Current Postdoctoral Research Associates


Paul Williams

Paul is a theoretician interested in evolutionary medicine. His work focuses primarily on modeling the evolution of virulence in microparasites, the epidemiological and evolutionary effects of disease intervention strategies, and the evolution of aging. A main goal of his research is to understand how phenotypic variation among hosts influences the dynamics and evolution of infectious diseases. Presently he is working on integrating theory and data in order to gain a more complete understanding of the factors (e.g. host immunity, virulence-transmission tradeoff) underlying virulence evolution in ecologically realistic host-pathogen systems. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to provide policy makers with new conceptual tools in the pursuit of enduring solutions to the problem of treatment-driven pathogen evolution.


Anieke van Leeuwen

As theoretical ecologist, Anieke is fascinated by the complexity of ecosystems and community dynamics. The question of what processes structure ecosystems, is at the core of her research. Anieke studies how accounting for population structure and for differences between individual characteristics affects ecosystem processes. The effect of human interference with ecosystems is another part of her research interests. Human interference with ecological processes often shapes a dominant interaction in communities be it the impact of fisheries on top-predator species or the large-scale deforestations in agricultural areas. Such interference has direct as well as indirect effects, often visible at many different trophic levels. Anieke’s research focuses on the causes of population collapses, lack of species recoveries, and regime shifts. For this focus a mechanistic approach is used, to understand the processes underlying observed patterns, and leading to explanations of emerging population and community dynamics. Anieke makes use of physiologically structured population models and stage-structured biomass models, and both numerical and analytical techniques for analysis. Connect with her through ResearchGate or LinkedIn.


Carrie Cizauskas

As a veterinarian, Carrie is most interested in the physiological, immunological, and pathological processes occurring inside hosts in response to infectious disease pressures. Why do hosts get the infections that they do, when they do? What makes some hosts more susceptible than others, and what drives seasonal susceptibility? How do current infections affect hosts’ abilities to fight off other infectious agents? Carrie is particularly interested in the immunomodulatory effects of macroparasite infections, and has studied coinfection trade-offs in wild herbivores in a natural anthrax and gastrointestinal parasite system in Africa. She is currently extending this research into new African systems and new species, while examining issues of immunological resistance and tolerance and the interactions between hosts, parasites, and the host microbiome. Her underlying goal is to bring immunology out controlled laboratory settings, and to build off of the work that others have conducted in animal models by ground-truthing it in more variable natural systems.


Jennifer Peterson

Jenni is interested in ecological aspects of global health issues, especially neglected tropical diseases.  Her research centers on Chagas disease and its vector, the triatomine bug.  She is investigating both theoretically and experimentally if trypanosome coinfection can regulate populations of triatomines to the point where Chagas disease transmission is altered. She does her experimental research in Medellin, Colombia and theoretical work in Princeton.

Current Graduate Students


Sebastián Muñoz

Sebastián Muñoz is searching for ecological patterns in parasite communities among a wide range of host species and environments. A native of Chile, with a professional degree in Marine Biology, Sebastián uses diverse techniques to find and understand the rules governing species coexistance within these communities. He was first introduced to parasitology working in marine environments, studying the ecology of fish and mollusk parasites.

At Princeton, he is expanding his research by looking at the influence of species distribution and their interspecific interactions on the structure of the parasite community. Thanks to a summer research grant from his Department at Princeton University and the travel allowance from his Fulbright International Science and Technology Award, he studied the macroparasites of the Tasmanian Devil, an endangered species with very limited parasitological information. This work estimated for the first time the exact abundance of parasites per host, and revealed what appears to be a new nematode species. As the Tasmanian Devil faces extinction due to a novel and contagious form of cancer, documenting their parasite communities could help researchers to better understand their defenses against infection, with important consequences for their conservation. In collaboration with a former Princeton student they carried out a study on how macroparasites may reduce inflammatory immune responses in songbirds. In the long term, his goal is to help to understand the underlying phenomena that drive the observed patterns in these communities.


Christina Faust

With a broad interest in understanding the nexus of human, wildlife and ecosystem health, Christina is using her dissertation to skim the surface of the complex interactions pathogens have with their environments and hosts. She is examining how heterogeneous landscapes shape vector-borne disease transmission, with a focus on mechanisms for promoting cross-species transmission events. This research has also inspired a broader interest in the coevolution of hosts and parasites, but her current system of choice is non-human primate malarias in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Her research wouldn't be possible without collaborations with the University of Oxford, Universidad de los Andes, and Universiti Brunei Darussalam.


Cara Brook

For her dissertation, Cara is studying the transmission dynamics of potentially-zoonotic pathogens among fruit bat reservoirs in Madagascar. Specifically, she explores the impacts of human hunting on Malagasy fruit bat longevity and its consequences for the pathogens that these bats host. Cara also examines the extent to which inter-species transmission is important in maintaining pathogen persistence in small bat populations, as well as investigates risks for zoonotic emergence of bat-borne pathogens in human communities. Cara collaborates with several molecular laboratories to address these questions across a diversity of viral, bacterial, and protozoal bat-borne pathogens. Cara conducts all field studies in collaboration with Institut Pasteur Madagascar and the University of Antananarivo. You can read more about her work on her National Geographic blogsite.  

Tim Treuer


Tim is broadly interested in the conservation and health implications of human land-use in the tropics. In previous work he's looked at effects of cacao agro-forestry on Nymphalid butterfly assemblages and at impacts of illegal logging on the mosquito vectors of malaria and the dengue. His current work in Costa Rica focuses on faunal responses to forest restoration. In El Área de Conservación Guanacaste (one of the world's largest tropical forest restoration projects), Tim is exploring how the recovery of bird, bat, frog and insect communities in regenerating forest on old cattle pastures is effected by the soil quality and presence of old cattle shade trees. He is particularly excited about developing acoustic surveys as a rapid, non-invasive, ecologically meaningful, and multi-taxa alternative to traditional biodiversity surveys.

Previous Postdoctoral Fellows

Peter Molnar (2010-2014)
Ellie Whittaker Machin (2011-2012)
Claire Standley (2010-2012)
Erik Osnas (2009-2012)
Kate Nowak (2010-2011)
Stephanie Eby (2010-2011)
Walter Jetz (2003-2006)
Parviez Hosseini (2002-2009)
Cassandra Nunez (2003-2004)
Karin Lindstrom (2001-2004)
Jon Paul Rodriquez (1999-2001)
Sonia Altizer (1999-2001)
Johannes Foufoupoulos (1998-2002)
Simon Frost (1996-1997)
Giulio de Leo (1993-1996)
Margarita Lampo (1993-1996)
Tim O’Brien (1990-1992)
Margaret Kinnaird (1990-1992)
Nicholas Georgiadis (1987-1989)

Previous Graduate Students

Nitin Sekar (2008-2014)
Leslie Reperant (2005-2010)
Juliet Pulliam (2002-2007)
Kate Hampson (2002-2007)
Kelly Lee (2001-2006)
Ricardo Holdo (1999-2005)
Anna Jolles (1999-2004)
Rae Winfree (1996-2002)
Paula Kahumbu (1994-2001)
Jon Paul Rodriquez (1993-1999)
Charles Foley (1992-2002)
Martha Hurley (1991-2000)
Jorge Ahumada (1991-1995)
Adina Merenlender (1987-1993)