Current Trainees

photo: Kaylee Arnold

Kaylee Arnold

Research Interests: Understanding the effects of anthropogenic stressors on gut microbiomes and how landscape changes affect pathogen transmission between animals
Previous Education: B.S. in Biology from the University of Redlands (Southern California), 2013; M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, 2016
Advisors: Nicole Gottdenker and Michael Strand / Program: Ecology

photo of Cody Dailey

Cody Dailey

Research Interests: Infectious disease epidemiology; exploring molecular phenomena and their implications for disease dynamics and population health; data analysis; malaria
Previous Education: B.S. Biology, Minor French – UGA, 2015; dual degree MPH Epidemiology/Biostatistics – UGA, 2017
Why IDEAS?: This program will facilitate my growth as a scientist by broadening my perspective for epidemiological research. Incorporating multi-discipline and -scale aspects to my work and having an opportunity for real-world application are some of the key perks in my mind.
Advisor: Ming Zhang / Program: Epidemiology

photo of Julia Frederick

Julia Frederick

Research Interests:
Advisor: Travis Glenn /  Program: Environmental Health Science

photo: Deven Gokhale

Deven Gokhale

Research Interests: Incorporating pathogen interactions within epidemic models to study their effect on the population dynamics of co-circulation and long term persistence.
Advisor: Pejman Rohani / Program: Ecology

photo: Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Research Interests: Parasitology and community ecology, especially how parasite-host interactions affects the host’s ecological relationships with other species.
Previous Education: B.S. Evolution and Ecology from UC Davis
Why IDEAS?: The rich combination of interdisciplinary researchers and resources drew me to IDEAS.
Advisors: Jeb Byers and Michael Yabsley / Program: Ecology

Rachel Mercaldo

Research Interests: Epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Previous Education: B.A. in General Arts and Sciences: Science and Mathematics from Pennsylvania State University (2014)
Advisor: Steven Bellan / Program: Epidemiology and Biostatistics

photo: Paige Miller

Paige Miller

Research Interests: Integrating ecological, epidemiological, and dynamical systems theory to improve our ability to probe signals of tipping points in real data
Previous Education: B.S. Mathematics and Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College
Why IDEAS?: I was drawn to the IDEAS program because of the emphasis on preparation for government and industry career paths.
Advisors: John Drake and Chris Whalen / Program: Ecology

photo: Mike Newberry

Mike Newberry

Research Interests: Observing the interactions between mosquito vectors and the environment, investigating the microbiome of mosquitoes, and determining implications for disease transmission
Previous Education:  BS Emory University in Biology and Environmental Studies
Advisors: Courtney Murdock and Mike Strand / Program: Ecology

photo of Alexandria Purcell

Alexandria Purcell

Research Interests: My research focuses on the gram negative bacteria outer membrane, and the modifications made to the outer membrane that allows for bacterial survival and resistance. 
Previous Education: BSc Microbiology, from the University of Georgia
Why IDEAs?
IDEAs will allow me to expand my research outside of my focused interests, and it also allows me to experience research outside of the University through an internship. 
Advisor: M. Stephen Trent / Program: Infectious Diseases

photo of Isabella Ragonese

Isabella Ragonese

Research Interests: Studying the intersecting areas of animal behavior, spatial ecology, and anthropogenic change as they relate to disease dynamics in wild populations
Previous Education: B.A. in Integrative Biology from Skidmore College, 2017
Advisors: Sonia Altizer and Richard Hall / Program: Ecology

photo of Kate Sabey

Kate Sabey

Research Interests: Understanding how gut microbiota shape and are shaped by nutrition, behavior, and disease physiology in wildlife
Previous Education: B.S. in Biology from Juniata College
Advisor: Vanessa Ezenwa / Program: Infectious Diseases

photo of Darren Seidel

Darren Seidel

Research Interests: Investigating ruminal microorganism dynamics when altered through nutritional or natural factors, how these alternations affect animal growth/performance, and how specific foodborne pathogens enter supply chains through food animal vectors.
Previous Education: B.S. in Animal Science and Geosciences from Angelo State University (2015), M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University (2017)
Advisor: Todd Callaway / Program: Animal and Dairy Science

photo: Nikki Solano

Nikki Solano

Research Interests: Understanding the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on mosquito traits that are important for disease transmission through empirical and experimental studies in order to improve mathematical models.
Previous Education: B.A. in Dance from Agnes Scott College
Why IDEAS?: There simply wasn’t another program that aligned this well with my personal and career goals (professional development, science communication, interdisciplinary collaborations, and quantitative skills).
Advisors: John Drake and Courtney Murdock / Program: Ecology

photo of Megan Tomamichel

Megan Tomamichel

Research Interests:
Advisors: Jeb Byers and Richard Hall / Program: Ecology

photo: David Vasquez

David Vasquez

Research Interests: Exploring how ecological and environmental conditions can affect the fitness and geographic range of parasites.
Previous Education: B.S. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech in, 2015; Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program at the University of Missouri; Population Biology of Infectious Diseases REU participant, 2014
Why IDEAS?: When IDEAS launched, I discovered that there wasn’t another program in the country that could compete with it. With IDEAS, I am most excited to participate in an internship that will utilize the skills I have acquired on campus in a real world environment.
Advisor: Andrew Park / Program: Ecology

photo: Joy Vaz

Joy Vaz

Research Interests: Studying patterns of disease emergence, zoonosis, and spillover
Previous Education: BS in Biochemistry from Calvin College, MI
Advisors: John Drake and Christopher Whalen
Program: Ecology

photo of Anna Willoughby

Anna Willoughby

Research Interests: Human-wildlife interactions, One Health, multi-species and zoonotic pathogens
Previous Education: B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology, Duke University
Why IDEAS? Not only does IDEAS provide a network of disease ecology experts, but also encourages creative application of theory and methods from other disciplines. I believe the collaboration provided through this interdisciplinary research fosters novel perspectives and solutions to the complex challenges of infectious diseases.
Advisors: Sonia Altizer and John Drake / Program: Ecology

photo of Cali Wilson

Cali Wilson

Research Interests: Understanding how anthropogenic disturbances affect wildlife behavior, community composition, and disease transmission.
Previous Education: B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University, 2018 
Advisors: Sonia Altizer and Richard Hall / Program: Ecology

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