David L. Reed

My work focuses on host/parasite coevolution. Lately, I’ve been driven by questions relating to the extent with which we can infer host evolutionary history simply by studying their host-specific parasites. For example, human head and body lice show a population expansion coinciding with that of their modern human hosts about 100,000 years ago. Might we be able to use human lice to learn more about human migrations such as the Peopling of the Americas?

This interest has led to new studies of co-demography and DNA sequence simulations that permit us to determine how human parasites have responded to their human hosts.

Verity L. Mathis
Collections Manager

Verity is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mammal Collection. If you have questions about our holdings, would like to request a loan, or need access to the collection, she is the one to contact. Visit her website for more information on her research interests. For more information about the Mammal Collection, please go here.


Aida Miró-Herrans, PhD
Postdoctoral ResearcherAida

Broadly, my research explores how human interactions, with each other and the environment, shape their evolutionary history during migration. I combine some of the most recent methodological advances in modern and ancient DNA and computational analyses​ to reconstruct the evolutionary processes and interactions that have shaped human populations. My research has focused on studying the genetic diversity of human populations in the Arabian Peninsula and the Americas, the two regions of the world with the earliest and most recent peopling events, respectively. My current research studies human and human head louse (P. humanus) co-evolution to identify interactions that modern humans may have had with archaic hominin species.

Hannah ChelgrenHannah Chelgren

Hannah works in the museum’s dermestid beetle colony and cleans and prepares mammal, bird, and reptile skeletons for deposition into the collections.  Her major is Visual Art Studios, and when she’s not studying or working at the museum, she does amateur scientific illustration work, collects insects, and hikes.

Melissa Duque

Melissa started working as a specimen preparator in mammals in 2019, mostly preparing study skins.  She then moved to work with Hannah in the dermestid beetle colony, assisting with the processing and cleaning of the museum’s skeletal material.  Melissa is pre-vet and hopes to be a veterinarian one day.