Avian Schistosome Biodiversity


About Us


Erika Ebbs                        
Ph.D. Candidate
I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque advised by Drs. Sara Brant and Sam Loker and curatorial assistant at the Museum of Southwestern Biology, Parasites Division. 
My doctoral research takes a phylogeographic and population genetic approach to try and elucidate evolutionary histories within complex host-parasite systems. I am specifically interested in how host-specific traits influence parasite evolution and population dynamics and have a particular interest in helminths of waterfowl and the microevolutionary consequences of infecting migratory hosts.
Apart from research, I am active in science outreach, and education, specifically in promoting the use and appreciation of natural history collections.

Former graduate students who worked in part on avian schistosome diversity.

Ramesh Devkota
Graduated with Ph.D. in 2015. Advisor Sam Loker
Worked on the diversity of schistomes in Nepal.
Now working as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Navajo Technical University Chinle Site
Navajo Technical University Chinle Site Arizona.

Former REU students

D'eldra Malone 2012

DM bdA

Dee worked mainly on extracting and sequencing schistosomes brought in from the field. In addition, she worked on some odd cercariae that were collected with the schistosomes and presented the trematode, including schistosome, cercariae work at the Southwestern Association of Parasitologists conference at Lake Texoma, Oklahoma April 2012. She is now working as a HS Research Tech I at the School of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences at University of New Mexico.

Keith Keller 2013-14

Keith continued the work from Dee, learning molecular techniques with the avian schistosome material. But in addition, he was involved in many collecting trips, bird dissections, and mounting and identifying worms, schistosomes, but also including other trematodes and some cestodes. He presented some of the schistosome and trematode work identifying worms from New Zealand scaup, in collaboration with Norm Davis, at the
Southwestern Association of Parasitologists conference at Lake Texoma, Oklahoma April 2012, 13. Keith also spent time to complete a Senior Honor's Thesis for August 2014. From here he went on to a postbach at Los Alamos National Laboratory, then graduate school for a master's in  Pathology and Laboratory Science at the Boston School of Medicine, and is now currently an RA-II at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Emily Sarvis

Emily continued working with the avian schistosomes, learning both molecular laboratory and field methods. She accompanied Erika Ebbs in North Carolina to collect ducks and worms. She focused on Dendritobilharzia and presented an oral presentation at both
Southwestern Association of Parasitologists conference at Lake Texoma, Oklahoma April 2016 and at the National Parasite meetings, American Society of Parasitologists meetings in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 2016. She will be heading to a Peace Corp tour in 2018.

copyright 2017 Sara V. Brant, University of New Mexico