Perkins, Susan main content.

Susan Perkins

Susan Perkins, Ph.D., holding fish

Curator, Molecular Systematics
Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)


  • University of Vermont, Ph.D., 2000
  • SUNY Potsdam, B.A., 1993

Research Interests

Dr. Perkins conducts research on the malaria parasites that use vertebrates other than humans, such as lizards, bats, and birds, as their hosts.  She applies phylogenomics approaches to the study of the systematics and evolution of these organisms.  Her lab is also interested in the interaction of these parasites with the microbiome of both the vertebrate host and the insect vector.   Other research projects in the Perkins lab have included projects of the parasites that cause Chagas Disease, population genetics of canine heartworm, and genomics of encephalitis viruses.


Perkins, S. L.  2014.  Malaria's many mates: past, present, and future of the systematics of the order Haemosporida.  Journal of Parasitology 100:11-25.

Cottontail VM*, Kalko EKV, Cottontail I, Wellinghausen N, Tschapka M, Perkins SL, Pinto CM*.  2014.  High local diversity of Trypanosoma in a common bat species, and implications for the biogeography and taxonomy of the T. cruzi clade. PLoS ONE 9(9): e108603. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108603 *Authors contributed equally.

Schaer, J.*, S. L. Perkins*, J. Decher, F. Leendertz, J. Fahr, N. Weber, and K. Matuschewski.  2013.  High diversity of West Africa bat malaria parasites and a tight link with rodent Plasmodium taxa.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 110:17415-17419 (*co-first-authors)

Pineda-Catalan, O.*, S. L. Perkins*, M. A. Peirce, R. Engstrand, C. Garcia-Davila, M. Pinedo-Vasquez, and A. A. Aguirre.  2013.  Revision of hemoproteid genera and description and redescription of two species of chelonian hemoproteid parasites.  Journal of Parasitology 99: 1089-1098. (*co-first-authors)

Martinsen, E. S., and S. L. Perkins.  2013.  The diversity of Plasmodium and other haemosporidians: the intersection of taxonomy, phylogenetics, and genomics.  In: Carlton, J. M., Deitsch, K., and Perkins, S. L. (Eds.), Comparative Genomics of Malaria Parasites.  Horizon Press.

Falk, B. G., and S. L. Perkins.  2013.  Host specificity shapes population structure of pinworm parasites in Caribbean reptiles.  Molecular Ecology 22:4576-4590.

Pinto, M., K. M. Helgen, R. C. Fleischer, and S. L. Perkins.  2013.  Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in bats.  Journal of Parasitology 99:722-724.

Olival, K. J., C. W. Dick, N. B. Simmons, J. C. Morales, D. J. Melnick, K. Dittmar, S. L. Perkins, P. Daszak, and R. Desalle.  2013.  Lack of population genetic structure and host specificity in the bat fly, Cyclopodia horsfieldi, across species of Pteropus bats in Southeast Asia.  Parasites and Vectors. 6:231.

Perkins, S. L., E. S. Martinsen, and B. G. Falk.  2011. Do molecules matter more than morphology? Promises and pitfalls in parasites.  Parasitology 138:1664-1674.

Falk, B. G., S. L. Perkins, and D. L. Mahler.  2011. Tree-based delimitation of morphologically ambiguous taxa: a survey of the malaria parasites of Hispaniola.  International Journal for Parasitology. 41:967-980.

Valkiunas, G., Ashford, R. W., Bensch, S., Killick-Kendrick, R. and S. Perkins.  2011.  A cautionary note concerning Plasmodium in apes.  Trends in Parasitology. 27:231-232.

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2001–2004

Courses Taught

  • Museum Seminar Series, AMNH, 2008-2009
  • Seminar in Coevolution, University of Colorado, Academic Year 2003–2004
  • Seminar in Eukaryotic Microbial Evolution, University of Colorado, Academic Year 2001–2002

Graduate Advisees

  • Bryan Falk, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Miguel Pinto, CUNY

Graduate Committees

  • Was on 17 dissertation and thesis committees at the University of Colorado 
  • Elizabeth Borda, CUNY
  • Megan Harrison, CUNY

External Links