes and Parasites (iVAMP)
iVAMP is a collaborative, open-source group of researchers worldwide of all career stages and types with the shared interest to expand the reach of each other’s work as well as the direction of the field of venom microbiomics.
PDF of our first paper describing the field of venom microbiomics and introducing iVAMP.
University of Virginia
Class of 2022
University of Houston
Class of 2020