Lab Members

Abby

Abigail Bigham
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

awbigham@umich.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vince Battista
Graduate Student

I’m a third-year doctoral student using ancient DNA and computer modeling to study geographically isolated hominids, human extremophiles, and the phenomenon of ‘niche construction.’ My research focuses on the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego and has three major themes: (1) prehistoric population movements across the Andes, (2) adaptive introgression, and (3) the role of climate change in driving biological and cultural evolution. Broadly, my interests are gene-culture co-evolution, the conservation applications of genome editing, and the refinement of experimental and laboratory approaches to bioarchaeology.

vmbatt@umich.edu

 

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Abagail Breidenstein
Graduate Student

 

Abagail is a PhD candidate, currently in her fifth year. She received two undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan, one in Anthropology and the other in Microbiology. Her genetic research focuses on human adaptation to infectious disease pressures, especially malaria.

abstein@umich.edu

 

 

Ainash

Ainash Childebayeva
Graduate Student

Ainash is a fourth-year graduate student in the Biological Anthropology. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Anthropology and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Past research experience includes Forensic Archaeology, Cancer Biochemistry, and Epigenetics, specifically measuring DNA methylation in stress-related genes. Current interests are Human Evolutionary Genetics, Telomere studies, and Epigenetics.

ainash@umich.edu

 

 

Paloma Contreras
Graduate Student

Paloma is a first-year graduate student in Biological Anthropology.

palomacz@umich.edu

 

ObedObed Garcia
Graduate Student

Hello! I’m Obed, a sixth-year anthropology graduate student. Broadly stated, my interests lie at exploring how our human history influences our genome that may make us more or less susceptible to modern infectious diseases. Applying frameworks from evolutionary theory will help us better understand current issues of health and disease while simultaneously providing us a glimpse of our evolutionary past. Currently, I am working with Mesoamerican populations to detect signatures of natural selection in immune response genes. I will genotype markers found to have unique signatures in a cohort of participants infected with Dengue virus to assess whether there is an association with clinical manifestations and variability due to infection.

oag@umich.edu

Elizabeth Werren
Graduate Student

I’m Liz. I am a third-year Ph.D. student in Biological Anthropology. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Anthropology and Archaeology. My past research experience includes genotype-phenotype associations in pigmentary traits in admixed human populations in the U.S., and assessing the role of evolutionary convergence of dark skin pigmentation in Island Melanesian and African populations. My current research interests include natural selection in human populations and infectious disease resistance.

werren@umich.edu

 

Kinsey Vear
Undergraduate Student

Fatima Memon
Undergraduate Student

Rachel Taylor
Undergraduate Student

Lauren Paine
Undergraduate Student

Anya Satyawadi
Undergraduate Student

 

Lab Alumni

Jenna_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenna Isherwood
Undergraduate student and research technician
Graduate student at Wayne State University

Sarah Burke
Undergraduate Student

Megan Harrison
Undergraduate Student

Lauren Heinonen
Undergraduate Student

Timothy Brash
Undergraduate Student
Medical Student at Wayne State university

Dan

 

 

 

 

Dan Whorf
Undergraduate student

TJ Fagan
Undergraduate Student

Katarina Evans
Undergraduate student
CUNY graduate program

Katarina Kraus
Undergraduate student

Pranavi Midathada
Undergraduate student