Project Lead - Greg O’Corry-Crowe, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor
Sarah Bechdel Rodgers
Sarah’s research centers around the resident bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population within the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida. Since 2005, she has worked as part of a research team studying IRL dolphins using photo-identification and genetic methods. Currently, her Masters work is coupling genetics (skin samples collected through biopsy and stranding events) with observational data to estimate origin, site fidelity and kinship of the dolphins within the IRL as well as to adjacent estuarine dolphin populations. Her research will help to clarify the historical demography of the IRL dolphin population to be used as a tool in future management and conservation efforts.
Tatiana is a graduate student working for Dr. O’Corry-Crowe. She is currently looking at how the variability in the Major Histocompatibility Complex affects Cetaceans, particularly Delphinapterus leucas and Tursiops truncatus.
Dr. Heidi Pagan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Genomics
Heidi is a post-doc in the lab and completed her dissertation from Mississippi State University on transposable element activity in bats and lemurs. Her primary interest is the effect of external stressors on the generation and maintenance of genetic diversity. The lab is currently developing markers for marine mammals to assess how differential success between populations might be linked to levels of genetic variation. For instance, high levels of variability in MHC genes have been suggested to portray a population that can withstand an assortment of diseases and pathogens.