Carolyn (Lindy) McBride

Carolyn (Lindy) McBride Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Email: csm7 at princeton dot edu
@lindymcbr

Lindy received her B.A. from Williams College in 1998 and then sought additional research and life experience as a field assistant in the upper Amazon of Peru, an independent Fulbright Fellow in Tanzania, and an Outward Bound canoe instructor in northern Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in Population Biology from the University of California at Davis in 2008 under the mentorship of Drs. Michael Turelli and Sergey Nuzhdin and then conducted postdoctoral research in neurogenetics and behavior with Dr. Leslie Vosshall at The Rockefeller University. She started her own lab at Princeton in 2014, where she holds a joint position in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  Lindy is broadly interested in the genomic, molecular, and neural basis of behavioral evolution. She is the recipient of several early stage investigator awards, including the Rosalind Franklin Award in Genetics (2015), the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship in Neuroscience (2015), the Pew Scholars Award in the Biomedical Sciences (2015), the Searle Scholars Award (2016), and the NIH New Innovator Award (2018). She was also named a Robertson Neuroscience Investigator of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (2018).


Ajinkya DahakeAjinkya Dahake Ph.D.

Postdoc
Email: ad9916 at princeton dot edu
Ajinkya is broadly interested in understanding how animals make decisions. He completed his B.Sc in Environmental Science at Pune University in India and an Erasmus Mundus Masters’ in Evolutionary Biology at LMU Munich and Uppsala University (joint degree). For his PhD, he joined Dr. Robert Raguso’s lab in Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. His doctoral thesis examined the role of floral humidity in close-range interactions between plants and pollinators. As a postdoc he is interested in studying short-range attraction of mosquitoes towards humans. In his free time, Ajinkya likes to visit natural history museums, to travel, and to try different cuisines.


Vitor Dos Anjos

Graduate student
Email: vd9462 at princeton dot edu
Vitor received his BA in Biology, with minors in Computer Science and Latin American and Latino studies from Swarthmore College. While at Swarthmore, he primarily studied the effects of aging on a wild population of the forked fungus beetle, revealing variable reproductive strategies and possibly senescence. He also worked on a project involving the use of sighting data to estimate the population size of the world’s most endangered large whale species (the North Atlantic right whale). In the McBride lab, he is interested in understanding the complexities of mosquito behavior using bioinformatics and other computationally intensive tools.


Melanie Edwards

Research technician
Email: me2300 at princeton dot edu
Melanie graduated with a B.S. in Ecology/Conservation and Marine Biology from Bowling Green State University. She spent most of 2022 working as a research assistant on The Guppy Project in Trinidad. She has also worked as a research assistant at Northwestern University studying hypercapnia in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. In her free time, Melanie loves SCUBA diving, painting, and her crested geckos.


Yuki Haba

Graduate student
Email: yhaba at princeton dot edu
@YukiHaba_ Webpage
Yuki is a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is interested in curious questions regarding why and how behavior evolves such as: How has evolution shaped the complexity and diversity of behavior we see today? Are there any general principles of the genetics and neurobiology underlying behavioral evolution? Before Princeton, he completed his BS at University of Tokyo (2015) and MA at Columbia University (2017). When not at work, he is probably playing soccer, listening to jazz, or eating ramen. Yuki is a fellow of the Masayoshi Son Foundation.


Sakina IsadibirSakina Isadibir

Lab manager & Research technician
Email: si8302 at princeton dot edu
Sakina received her B.A. in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology from UC Berkeley in 2020, where she studied convergent evolution of color polymorphism in Theridiidae spiders. She is interested in learning more about the genomic basis of insect behavior, color variation, and adaptation to urban landscapes. In her free time, Sakina enjoys relief printmaking, macro photography, and baking.


Timothy W. Schwanitz

Graduate student
Email: ts5103 at princeton dot edu
Tim graduated from Rutgers University New Brunswick, where he majored in English and Entomology with a minor in Plant Science. His senior English thesis investigated the relationship between science and the Transcendentalist writers Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. His entomological research projects involved many different types of insects, including dragonflies, mayflies, weevils, cockroaches, bedbugs, and fruit flies. As insect behavior underpinned all of these projects, Tim became interested in what underpins insect behavior—insect neurobiology. His current work uses Aedes aegypti to study the neuronal and genetic basis for the aldehyde receptor, which may be central to the ability of this mosquito species to distinguish between human and animal odor. In brief, he wants to figure out how exactly they know how to find us.


Nathalie Verlinde

Undergrad thesis student ’23
Email: nv6 at princeton dot edu
Nathalie is an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular Biology with certificates in Neuroscience, Bioengineering, and Computer Science. Her thesis work in the lab focuses on how different olfactory receptor alleles could mediate variation in mosquitoes’ preference for human or (non-human) animal hosts.


Lukas Weiss Ph.D.

Postdoc
Email: lw1397 at princeton dot edu
@amphiluk

Lukas completed his B.Sc. in Neuroscience at the University of Cologne and received his PhD from the International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences in Göttingen, Germany, where he worked with Ivan Manzini studying olfactory processing in aquatic and amphibious vertebrates. Studying the brains of flies, mosquitoes, lampreys, fishes, salamanders, frogs and mice over the course of his studies spurred a fascination with the evolution of neuronal networks. In his postdoctoral research, Lukas is investigating the evolution of olfactory circuits mediating human host perception in mosquito brains. When not at work, you will probably find him singing or playing the piano, living his Broadway fantasy.


Jessica Zung
Jessica Zung

Graduate student
Email: jessica dot zung at princeton dot edu
website
Jessica is a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During her undergrad at the University of Toronto, she explored research areas as diverse as pollination biology, plant genomics, and neural-network simulations. In her graduate work, Jessica is interested in studying the evolution of behaviour, particularly its neural and genetic mechanisms. Jessica is an NSERC Graduate Research Fellow.


