Staff Profiles

Melissa R. Ingala

PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      Melissa is broadly interested in disease ecology, community ecology, and wildlife conservation. She is co-advised by Dr. Nancy Simmons and Dr. Susan Perkins.

      Her research focuses on the impact of human interaction on the bacterial microbiome of New World bats. As bats are forced into more frequent contact with humans through deforestation and agricultural conversion, there is a greater potential for them to pass pathogens to humans. This may occur directly (in the case of vampire bats) or indirectly through domestic animals and human-associated pests. In return, the presence of humans and their associated animals may change the microbial community of bats by influencing what they eat and the types of parasites that feed on them.

      As a BS/MS student at Fordham University, Melissa studied the cutaneous lipid-based defenses of bats against the novel pathogen P. destructans, the etiological agent of White Nose Syndrome. She is passionate about educational outreach and the need for bat conservation through habitat preservation.

  • Publications

  • Teaching Experience

    Teaching Experience