Principal Investigator







Stephane Boissinot, PhD. Professor of Biology

I am an evolutionary biologist whose research addresses fundamental biological questions using the tools and concepts of population genetics, molecular evolution and comparative genomics. My main research interests are the evolution of transposable elements, the phylogeography of east African taxa and the evolution of resistance to viruses. I was member of the faculty at Queens College (City University of New York) until 2014. I joined NYU Abu Dhabi in January 2015. CV




Jacobo Reyes-Velasco, PhD

I am originally from Colima, Mexico and obtained my PhD in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015. My current research focus on the adaptation of east African frogs to life at high elevations, as well as phylogeography and systematics. Previously I have worked with systematics and phylogeography of new world snakes, as well as the evolution of venom.  I joined the Boissinot lab in July 2015.




Joseph D. Manthey, PhD

I use genomic, ecological, and geographic information to understand the evolution of natural populations. At NYUAD, I am investigating sky island fragmentation genomics in Eastern African vertebrates and starting projects investigating genome and transposable element evolution in birds.  

Generally, I would describe my research as within the realm of molecular ecology and genomics, using mostly island geographic systems (oceanic or sky) and bird organismal systems.

Personal Website            Google Scholar Profile




Robert Ruggiero, PhD

I am interested in genetics, genomics, evolution and computational biology.  In addition to my broad interests in how genetic sequences allow individuals and populations to develop and thrive, I am specifically interested in understanding how repetitive sequences contribute to genome structure, activity, and evolution. Repetitive elements constitute the largest genomic fraction in most large organisms and can influence many aspects of ontogeny, physiology, and evolution. However, repetitive elements present many novel technical, computational, and theoretical challenges and therefor remain under-investigated relative to their potential biological importance. In the Boissinot lab, our studies in comparative and evolutionary genomics leverage high-throughput sequencing, computational biology, and the genetic diversity of wild populations towards the goal of generating robust evolutionary inferences about genome dynamics. While I find this work intrinsically fascinating, I am also motivated by the possibility that a more comprehensive understanding of the fundamental mechanisms governing genome dynamics has the potential to transform and expand our understand of biology in a way that significantly improves future biomedical research.




Yann Bourgeois, PhD

I am interested in understanding how selection acts on polymorphism and diversification in natural populations, by combining genetics and genomics with the study of environmental variations and ecology. My thesis in Toulouse dealt with the genetic bases of color variations in an endemic bird from Réunion island, Zosterops borbonicus. I used a variety of approaches such as classical population genetics, candidate genes studies, RAD-sequencing, but also GIS and niche modelling.

During my previous post-doc in Dieter Ebert's team at Basel University, I added host-parasite interactions and how they affect genomes to my list of interests. I also collaborated on various projects such as the study of evolutionary radiations on archipelagoes in Tetragnatha spiders, museomics of Crowned pigeons from New Guinea (Goura), or evolution of the Foudia genus in the Mascarenes. I joined the Boissinot lab in September 2016, where I focus on how selection and hybridization act on genomic structural variation and polymorphism in a variety of Vertebrates.







Sudikchya Shrestha

I grew up in Nepal before moving to the cultural hotpot of Abu Dhabi, UAE for my undergraduate studies. Consequently, I appreciate diversity both among humans and between species. I am interested in studying the fundamental reasons that lead to such diversity.  At the Boissinot lab, I am currently studying reproductive character displacement in different species of Ethiopian frogs by analyzing their mating calls in sympatric populations vs allopatric populations. 

ss8460 AT nyu DOT edu





Mona Nehme

I have been involved in the Boissinot Lab since fall of 2016, and have since then been assisting in many side projects in order to better acquaint myself with the vast evolutionary biology research taking place. I have recently adopted my own study to investigate the phenomenon of adaptation to elevation that takes place among the different species of Ethiopian frogs. 



min222 AT nyu DOT edu









Jigar Govind

I hail from Panama and the United States, and I've worked for the Boissinot lab since July 2016. As a Biology major at NYU Abu Dhabi, my keener interests in the field rest in genetics, genomics, and disease. I am currently working on the characterization of frog microbiomes and the study of host-pathogen interactions of various east African frogs in the context of phylogeography. 


jg4279 AT nyu DOT edu