David Civitello

Assistant Professor of Biology

PhD – Indiana University, 2013

BA – Colby College, 2006




Research Staff

Rachel Hartman

B.S. Marine Science- University of South Carolina

M.S. Marine and Atmospheric Science- Stony Brook University



I have been the lab manager for the Civitello lab since March 2017. I train most of the new undergraduate volunteers, help the grad students with their experiments, and conduct my own research projects. I currently have two ongoing research projects, which examine the effects of food quality and competition on snail growth and cercarial production. I am the point of contact for new undergraduate volunteers, so if you are interested in research experience you should reach out to me. In my free time I enjoy running, podcasts, and hanging with my cat named Buffy.









Graduate Students

Xorla Ocloo

B.S. Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

M.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology-University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


I am a PhD student interested in the intersection of ecology, public health, and agriculture. My interests are motivated by the need to improve food security and to mitigate neglected tropical disease risks, particularly in African communities. My current research investigates the usage of aquatic plants as a biofertilizer for crops, biofeed for livestock, and biocontrol agent for vector borne pathogens. Prior to joining the lab, I worked in the Cáceres Lab investigating the effects of zooplankton and habitat types on the abundance of mosquitoes, and also worked in the Cortés-Ortiz Lab exploring the evolutionary histories of howler monkeys and their parasitic pinworms. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports and traveling the world.


Daniel Desautels

B.S. Microbiology; Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

I am a PhD student in the Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution (PBEE) program. I am interested in understanding how environmental factors affect host-parasite dynamics. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how the presence of invasive plant species alters host-parasite dynamics in the snail-schistosome system. My goal is to develop invasive plant management policies that do not inadvertently increase the risk of human schistosome infections.





Lynda Bradley


B.S. Biophysics and biochemistry, Oregon State University

Understanding how fluctuating environments impact systems has always excited me—especially since theories often rely on assumptions of equilibrium for simplicity. For my dissertation, I aim to develop ecological theory to predict how freshwater parasites are shed by hosts in fluctuating environments and compare these theories to traditional epidemiological models. More generally, I want to become a theoretical disease ecologist studying zoonoses at the intersections of public health, animal science, agriculture, and climate science. I also strive to improve my science communication/writing, especially to rural communities, amplify voices of color, and uplift queer people in STEM. In my free time, I love being outside, crafting, playing music with good friends, and petting cats.

Kelsey Shaw

B.S. in Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University

D.V.M., Cornell University


After obtaining my veterinary degree, I spent some time in equine private practice in Northern California. However, I found myself continually dissatisfied with the unanswered questions I encountered in clinical medicine, and I decided to pursue a career in research. Generally, I am interested in host-parasite interactions across scales and eco-immunology. I am currently a second year PhD student in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution studying the impact of host traits and community composition on schistosome transmission. Outside of lab I enjoy running and hiking, especially with my two dogs.



Undergraduate Students