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Current students

Stephen Greiman, Ph.D. student

Stephen worked in the lab since 2009 as an undergradute student and started his Ph.D. program in May of 2011, next day after his graduation! He participated in several projects and collecting trips (Mississippi, Alaska, North Dakota and Minnesota) and received multiple departmental awards for undergraduate and graduate stduents, REU and AURA stipends as well as travel support from UND, American Society of Parasitologists and PBI grant. In less than 3 years as a graduate student Stephen collected material in multiple U.S. states, Laos, Guatemala, Philippines and Vietnam. He already has 11 published papers and several in preparation. For three years in a row Stephen received awards for an outstanding Ph.D. student. The subject of his Ph.D. disertation are Neorickettsia bacteria endosymbiotic in digeneans. This work is progressing very well.

Susana Rios, M.S. student

Susana Rios has joined the lab in August of 2011 after graduation from the Shippensburg University, PA. On the next day after arrival to Grand Forks, before she even had a chance to unpack, she went with us to the field and proved to be a capable collector. That was agreat sign! For her thesis Susana is studying adult and larval stages of avian schistosomatids in birds and snails in North Dakota. She looks for schistosomatids in both snails and birds and uses DNA sequencing for their identification and systematic/phylogenetic placement. The specimen ollecting has been mostly completed in 2013 and now Susana works on sequencing, morphology, data analysis and preparation of the thesis. Susana received several research and travel awards from the department, UND and the American Society of Parasitologists.


Jeffrey Bell, Ph.D. student

Jeff has received his M.S. degree from the North Dakota State University as an ornithologist. Woodpeckers are his favorite group of birds. Jeff has gained a lot of experience doing research on several projects related to birds and their parasites and authored/co-authored multiple publications. He has successfully started his project on the hematozoans of Amazonian birds.

Kaylyn Patitucci , M.S. student

Kaylyn took only 2 weeks of rest after graduation from the Washington State University before moving to Grand Forks. She worked with us during the expedition in Oregon in May 2013 and did a very good job. During the summer and her first semester at the UND Kaylyn made a very quick progress learning various parasites and numerous techniques. She participated in the collecting trip to Mississippi in June of 2013 and gained experience working with various vertebrates, from snakes and turtles to birds and alligators. She collected in North Dakota and went to an expedition in Peru in November of 2013 with the team of researchers from Chicago Field Museum and the University of Chicago. Her thesis will be on helminths of Amazonian birds in the project funded by the NSF BS&I. Kaylyn also prepares papers on parasites of leeches in Mississippi, shrews in Oregon and birds from the Philippines. Sounds like a diverse hobby. She recently received research support from the Department o Biology and travel awards from the UND RD&C office and the American Society of Parasitologists.

Roy Nelson, undergraduate student

Roy will start his physical therapy program in teh fall of 2014. He assisted with several projects, particularly with the screening of larval digeneans for Neorickettsia and also with the work on avian blood flukes and echinostomatods.

Molly Driscoll , undergraduate student

Molly is a biology major heading towards a specialization in laboratory science. She is an NSF REU student working primarily with the specimens obtained by the Amazon project. She is screening blood films for blood sporozoans, prepares staned specimens on slides, and assists with PCRs and related procedures.

Alexis Caolli , high school student

Alexis is a student at the Red River High School, Grand Forks. Her training and work in teh summer of 2014 has been supported by the NSF high school student research assistantship program. Alexis has been trained in several of laboratory techniques and is mainly assisting with work on digeneans , inclusing avian blood flukes.

Abby Aymond, high school student

Abby is a student at the Red River High School, Grand Forks. Her training and work in teh summer of 2014 has been supported by the NSF high school student research assistantship program. Alexis has been trained in several of laboratory techniques and is mainly assisting with work on digeneans , inclusing avian blood flukes.


Past students

Emily Lawrence, undergraduate student

Emily worked in the lab during the whole year of 2013. Despite the relatively short time she participated in several projects ranging from rhabdiasid nematodes to hymenolepidid tapeworms, etc. She will co-author peer-reviewed papers that are currently in preparation. Emily has graduated in December of 2013. Emily plans to become a family physician. She applied to several medical school and has just received and acceptance notice from her first choice school. Well done and congratulations, Emily!

