Biology, Stanford University

Banner image of elephants

Dr. Elizabeth Hadly

Department of Biology, Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-5020

650.725.2655 (phone), 650.723.6123 (fax)

Leopold Leadership Fellow

Doctoral students

I’m a sixth year PhD student with broad interests ranging from population diversification and adaptation to ecoimmunology and conservation. My graduate work examines how various aspects of a bat’s ecology affect its exposure to parasitism and disease and how this in turn shapes its immunogenetic evolution. Additionally I am working as part of an interdisciplinary team of ecologists and medical doctors to explore how infectious organisms are shared across a countryside landscape in Costa Rica. By combining field work and genetic techniques, I hope to learn more about the evolution of bats, ecologically important species which also serve as important vectors and reservoirs of emerging diseases. Before graduate school my research included projects investigating macroevolutionary patterns of convergence and phylogenetic signal in the toepads of Anolis lizards and the effect of resource availability and other environmental factors on white blood cells and immune function in tuatara, a threatened, endemic, New Zealand reptile.

Hannah Frank
Curriculum Vitae

I am a sixth year PhD candidate studying pikas (small mammals related to rabbits - the inspiration for Pikachu). My work is aimed at identifying the genetic mechanisms that underlie Himalayan pikas’ ability to survive in severely hypoxic conditions. Himalayan pikas may be forced to shift their ranges due to climate change but some of these species may not have the genetic adaptions necessary to survive the hypoxia of their new higher elevation habitat. In an effort to get a full image of the suite of adaptations that enable the hypoxia tolerance seen in some pika species, I am assessing adaptations in mitochondrial candidate genes, considering the role of plasticity in gene expression using transcriptomics, as well as identifying new candidate genes through next-generation techniques.


Katie Solari

I'm a fifth year PhD student interested in the origin and conservation of mammalian diversity, with an emphasis on small mammals and human-animal interactions. I take an interdisciplinary approach using techniques from paleontology, phylogenetics, ecology, and genomics to address basic questions about extinction as well as to provide appropriate historical baselines for conservation efforts. Current projects include understanding selective extinction dynamics of Caribbean mammals, fecal metabarcoding to elucidate solenodon diet, eulipotyphlan (insectivorous mammal) evolution, and reconstruction of human populations across South America. I am also committed to disseminating this scientific knowledge through paleontological outreach in the Dominican Republic and through teaching interdisciplinary undergraduate courses.

Alexis Mychajliw
Curriculum Vitae


I’m a second year doctoral student interested in environmental toxicants, adaptations, epigenetics/epigenomics and evolutionary genomics. My research is aimed at understanding the impact of environmental toxicants on mammal fauna through the lens of genomics/epigenomics. Currently, I am focused on the effects that mercury released from small scale gold mining have on bat fauna and the terrestrial ecosystem structure and function as a whole. Prior to joining the Hadly lab at Stanford, I was working on my master’s degree with Dr. Liliana Cortés-Ortiz at the University of Michigan. For my thesis, I studied the diversity and evolutionary history of Peruvian red howler monkeys.

Sergio Redondo

I am a second year PhD student in the Microbiology and Immunology Department, and am being co-advised in the Kirkegaard Lab. My interests involve understanding how ecological characteristics contribute to host immune responses. In particular, many recently emerged viral diseases including Nipah, Marburg, SARS, and Ebola are hypothesized to have their origins in bats. My thesis research focuses on using bat ecology to investigate unique innate immune mechanisms employed to limit viral infection, and allow them to be a reservoir of highly pathogenic viral diseases in humans. Outside of lab, I am extremely passionate about outreach and empowering others through education.

Dorothy Tovar

I am a first year PhD student in the Hadly and Petrov labs interested in studying the patterns of speciation and diversity at the genomic level. Specifically, I am interested in using genomic methods to understand how species adapt and diverge because of ecological pressures. Previously, I have worked on genome evolution in Hawaiian picture-wing Drosophila, population genetics in Ariamnes spiders, and worked on several genome assembly projects.

Ellie Armstrong

Rotation students

I am a first year PhD student in the Goldbogen lab at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. I am interested in studying foraging ecology and biomechanics of rorqual species using bio-logging techniques. I am also interested in the effects of oxygen storage on diving capabilities.

Shirel Kahane-Rapport

Master's students

I am a master’s student in the Earth System’s Department studying the intersection of biology and design. I started doing research in the Hadly Lab as a biology undergraduate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (BS). My first forays into research here were on the morphology of the extinct family Nesophontidae, a project that is still ongoing. I also focused on science communication, traveling to the Dominican Republic to understand local perspectives on the endangered solenodon. You can listen to the resulting podcast here. My current research focuses on morphology and ecology of the understudied order of insectivorous mammals Eulipotyphla, comprised of hedgehogs, moles, shrews, solenodons and nesophontids. With this model system I seek to investigate questions relating to dietary evolution in a speciose yet seemingly constrained group of organisms.

