Principal investigator

description here

Miguel A. Acevedo
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. I feel very lucky to be able to dedicate my life to be an “ecological detective” solving the mysteries of nature. In this journey I collaborate with lots of really cool and smart people including mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, computer scientists, geographers, epidemiologists, and wildlife ecologists. Modeling is one of my favorite tools to solve these mysteries because they can reduce complex problems into a few number of equations and assumptions. I also enjoy critical thinking, music and salsa dancing!

Graduate researchers


description here

Virnaliz Cruz (University of Florida, PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology)

Virnaliz is now a Florida Gator! She was an undergraduate researcher in the Quantitative Ecology Lab 1.0 at the University of Puerto Rico where she got the award of best undergraduate thesis. Now she is a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. She is being co-advised by Ethan White and interested in disease macro-ecology, complex systems and computational ecology.



description here

Nicholas Gengler (University of Florida, PhD, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation) Nick Gengler’s research interests focus primarily on landscape ecology, particularly as it relates to biodiversity conservation. For his PhD research, Nick is studying the effect of corridors and habitat networks on large and medium mammals in the highly fragmented Atlantic Forest. His research interests stem from three years of service with the Peace Corps and WWF in Paraguay. Nick is advised by Dr. Lyn Branch and co-advised by Miguel.


description here

Orlando Acevedo-Charry (University of Florida, PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology)

Orlando’s research interests are broad, including outreach to biodiversity monitoring, community/population ecology, eco/bioacoustics, and biogeography. He is a Colombian biologists from the Universidad Nacional - Bogotá (2012), with a master’s degree (MSc) at the University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras (2016). He wants to integrate different tools to understand bio and ecogeographic patterns of phenotypic and diversity traits in tropical birds from worldwide to local scales. He is coadviced by Scott Robinson, at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Orlando enjoys outdoor activities and salsa dancing!




description here

John Michael Toohey (University of Florida, MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

John Michael is interested in quantitative population ecology and modeling. In his thesis, he is studying the sources and consequences of heterogeneous mixing in vector-borne diseases. He is particularly interested in understanding how individual, movement and spatial heterogeneity influence disease dynamics of malaria in anoles in Puerto Rico and Florida.




description here

Carly Fankhauser (University of Florida, MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

Carly is interested in quantitative ecology and genomics. For her thesis, she is studying the evolutionary consequences of lizards (and their malaria parasites) re-colonizing secondary forests in Puerto Rico. She works in close collaboration with Riccardo Papa at the University of Puerto Rico.






description here

Kylee DiMaggio (University of Florida, MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)

Kylee is interested in conservation and behavioral ecology of the marine environment. My thesis focuses on the increasing human-dolphin interactions in Sarasota Bay, FL. Specifically in understanding the influence of human related foraging strategies on reproduction and survival of Common Bottlenose Dolphins.







Lab Alumni

description here

David Clark Jr. (University of Puerto Rico, MS Biology)

For his MS’ degree, David studied evolutionary relationship between Anolis gundlachi and Plasmodium azurophilum. He is now a PhD student in the Department of Biological Science at the University of Pittsburgh.






description here

Nicole Gutiérrez (University of Puerto Rico, MS Biology)

For her MS degree, Nicole studied host-parasite co-evolutionary interactions in urban environments. She studied the consequences of infection by malaria parasites on Bananaquits, Puerto Rico’s most abudnant bird. She is currently working as a technician for the forest service in a super cool experimental warming project.



description here

Judith Reyes (University of Puerto Rico, BS Biology)

Judith was a biology major undergraduate student who conducted research towards the identification of the vector(s) of lizard malaria in Puerto Rican anoles. Currently, she is pursuing her passion for vector biology as a PhD student in the Integrated Life Sciences Program at the University of Georgia.