Jacqueline Ay-Ling Loo

PhD student, Dept. of Biology, New York University

Jacquie's doctoral research integrates molecular analyses at multiple marker systems, with life history data collected from humpback whale populations on the South Atlantic and Southwestern Indian Oceans to address questions regarding population structuring. Essentially, she is evaluating the extent to which dispersal, ranging from seasonal migrations to local movements, influences genetic patterns at temporal and hierarchical geographical scales.

Soto AM, Loo J, and Marky LA. 2002. Energetic contributions for the formation of TAT/TAT, TAT/CGC+, and CGC+/ CGC+ base triplet stacks. Journal of the American Chemical Society 124, 14355-14363.

Kari L. Schmidt

(212) 313-7946


PhD student, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3), Columbia University


My research interests include the identification of conservation units, genetic effects of population fragmentation, behavioral ecology, impacts of wildlife trade, and interface between in situ and ex situ conservation efforts, with an emphasis on Neotropical psittacines. 

The focus of my doctoral dissertation has been the use of molecular genetics as a tool to enhance conservation efforts for an endangered population of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Specifically, this work aimed to elucidate phylogeographic patterns across the species’ range, characterize historical and contemporary population dynamics, quantify genetic variation, and evaluate the utility of confiscated individuals for population reinforcement.

For my postdoctoral project, I will continue working with scarlet macaws in Guatemala to monitor demographic changes, investigate behavioral and ecological factors driving nest selection, and identify key life history traits influencing reproductive success.

  • Russello, M.A., C. Stahala, D. Lalonde, K.L. Schmidt and G. Amato. 2010. Cryptic diversity and conservation units in the Bahama parrot. Conservation Genetics 11:1809-1821.
  • Schmidt, K.L. and G. Amato. (submitted). Phylogeographic assessment of scarlet macaws (Ara macao): Patterns of intraspecific diversity and implications for conservation management. BMC Evolutionary Biology