Principal Investigator





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Previous Lab Members

Previous postdocs



Previous undergrads




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.



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.




Sandra Goutte, PhD

I am broadly interested in the evolution of behavior and functional morphology in anurans, with a focus on acoustic communication. By integrating empirical and experimental data in a phylogenetic framework, I investigate the factors that may have led to the diversity of communication systems we observe today. 

I have previously worked on frog acoustic communication and hearing in Asia and South and Central America. I joined the Boissinot lab in February 2018 where my main focus is the acoustic communication of African frogs. 



Justin Wilcox, PhD.

I have a passionate interest in elucidating the principles and mechanics governing the population biology, community ecology, and evolution of symbionts and their hosts. Recent advances in sequencing technology have provided radically new insights into the genetic architecture of vertebrates while simultaneously revealing them as hosts to intricately-complex communities (i.e. microbiomes) of parasites, commensals, and mutualists. These discoveries have provided an unprecedented opportunity to study the evolution of these symbionts and their vertebrate hosts and to assess the universality of existing evolutionary and ecological theory across the tree of life and the divide between free-living organisms and the communities that they harbor. My current research seeks to capitalize on these opportunities by applying genomics-based approaches to answer questions of diversification, selection, and genetic architecture in falcons and their associated communities of symbionts.

Sebastian Kirchhof, PhD.

I joined the Boissinot lab in September 2018 and now aim at targeting the genomic underpinnings of trait variations and evolutionary change, focusing on desert reptiles and tropical anurans. I will use functional genomics in combination with ecophysiology experiments to answer questions regarding genomic functions at the level of genes, RNA transcripts and proteins under extreme environmental conditions such as ultra-aridity (i.e. in deserts) and high elevations.



Imtiyaz Hariyani

 I am a senior at NYU Abu Dhabi and hail from Pune, India. My interests primarily lie in bioinformatics, genetics and genomics, and I am currently working with transcriptome and whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from the Ethiopian Ptychandena neumanni species complex. My project aims to examine evolutionary patterns and adaptations in this highly divergent frog genus before analyzing the evolution of transposable elements and associating it with episodes of allopatry. This will help understand how and in what capacity transposable elements can be used from genomic fossil data to study recent and ongoing speciation events in historical populations.


Marcin Falis

 I am a sophomore student at NYU Abu Dhabi, and come from Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland. I have a vivid interest in ecology and evolution of animal species, especially in systematics and ecophysiology of reptiles and amphibians. I joined the Boissinot lab in September 2018, where I aim to familiarize myself with computational techniques of genome analysis, and gain invaluable experience through participation in the conducted fieldwork.


Robert Ruggiero, PhD

We are going to miss you Rob! 




Joseph D. Manthey, PhD

Joe is now an Assistant profesor at Texas Tech!

We are going to miss you Joe!

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