Laura Cussen

Postdoctoral Scholars

I am interested in understanding the ecological effects of animal communities on ecosystem function and ecological responses of animal communities to environmental change. Current projects focus on characterizing ecological responses through the application of stable isotope analysis to specimen collections held by natural history museums. My research aims to link temporal patterns in the isotopic composition of small mammal tissues (Blarina brevicauda, Microtus pennsylvanicus, and Microtus californicus) to temporal patterns of regional land use, nitrogen deposition, and climate over the past 150 years.

Jasmine Crumsey

Visiting Scholars

I am a molecular ecologist interested in using genetic data to understand biodiversity and inform conservation. I am an associate professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. My lab has pioneered methods to conduct population monitoring and landscape and population genetics with tiger fecal samples. Recent projects include work on contrasting population structure between commensal and wild rodents and understanding the drivers of diversification in montane communities in the western ghats. I am currently visiting the Hadly lab as a Fulbright fellow. My visit is also supported by the Centre for Human, Evolutionary and Computational Genomics at Stanford. While at Stanford, I am hoping to develop novel methods for genomic analyses with fecal samples.

Uma Ramakrishnan

I have served at Northeast Normal University in China as an associate professor since 2011. My research focuses on the relationships between the evolution of functional genes and environmental changes. An ongoing project in my lab is about the molecular basis of hearing and vision of owls. Owls can locate prey at night mainly using their specific hearing and vision, and the candidate genes underlying the sensory specifications are not well known. By comparing transcriptomic sequencing and the evolutionary analyses of relevant functional genes, we have been finding several genes that are characterized by a strong signal of positive selection. Much more remains to be discovered, e.g., the possible network of these candidate genes or their possible co-evolution. The finding of the candidate genes would shed light on the relationship between molecular evolution and environment changes, and help us to know about how owls evolved to adapt to their night environment.

Yonghua Wu

I am an independent sustainable development policy advisor who works with the Chairman of Nepal's Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Energy and Water Resources. My writing and photographs have been published internationally. I first started working in print media in 1997 and on the radio from 1999. I am a former North America correspondent for BBC Nepal service. I am also Director of the City Museum Kathmandu in Nepal, and a Niti Foundation Renewable Energy Policy Fellow 2012. I regularly work as a consultant and keep my research independent by funding it through my work as a photographer. I am primarily based in Nepal and New York and also publish at SustainableNepal.org.

Kashish Das Shrestha

Undergraduate Researchers

I am a senior honors student studying Earth Systems (BS) and Environmental Communication (MA) with an emphasis on education. I study the endangered Hispaniolan solenodon, using camera trapping, ecological transects, and species distribution modeling to inform conservation efforts. In the future, I hope to explore implications of climate change on human and animal populations.

Lauren Gibson

I am a senior majoring in Engineering Physics with a concentration in Materials Science. My work focuses on refining and analyzing data overlaid on map layers in the ArcGIS online platform to help understand global change issues in the US. I have also helped support the work done by Kashish and Charlie to promote sustainable policy and development in Nepal.

Shane Johnson

I am a rising sophomore planning to major in computer science with a concentration in biocomputation. I will be working with Sergio studying bat epigenetics. I am interested in investigating the techniques by which biological data is collected and analyzed in the field.

Xóchitl Longstaff

I am a junior majoring in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. In the Hadly lab I have worked on a couple of projects, including one that looked at Costa Rican bats and how their differing ecologies influenced disease burdens in their populations and another that looked into novel ways to extract DNA from tiger feces to make population genetic studies easier. In the future I hope to continue to study how the differing ecologies of pathogens and their hosts affect the spread of infectious disease.

Jamieson O'Marr

I am a junior studying Earth Systems and CSRE. I am working on a research project studying a group of extinct Caribbean eulipotyphlans, examining possible factors for extinction such as limited diet. I am particularly interested in the implications for current conservation efforts that could be revealed.

Sijo Smith

I'm a junior majoring in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I worked in the Dirzo Lab last year on stable isotope analysis of East African animals diets as well as bee identification and pollinator networks. Now I'm getting started on my honors thesis, and I'm hoping to work on conservation policy involving primates or factory farming.

Mireille Bejjani

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Hadly Lab, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020
ph. 650.725.2655 | fax. 650.723.6132 | e-mail: hadly@stanford.edu | contact the webmaster