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PiBBs Fellowship Scholars sponsored by National Institutes of Health and University of New Mexico

2010-2011 Participants

Kathrin Spendier - Physics

Jenny Cabotage - Anthropology

Christian Gunning - Biology

Sarah Joyce - Anthropology

Drew Levin - Computer Science

Catherine Mitchell - Anthropology

Robbie Burger - Biology

Shawn "Fred" Whiteman - Biology

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Robbie Burger-Biology

Robbie's research interests include the parallels and overlapping issues between ecology and economics. The former involves disciplines of basic ecology including populations and communities; behavior and evolutionary ecology; and disease/parasite ecology. The latter involves interdisciplinary research in applied ecology such as conservation biology; ecosystem management and restoration; human ecology and biophysical economics. At this interface, he is also interested in synthetic and mechanistic explanations of large-scale biological patterns, and interdisciplinary, systematic approaches to biodiversity conservation, sustainability, and environmental health policy.http://sites.google.com/site/josephrobertburger TOP



JennyJenny Cabotage-Anthropology

Jenny's general research area is the evolution of behavior and life history in humans and non-human primates. She is currently going through a rewrite of her dissertation topic and has not narrowed down the particulars.TOP







Christian Gunning- Biology**

Christian's research is focused on understanding what drives the temporal and spatial patterns observed in epidemiological data using mathematical, statistical and computational approaches. More specifically, he is currently researching the historical spatiotemporal dynamics of measles and influenza in the United States. TOP






Sarah Joyce- Anthropology**

Sarah Joyce is a Ph.D. student in Evolutionary Anthropology working with Dr. Keith Hunley. Her research interests include human evolutionary genetics, host-parasite ecology and evolution, and emerging infectious diseases. Currently, she is examining global patterns of human neutral genetic diversity for departures from a pure serial founder effects model of evolution; such departures include local gene flow in Europe & Asia, archaic admixture, and two distinct colonizations of Oceania. Sarah received a B.S. in Zoology in 2000, and an M.S. in Biological Sciences in 2002, both from Eastern Illinois University.TOP




Drew Levin- Computer Science

Drew's research focuses on the organization of distributed autonomous systems. His key research topics include: how these systems form, how information is transferred between individual agents within such a system, and what conditions are necessary for these systems to go through certain phase transitions. Drew received his BS in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College and is currently a member of Professor Forrest's Adaptive Computation Laboratory within the UNM Computer Science department.TOP





Catherine Mitchell-Anthropology**

Catherine (Katie) Mitchell is a Ph.D. student in Evolutionary Anthropology working under Dr. Sherry Nelson. She received her B.A. in biological anthropology at Boston University. Her research  interests include paleoanthropology,life history, and stable isotopic analysis. Currently, she is interested in the relationship between enamel hypoplasia and seasonality and their implications for invidividual life history. TOP





Kathrin Spendier- Physics**

Kathrin's research project aims to investigate dynamics and organization of cell surface receptors on mast cells by drawing on the techniques of experimental and theoretical physics, a practice that is not common in her setting. Her experimental techniques include micromanipulation of single cells to precisely control the contact time between cells and ligand presenting surfaces. She has co-authored two papers, one on "Formation of a mast cell synapse: FcεRI membrane dynamics upon binding mobile or immobilized ligands on surfaces", Journal of Immunology 184: 1328-1338 (2010) and the other "Distribution and Dynamics of Rat Basophilic Leukemia Immunoglobulin E Receptors (FcεRI) on Planar Ligand-Presenting Surfaces", Biophysical Journal 99: 388-397 (2010). Website: http://unm.academia.edu/KathrinSpendier.  TOP



Shawn "Fred" Whiteman- Biology**

Shawn "Fred" Whiteman is a Ph.D candidate working with Felisa Smith in the Department of Biology. Her research interests include paleobiology, macroecology, and biogeography. She is currently working on two major research projects: one on the ecological factors contributing to differential success in the Great American Biotic Interchange, and one using geometric morphometrics to study packrat (Neotoma) morphology and phylogeny. She enjoys interdisciplinary and international collaboration, knitting, and fine wine, and she won't be offended if her name misleads you into thinking she's a guy.  Website: http://unm.edu/~sbw   TOP