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

Graduate students

I’m a fifth 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 fifth year Ph.D. student interested in evolutionary genetics. Although my interests are broad, I am studying the impact of changing environmental and geologic forces on the population genetics of the tuco-tuco, a rodent genus endemic to South America. Before joining the lab at Stanford, I conducted my undergraduate thesis research at Harvard, where I researched the genetic basis of migration in monarch butterflies, focusing on elucidating the population structure of the two monarch subspecies and determining potential genes contributing to the disparate migratory behaviors of the two subspecies.

Jeremy Hsu

I am a fifth year PhD candidate studying pikas (small mammals related to rabbits - the inspiration for Pikachu) in the Indian Himalayas. My work is aimed at identifying the genetic adaptations that underlie Himalayan pikas’ ability to survive in severely hypoxic conditions. Himalayan pikas are being forced to higher elevations 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 and nuclear candidate genes, considering the role of plasticity in gene expression using transcriptomics, as well as identifying new candidate genes through next-generation techniques. By looking at how adaptations are distributed across the pika phylogeny I hope to gain new insight into the mechanisms driving evolution at high altitudes.


Katie Solari

I'm a fourth 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 first year doctoral student broadly interested in biodiversity conservation, (local) adaptations, and evolutionary genomics. My focus is geared toward measuring the impact of global climate change on taxa found across altitudinal gradients as well as improving our understanding of the evolutionary and biogeographic history of various taxa using phenotypic and genomic data. With this, I hope to be able to better inform conservation efforts and mediate the understanding of climate change consequences. 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

Rotation students

I am interested in the ecology of infectious diseases. In the De Leo lab at Hopkins Marine Station, I am excited to research human schistosomiasis disease and its control from perspectives informed by molecular ecology, wildlife ecology, and human health and development. In the past I’ve studied the breeding ecology of owls while attending Colorado College, parasites with complex life cycles affecting native California amphibian species at CU Boulder, and molecular microbial ecology as a research associate at Taxon Biosciences, Inc. in Marin, California. I also worked as a technician in the De Leo lab investigating the various strategies and outcomes of schistosomiasis control programs around the world.

Izzy Jones

I am a first year PhD student in the Palumbi lab at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. I am interested in applying computational genomics to ecological and evolutionary questions in coral reef ecosystems. My goal is to integrate genomic data with physical oceanographic data to understand how corals are affected by and react to their physical environment, and how that relates to their potential to adapt to global warming. In previous work I used population genetic analyses of fisheries-targeted fish and sea cucumbers in Fiji to inform conservation management strategies.

Elora López

I am a first year PhD student in the Microbiology and Immunology Department rotating in the Hadly Lab. My interests involve understanding the ecological forces driving the evolution of viral zoonoses and how these forces influence relationships between reservoirs, vectors, and human hosts. I plan to combine my interests in ecology and viral cell biology to expand our understanding of how interactions between viruses, their hosts, and the environment facilitate “jumps” resulting in human outbreaks. In this rotation I am working with graduate student Hannah Frank to explore the distribution of viruses in bat flies collected across a countryside landscape in Costa Rica and determine the extent of virus sharing between these ectoparasites and their bat hosts. My previous research experiences have included Chlamydia vaccine development, and investigation of inflammatory pathways and adjunctive treatments for infectious asthma patients.

Dorothy Tovar

Visiting Scholars

I received my Ph.D. from Stanford in 2015, working with Dr. Elizabeth Hadly and Dr. Gretchen Daily, and will be starting at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto in January 2016. Now, as a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar, I'm taking an evolutionary perpective to understand how and why some species are able to survive human modification of the environment, while others can only survive in unaltered habitats. I'm using two closely related species of Costa Rican terrestrial direct developing frogs as a model, and assessing how genotypic and phenotypic differences between the species correlate with habitat use in the field. Full project description.

Luke Frishkoff


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 a postdoc (and former doctoral student) in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program at Stanford University working with Gretchen C. Daily and Paul R. Ehrlich in the Center for Conservation Biology. My research primarily focuses on quantifying the populations, community assemblages, and species interactions of organisms in human-dominated landscapes under the framework of countryside biogeography. Much of my work centers on predictive models, habitat use, and metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics of birds and bats in Coto Brus, Costa Rica. This work is largely informed by the need to crystallize a firm link between diversity of life on the planet, conservation biology, ecosystem services, and natural capital. Specifically, I am interested in fine-scale tradeoffs between the conservation of biodiversity and agricultural production in the tropics.

Additionally, with different disciplinary goals and methods, I am interested in reframing the red in tooth and claw narrative of the natural world by examining cooperation between animal communities, social groups, and genders. In collaboration with Joan E. Roughgarden I am investigating the evolution and ecology of social reproductive behavior under the framework of social selection, an alternative to sexual selection theory and its corollaries. I am interested in relating the evolutionary behavioral ecologies of mutualism, behavior in the face of resource limitations, and social reproductive behavior with the human predicaments of consumption, population policy, and gender inequality.

Chase Mendenhall
Feature Story

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 majoring in Engineering Physics with a concentration in Materials Science. My work involves promoting environmentally sustainable infrastructure and policy development in Nepal; I am particularly interested in promoting strategies that will effectively mitigate and adapt to the threats of global change.

Charlie Jiang

I am a junior studying Earth Systems with potential minors in Statistics and/or Education. I am working with Alexis on studying the sociality and behavior of the Hispaniolan solenodon through remote-sensing camera traps. I hope to explore implications of climate change on human and animal populations in the future.

Lauren Gibson

I am a senior majoring in Biology. I am working with Luke exploring the ecomorphology of Craugastor frogs of Central America, as well as other closely related families in South America. I am interested in how an organism's phylogeny, environment, and mode of life can impact its success, evolution, and morphology.

Nick Bayley

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

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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