Staff Profiles

Kelly Speer

PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Education

      • PhD in Comparative Biology, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, (August 2015–present).
      • MS in Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, (August 2012–August 2015).
      • BS in Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, (2007-2012).
      • BS in Biology, BA in Chemistry, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz, Austria; Graduated summa cum laude (August 2010-August 2011). Participated in a direct student exchange to develop second language knowledge.

  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      Kelly Speer is a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Susan Perkins and Dr. Nancy Simmons. Her research interests include host-parasite interactions, population genomics, phylogeography, conservation and natural history.

      Kelly’s dissertation research focuses on the impact of habitat change on disease transmission in bat communities. She will be measuring the diversity of the microbiome of bat flies and ticks, which are blood-feeding parasites of bats. The microbiome of these parasites impacts their ability to transmit pathogens between individual bats. Changes in the diversity of the microbiome caused by habitat fragmentation could therefore have important consequences for infection rate in bats. As bats, and wildlife in general, are important sources of human diseases, understanding the role vectors play in disease transmission in bat populations can improve our understanding of disease spillovers and emerging infectious diseases.

      This research will build off Kelly’s previous work she conducted during her Master’s at the University of Florida. There, she worked in Dr. David Reed’s lab to examine population differentiation of bats and their associated bat flies in The Bahamas.

  • Publications

  • Teaching Experience

    Teaching Experience