Principal Investigator

Project Scientists

Postdoctoral Researchers

Ecology / Population dynamics / Disease dynamics / Biological pest control / Metabolic theory

Graduate Students

I am currently interested in herpetology with a focus on the phylogeography and impact of fire on the effective population sizes of a lizard with a sky island distribution in Southern California, the effect of wetland habitat restoration on a population of a threatened frog species in a California coastal dune complex, and the disease ecology of a California newt species and a yet to be identified pathogen that causes abnormal skin lesions. 

Tatum Katz is a 5th year PhD candidate. She studies vectors and reservoirs of the amphibian-killing pathogen Bd, specifically by using field data to parameterize and ground-truth a variety of statistical and mathematical models which investigate how these alternative sources affect amphibian population dynamics. She also recently earned her M.A. in statistics here at UCSB, and is excited by all types of statistical analyses, especially machine learning

Amphibian disease ecology

I am broadly interested in disease transmission dynamics, specifically how host community composition alters the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens. Previous research of mine has investigated the host-vector-pathogen interface by examining the effect of larval host blood meal identity on tick nymphal vector competency to Borrelia burgdorferi. 


I am interested in how the genetics of host-pathogen interactions drive disease dynamics in wildlife populations, and how this can be used to inform species conservation and disease management plans. I am currently studying the genetic determinants of host susceptibility and pathogen virulence in the amphibian-chytridiomycosis system across various frog populations in California.

Google Scholar


Interested in using empirical & theoretical frameworks to understand the ecology and evolution of vector-borne diseases in a changing climate.


Rebecca Abel
Sarah Boyle
Alyssa Byer
Spencer Chau
Elise Cypher
Josephine Graeber
Meryem Guler
Hope Hahn
Iona McCabe
Yanelyn Perez
Max Roberts
Navdeep Sandhu
Karen Sidhu
Chloe Swain
Natalie Ventura
Melinda Zemberi


PhD Students
Name Current Affiliation Years in Labsort descending
Mary Toothman
Lara Rachowicz Independent Research Professional 2005
Matthew Daugherty UC Riverside 2006
Mary Stice-Kishiyama Doctor of Veterinary Medicine 2009
Andrea Jani University of Hawaii 2010-2014
Andrea Adams UC Santa Barbara 2010-2017
Thomas Smith UC Santa Barbara 2011-2015
Tate Tunstall University of Maryland 2012
Andrew MacDonald Stanford 2012-2016
Mark Wilber Colorado State University 2012-2017
Emily Wilson UC Santa Barbara 2012-2017
Postdoctoral Researchers
Name Current Affiliation Years in Labsort descending
Martha Hoopes Professor at Mount Holyoke College 1999-2004
Elizabeth Borer Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota 2002-2003
Perry de Valpine Associate Professor at UC Berkeley 2002-2004
Vance Vredenburg Associate Professor at San Francisco State University 2003-2007
Andrea Swei San Francisco State University 2009-2011
Leah Johnson Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech 2009-2011
Brian Drawert Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina Asheville 2017
Joe Mihaljevic Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University 2017-2018
Graziella DiRenzo MA Cooperative Research Unit 2017-2019