David L. Reed
Curator of Mammals
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.
PhD student, Biology Department
I am broadly interested in the themes of evolutionary biology and population genetics. My current research is focused on bat populations in the Caribbean islands. I plan to use fossil data, ancient DNA, morphology and genetics in order to advance our understanding of how populations are structured and how they evolve over time.
In the past, I worked at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. My research was focused on examining the factors which impact distribution and diversification patterns of frogs, lizards and snakes across the Western Ghats in India. I also love photographing the natural world and thinking about science
The undergraduate volunteers in the Reed Lab are top notch! Proficient in many molecular genetics techniques, included DNA extraction, PCR, and gel electrophoresis, our undergraduates work hard to generate data for ongoing projects in the lab. Many of our undergraduates have also been trained to take high-resolution images of mammal specimens and have gained skills working with software, like Photoshop and Lightroom. In addition to the work they do in the lab, the undergraduates also attend a weekly lab seminar where we read and discuss peer-reviewed articles.