Kayla Steffes , undergraduate student

Kayla worked in the lab for nearly 2 years helping with several projects. She was a recipient of the NSF REU scholarship in the summer of 2012 to work with material on nematodes from South American birds. As her independent study she participated in the description of a new microphallid species and genus from Australian rodents and a new species Alloglossidium demshini from leeches in Minnesota (now published). Kayla has graduated in May of 2013, but in the summer of 2013 she still worked on molecular characterization of digenean larval stages collected from snails in North Dakota and overseas.Kayla has recently been accepted to a veterinary school in California. Congratulations, Kayla!

Spencer Carmichael (high school student)

Spencer's training and participation in research during the summer of 2012 was supported by the NSF summer scholarship for high school student. He learned a lot of things and assisted in various lab projects and activities. Spencer's assistance with maintainig snail colonies was particularly important for the ongoing research in the lab.


Christopher Bothun, undergraduate student

Chris is a Biology senior and assists in several projects. He was a recipient of the NSF REU scholarship in the summer of 2012 to work on avian schistosomatids. Chris is accepted in the School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota where he will begin his studies in the fall of 2013

Amanda Steffes (high school student)

Amanda's training and participation in research during the summer of 2012 was supported by the NSF summer scholarship for high school student. Amanda learned PCR, DNA sequencing, some elements of microscopy, screening snails for cercariae gs and assisted in snail husbandry.


Andrew Mills (undergraduate student)

Andrew worked in the lab since spring of 2009 through summer of 2011. Andrew helped with multiple project, but his main focus was the differentiation between species of Alloglossidium in Minnesota and North Dakota. This work has resulted in Andrew receiving the award for the best Honors thesis at UND in 2011 and publication of a peer-reviewed paper in "Acta Parasitologica" with molecular and morphological differentiation among Alloglossidium and description of a new species. His other project dealt with the phylogenetic position of poorly known digenean genus Neoheterophyes from southeast Asian bats. The manuscript on this subject is under preparation. Andrew has presented his work at meetings and received several departmental awards including Edith Larson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student and several other distinctions. Andrew was awarded an AURA and REU stipends. Now he is studying at the UND school of Medicine.

Sierra Unruh (undergraduate student)

Sierra helped with a couple of projects, but her main focus was the differentiation and description of a new species of liolopid digeneans from Australian freshwater crocodile. The manuscript is under preparation. Currently Sierra is studying at an optometry school.

Kaitlyn Kelly (undergraduate student)

Kaitlyn worked on molecular comparison of Cloacotaenia tapeworms from several species of waterfowl collected in Europe and North America. She has graduated from UND at the end of 2011.



Eric Strand (undergraduate student)

Eric worked in the lab since spring of2007 through spring of 2009. He helped with preparing DNA sequences and slides of several turtle digenean taxa as well as sequences of Austramphilina and Macroderoides digeneans from alligator gar in Texas. He co-authored a paper on a new species of Macroderoides. Eric has presented his work at two regional meetings and was a recepient of highly competitive Oschel-Whittaker award ($5,000) in 2007 and departmental Edith Larson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in 2008. Eric was also awarded an AURA and REU stipends. Upon his graduation from UND Eric has started his studies at the School of Dentistry of the University of Minnesota.

Rachel Krein (undergraduate student)

Rachel worked in the lab since fall of 2007 through spring of 2009. She helped with various taxa, but her specific project is the molecular (ribosomal and mitochondrial genes) and morphological identification and differentiation of amphilinid cestodes from Australian turtles. This proved to be an extremely difficult group due to numerous problems with DNA amplification and sequencing, particularly of ribosomal genes. She has defended her Honors thesis and graduated in May 2009. Rachel was also awarded an AURA and REU stipends. As of December of 2011 she works in a biomedical laboratory in Fargo.

