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

I am a first year PhD student in the Microbiology and Immunology Department. 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. 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

Rotation students

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

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 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

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

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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