Principal investigator

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Miguel A. Acevedo
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. I feel very lucky to be able to dedicate my life to be an “ecological detective” solving the mysteries of nature. In this journey I collaborate with lots of really cool and smart people including mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, computer scientists, geographers, epidemiologists, and wildlife ecologists. Modeling is one of my favorite tools to solve these mysteries because they can reduce complex problems into a few number of equations and assumptions. I also enjoy critical thinking, music and salsa dancing!

Graduate researchers


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Virnaliz Cruz (University of Florida, PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology)

Virnaliz is now a Florida Gator! She was an undergraduate researcher in the Quantitative Ecology Lab 1.0 at the University of Puerto Rico where she got the award of best undergraduate thesis. Now she is a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. She is being co-advised by Ethan White and interested in disease macro-ecology, complex systems and computational ecology.




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John Michael Toohey (University of Florida, MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

John Michael is interested in quantitative population ecology and modeling. In his thesis, he is studying the sources and consequences of heterogeneous mixing in vector-borne diseases. He is particularly interested in understanding how individual, movement and spatial heterogeneity influence disease dynamics of malaria in anoles in Puerto Rico and Florida.




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Carly Fankhauser (University of Florida, MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

Carly is interested in quantitative ecology and genomics. For her thesis, she is studying the evolutionary consequences of lizards (and their malaria parasites) re-colonizing secondary forests in Puerto Rico. She works in close collaboration with Riccardo Papa at the University of Puerto Rico.







Lab Alumni

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David Clark Jr. (University of Puerto Rico, MS Biology)

For his MS’ degree, David studied evolutionary relationship between Anolis gundlachi and Plasmodium azurophilum. He is now a PhD student in the Department of Biological Science at the University of Pittsburgh.






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Nicole Gutiérrez (University of Puerto Rico, MS Biology)

For her MS degree, Nicole studied host-parasite co-evolutionary interactions in urban environments. She studied the consequences of infection by malaria parasites on Bananaquits, Puerto Rico’s most abudnant bird. She is currently working as a technician for the forest service in a super cool experimental warming project.



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Judith Reyes (University of Puerto Rico, BS Biology)

Judith was a biology major undergraduate student who conducted research towards the identification of the vector(s) of lizard malaria in Puerto Rican anoles. Currently, she is pursuing her passion for vector biology as a PhD student in the Integrated Life Sciences Program at the University of Georgia.