Former Members

Noah Rose, Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow

Noah was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab from 2017-2023. He conducted field, genomic, and behavioral work in Aedes aegypti to help us understand why, when, and where this species evolved to specialize in biting humans and to predict future evolution in the face of anthropogenic change.

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Elisha Adaui, MOL Graduate Student

Elisha was a graduate student in the lab from 2019-2023. He used single nucleus RNA sequencing to crack the molecular olfactory code of Aedes aegypti, characterizing patterns of olfactory receptor expression and co-expression across antennal sensory neurons.

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Hillery Metz, Postdoctoral Researcher

Hillery was a postdoctoral researcher in the lab from 2016-2022. She studied the molecular basis of behavioral evolution in Aedes aegypti, focusing on both the hatching behavior of first instar larvae and the role of Or4 in female preference for human hosts.

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Janice Park, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Janice is a former undergraduate in the class of ’23. She completed her senior thesis in the lab investigating a potential link between variation in human sebum production and variation in body odor/attractiveness to mosquitoes.

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Summer KotbSummer Kotb, Lab Manager & Research Assistant

Summer was a research technician and lab manager from 2019 to 2022. She now works at Merck Pharmaceuticals.

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Maritza Colón, Undergraduate Intern

Maritza participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the PNI in 2022 as an undergraduate student from King’s College. She studied the neuroanatomy of the Aedes albopictus antennal lobe with Vitor dos Anjos and Lukas Weiss. She is now.

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Luke Henry, EEB Graduate Student

Luke was a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, mentored primarily by Julien Ayroles. He completed his thesis on the ways in which the microbiome can influence evolutionary trajectories, conducting an elegant and complementary set of studies on Drosophila melanogaster in field, semi-field, and laboratory settings.

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Kristine Yu, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Kristine is a former undergraduate student in the class of ’22. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on the evolution of an olfactory receptor that may contribute to preference for humans in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Sean Crites, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Sean is a former undergraduate student in the class of ’22. He completed his senior thesis in the lab on the genomic basis of host preference in admixed populations of Culex pipiens mosquitoes in Philadelphia, PA.

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Zhilei Zhao, EEB Graduate Student

Zhilei was a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from 2015-2021. He conducted a beautiful body of work on human odor coding and its evolution in Aedes aegypti and liked to say the following about mosquitoes: “Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred Battles without defeat. He is now a postdoc in Jesse Goldberg’s lab at Cornell.”

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Azwad Iqbal, Research Assistant

Azwad graduated was a research assistant in the lab from 2019-2021. He is now a graduate student in Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University

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Shayla Murray, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Shayla is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2021. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on how mosquito evolution may affect contemporary patterns of disease prevalence.

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Janet You, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Janet is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2021. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on the ecology of natural and artificial egg laying sites and aquatic larval habitats for container-breeding mosquitoes.

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Chiwendu Owhochukwu, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Chiwendu is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2021. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on olfactory coding in insects.

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Alex Colón ’20, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Alex is a former undergraduate from the class of 2020. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on the genetic basis of mammal and bird biting in Culex pipiens mosquitoes.

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Eliza Ewing, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Eliza Ewing is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2020. She completed his senior thesis in the lab on the link between coloration and desiccation resistance in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Jaskiran Kaur, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Jaskiran Kaur is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2020. She completed his senior thesis in the lab on host preference in Culex pipiens mosquitoes.

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Alexis Kriete, Research Assistant

Alexis was a lab manager/research technician from 2014-2019. She is now a graduate student in Entomology at North Carolina State University.

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David Tian, Research Assistant

David Tian was a research technician in the lab from 2017-2019. He is now a graduate student in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley.

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Alexandra Miller, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Alex is a former undergraduate from the class of 2019. She completed her senior thesis on egg-hatching behavior in generalist and human-specialized subspecies of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Nnenna Ibe, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Nnenna is a former undergraduate from the class of 2019. She completed her senior thesis on the host preference of African populations of Aedes aegypti, with special focus on Nigerian populations.

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Alex Hohmann, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Alexandra Hohmann is a former undergraduate from the class of 2019. For her senior thesis, she carried out a comparative morphological analysis of the antennal lobes of two forms of the mosquito Culex pipiens.

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Monica Nadeau, Undergraduate Intern

Monica participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the PNI in 2018, studying the role of wing beat frequency in mosquito courtship behaviors with Jessica Zung.

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Meredith Mihalopoulos, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Meredith is a former undergraduate from the class of 2018. She completed her senior thesis on preference of forest and domestic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for the odor of individual humans.

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Andrew Salmons, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Andrew is a former undergraduate student from the class of 2018. He completed his senior thesis on morphological changes in the antennal lobes of forest and domestic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Philomina Kane, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Philomina is a former undergraduate from the class of 2017. She completed her senior thesis on the morphology and behavior of Ghanaian populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Mo Kouassi-Brou, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Mo is a former undergraduate from the class of 2017. She completed her senior thesis on the effects of larval crowding on female oviposition choices in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Julia Langer, Undergraduate Thesis Student

Julia is a former undergraduate from the class of 2016. She completed her senior thesis in the lab on sequence evolution of the odorant receptor Or4.

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PhotoMcBrideLabPria Louka, Undergraduate Intern

Pria is a former undergraduate student from Princeton who worked in the lab during the summer of 2017.

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Photo_MaguireSarah Maguire, Postdoctoral Researcher

Sarah is a former postdoc from the lab, broadly interested in the biological basis of behavior – especially through neurogenetic and evolutionary perspectives.