• January 2019 – I have started an appointment as postdoctoral associate at the University of Western Ontario!
  • December 2018 – I have left St. Louis University to start a new and exciting project!
  • January 2018 – My very first undergraduate student, Victor Penha, has just started his doctoral studies in the Manica Lab! I’m super proud!
  • August 2017 – Our paper at Conservation Biology reporting the invasive Hawaii’s malaria in birds of Cuba is out! You can download it here or through Research Gate: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12995/abstract 
  • June 2017 – Our PNAS paper on Temporal Dynamics of haemosporidian assemblages in the West Indies is out! Yay! Check it out: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/25/6635.abstract 
  • December 2016 – I’ll be joining the Department of Biology at the Saint Louis University as an Assistant Professor starting in January 2017. 
  • November 2016 – C’est fini!!! I have successfully defended my Ph.D.
  • June 2016 –  We are featured on the front cover of the Journal of Biogeography!

The latest paper from our group represented on the cover page of JBI! Read more about it on The Naked Darwin.

Ricklefs, R.E., Soares, L., Ellis, V.A. & Latta, S.C. (2016) Haemosporidian parasites and avian host population abundance in the Lesser Antilles. Journal of biogeography43, 1277–1286.


  • April 2016 –  USA Science and Engineering Festival, Washington D.C.

 Representing Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center, thanks to the sponsorship from SCOPE (Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration). Along with Emma Young and Israel Forrest, sharing the passion for science, birds, natural history, herbariums, taxidermy, and malaria parasites.

  • April 2016 –  Bird and bat house care sheets are read to go!

The UMSL Biology Graduate Student Association is hosting its first educational outreach event! The bird and bat house building workshop will give attendees the opportunity to build houses prepared by UMSL students and alumni, as well as learn about birds and bats of Missouri. I have prepared these care sheets to go along with the houses – we want all participants to have successful houses in their yards!

  • April 2016 –  We got awarded!

Congratulations to all winners of the 2016 UMSL Biology Dept. Awards!


Together with the colleagues Samoa Asigau, Heritiana Ranavielo, and Christina Baer, I received the McGrath Book Award for services to the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center. Analea Sterling received the Kent Tomazi Undergraduate Research Award (we’re all set to continue our project determining the breeding grounds of catbirds and palm warblers caught wintering in The Bahamas).

  • April 2016 –  3MT Competition

Jiajia Li and I made it to the finals of the 3Min Thesis Competition! Check out my post on The Naked Darwin about my experience.

  • February 2016 –  Field expedition in The Bahamas!

3 girls, 3 islands, 10 days, 10 flights, and 300 birds. Couldn’t ask for a better last field expedition of my Ph.D. dissertation!! We are ready to answer some questions about migratory connectivity and parasite swap between breeding and wintering grounds! Our expedition was funded with grants from The Malaria Research Network, the Biology Graduate Student Association and the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center.