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David L. Reed
Associate Curator

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.


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.

Josh Ringer
PreparatorJoshua Ringer

Josh started work with the dermestid beetle colony in 2014 after working as a collections assistant in mammalogy.  He continues to work with our prep lab while also attending graduate school in the labs of David Steadman (Florida Museum) and Steve Johnson (Wildlife, Ecology, and Conservation).

Melissa Duque

Melissa has been working as a specimen preparator since 2019, mostly preparing study skins.

Gabrielle Foursa
Collections Assistant

Gabi has been working in both birds and mammals since 2019, working on a variety of curation projects.