Antoine Fettig (undergraduate student)

Toni worked on molecular differentiation among digeneans of the genus Choanocotyle during 2007 and 2008. She processed all available samples except for the most recent ones collected upon her graduation from UND in May 2008. She extracted DNA, obtained sequences, made digital images of extracted specimens and prepared total mounts of extracted specimens and additional vouchers. Toni received an award (and a book signed by John Janovy! - see photo) for the best poster at the Northern Prairie Biological Symposium in April 2008. Toni was awarded an REU stipends. Her work will allow us to summarize available data on this genus and publish a paper with her as a co-author). Toni planned to apply for a medical school and become a family doctor.

Jenifer Ness (undergraduate student)

Jenifer worked on molecular and morphological differentiation of digeneans of the genus Sigmapera since spring of 2007 through fall of 2008. She processed a large number of samples which, combined with data obtained by PIs Snyder and Tkach, helped to outline distribution of two cryptic species of this previously monotypical genus. Jenifer was the only undergraduate who presented her work at the Northern Prairie Biological Symposium in April 2008. She also received a highly competitive Oschel-Whittaker award ($5,000) in 2007 and departmental Floyd Hunter Award for field work in 2008. Jenifer has graduated from UND in December 2008 and planned to become a veterinary doctor.

Christina Brewer (Ph.D. student)

Christina has started as a Ph.D. stdent, but after a year had to stop due to health issues. She had time to work on two projects involving digeneans of bats and sea turtles.

Michael Maier (undergraduate student)

Michael worked with me one semester only in the fall 2006, but he was able to sequence numerous samples of nematodes belonging to genera Camallanus, Krefftascaris and Spiroxys. His works has allowed to provide reliable molecular differentiatio among species of Camallanus from Australian turtles and describe a new species. Mike co-auithored a paper in "Comparative Parasitology". Mike has graduated from UND and has now graduated from the school of Dentistry of the University of Minnesota.

LeAnne Froese

LeAnne worked in the lab for two years and did outstanding job assisting with various projects, mainly studying frog parasites and filariid nematodes. Her individual project was focused on the digeneans of the family Macroderoididae. She co-authored a paper describing a new species of Macroderoides from Texas. LeAnne always wanted to become a veterinarian. Upon graduateion from UND LeAnne was accepted by several top veterinary programs. She chose the University of Colorado and has graduated from it a year ago. Now LeAnne works at a veterinary clinic in Winona, Minnesota.

Mary Jaros-Gourneau

Mary has started working in the lab in summer of 2003 and graduated in spring of 2004. She assisted in a project studying frog parasites and did research for her Honors thesis studying digenean metacercariae causing "black spots" in a gynogenetic cyprinid fish complex in Voyageurs National Park. This research was a part of a wider study carried out by Dr. Isaac Schlosser and his students. Upon graduation Mary entered the M.S. of public health program at the Johns Hopkins university.



Past and present collaborators (this part is still under construction)

Dr. Scott D. Snyder

University of Nebraska at Omaha



Dr. Zdzislaw Swiderski

Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw


Dr. Yuriy Kuzmin

Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine


Dr. David Blair

James Cook University, Townsville, Australia


Dr. Sara Brant

University of New Mexico


Dr. Jason Weckstein

Field Museum, Chicago


Dr. Vadim Kornyushin

Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine

Eric Pulis

After obtaining his M.S. at the UND Eric went for the Ph.D. program with Dr. Robin Oversytreet at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Eric has very recently successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in spring of 2014 with a solid publication record. Eric is an outstanding parasitologist and wildlife biologist. Anybody who might need a postdoc or a faculty/stuff parasitologist in near future should dial his number immediately.

Dr. Arseny Makarikov

Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk

Arseny is an expert on hymenolepidids of small mammals, particularly rodents.

Dr. Mike Kinsella

HelmWest Laboratory, Missoula, Montana


Dr. Stephen Curran

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS



Dr. Boyko Georgiev

Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Sofia, Bulgaria


Dr. Olena Kudlai

Institute of Zoology, Kiev


Dr. Chris McAllister

Southeastern Oklahoma State University


Dr. Bibigul Zhumabekova

Pavlodar State Pedagogical University, Kazakhstan




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