Ruthie Birger

Postdoctoral Scientist
Yale University

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ruthie Birger conducted her PhD research in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She focused on HIV-Hepatitis C coinfection dynamics, using mathematical models to describe both within-patient biological processes and epidemiological impacts of public health interventions. At Columbia she was an Earth Institute postdoctoral fellow who worked on modeling infectious diseases.Mary Boyle

Mary Boyle

Pediatric Resident
Department of Pediatrics
Jacobi Medical Center

Years with group: 2015-2016
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Mary Boyle received her medical degree from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in 2009 and practiced medicine in Ireland, the UK, and Australia, specializing in Pediatrics. She undertook a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2012, and was an Accelerated MPH Student in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health 2014-15. With Dr. Shaman, she acted as Study Coordinator on the Virome Project.

zachary_burtZachary Burt

Research Scientist

Years with group: 2016-2019
Position with group: Post-Doctoral Fellow

Zachary Burt earned his PhD at the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. He researches a variety of topics, including efficient, effective and equitable ways of incorporating climate risk into urban water management policy in low income countries, especially focusing on water and sanitation access for marginalized groups.

Jaime Cascante Vega

Staff Scientist

Years with group: 2021-2023
Position with group: Staff Scientist

Jaime is Colombian and received his MSc and BSc from the Biomedical Engineering Department from Universidad de los Andes. His research interests lie in the intersection with mathematical modelling as a tool for understanding complex ecological and epidemiological phenomena and deep learning and statistical techniques as a tool for extracting hierarchical features of different data-sources.

devon_comitoDevon Comito

Doctoral Student
University of California Berekeley

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Laboratory Technician

Devon Comito received her BS in Biology and MS in Physiological Science from UCLA. Her previous research focused on neuroendocrinology and avian biology. At Columbia, she worked on the “Virome of Manhattan” project.

rea_dabelicRea Dabelic

Technical Service Scientist, BioLegend

Years with group: 2013-2015
Positions with group: Post-doctoral Scientist/Associate Research Scientist

Links: Google Scholar ProfileResearch Gate Publications

Rea was a post-doctoral and then associate research scientist at Columbia University.  She received her PhD in Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida, where she studied the immune response to viruses and developed antiviral therapies. At Columbia University she focused on innate immunology of viral infections, the prevalence of respiratory viruses in the environment, and how environmental conditions affect the viability of these pathogens.

nick_defeliceNicholas DeFelice

Assistant Professor, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Years with group: 2015-2018
Position with group: Post-doctoral Scientist

Nicholas DeFelice completed his doctorate in environmental science and engineering at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.  At Columbia, his work focus was developing dynamic disease transmission models in conjunction with data assimilation methods to generate ensemble-based predictions of West Nile virus and other vector-borne infectious diseases.

angela_erazoAngela Erazo

Scientific Associate, Ogilvy Commonwealth Worldwide 

Years with group: 2015
Position with group: Associate Research Scientist

Angela Erazo was an associate research scientist with our group.  She received her PhD in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and pursued postdoctoral research at Columbia University. In the Shaman lab, she investigated the presence and distribution of respiratory viruses, including influenza, in urban environments.

theresah_fiagbeTheresah Fiagbe


Years with group: 2016
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Theresa worked with Dr. Shaman, as Study Coordinator on his  project, “The Virome of Manhattan: A Testbed for Radically Advancing Understanding and Forecast of Viral Respiratory Infections”.

chuanxi_fuChuanxi Fu

Zhejiang Chinese Medical University

Years with group: 2015-2016
Position with group: Visiting Scholar

Links: Research Gate Publications

Chuanxi Fu was a visiting post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia  He studied herd protection from rotavirus vaccination in low coverage areas. Other research topics of interest include research into the rates at which maternal antibodies (hand-foot-mouth disease, measles, polio and meningitis) in infants wane.

ProfilePictureMelissaMelissa Gervais

Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Years with group: 2015-2017
Position with group: Post-doctoral Research Scientist

Melissa completed her PhD at McGill University in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.   At Columbia, Melissa conducted global climate model experiments to investigate the dynamical mechanisms by which changes in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures may impact European winter weather.

Chelsea Grant

Years with group: 2018-2019

Chelsea received a Bachelors degree in neurobiology with a secondary focus in global health and health policy from Harvard University. She served as a Peace Corps Health Extension Volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa.

alex_heaneyAlex Heaney

Assistant Professor
University of California, San Diego

Years with group: 2014-2019
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Alex completed her PhD in the Climate and Health Program in April 2019. She studies infectious disease and the impact of climate change on human health.

sadiat_ibrahimSadiat Ibrahim

Research Coordinator, Columbia University

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Sadiat Ibrahim obtained her Medical Degree from Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria in 2012 and her MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 2016.  She worked as a study coordinator for his study; “The Virome of Manhattan: A Testbed for Radically Advancing Understanding and Forecast of Viral Respiratory Infections”.

Sina Jahandari

Assistant Professor 
Cal State Bakersfield

Sina received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research focuses on the identification and control of dynamic networked systems in the presence of topological uncertainty.

maryam200Maryam Karimi

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Karimi’s research has focused on understanding the structure of cities and temperature variations caused by surface changes in urban areas.  At Columbia, she worked on health in the urban environment.

KramerSarah Kramer

Post-Doctoral Scientist
Max-Planck Institute

Years with group: 2015-2020
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Sarah Kramer received her bachelor’s degree in Biology of Global Health from Georgetown University in 2014.  Her research focus is infectious disease.

Michael Lam

Years with group: 2019-2020
Position with group: Study Coordinator 

Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University at Buffalo in 2017.  At Columbia, Michael worked to understand biomarkers that may be predictive of infection outcomes.

benlane_6557Benjamin Lane

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Laboratory Technician

Ben graduated from the University of Vermont in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology.  At Columbia, he worked as a research technician to advance the understanding and forecast of viral respiratory infections in Manhattan and pursued an MPH degree.

victoria_picVictoria Lee

Years with group: 2014-2017
Position with group: Earth Institute Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Victoria Lee received her PhD in Architecture from the University of Cambridge.  Her dissertation focused on exploring new ways to assess and predict the indoor thermal environment, with a particular interest in health implications.  Her current research at Columbia examined the association between building types, environmental conditions and sleep quality.

Stephen Lewandowski

Years with group: 2017-2022
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Stephen completed his PhD from the Climate and Health program in the spring of 2022 . Originally from Ohio, he received a BS in Environmental Science from the United States Military Academy in 2002 and a commission in the U.S. Army as a Medical Service Corps officer.

RuiyunRuiyun Li

Post-Doctoral Scientist 
Imperial College London

Years with group: 2015-2016
Position with group: Visiting Graduate Student

Ruiyun was a China Scholarship Council Doctoral Candidate at Columbia.  She is presently enrolled in the doctoral program of the Department of Global Change and Earth System Science at Beijing Normal University, and is pursuing interdisciplinary work studying biogeography and the environmental determinants of infectious disease transmission.

Xueying Li

Doctoral Candidate
Tsinghua University

Years with group: 2017-2018
Position with group: Visiting doctoral student

Xueying was a visiting doctoral candidate at Columbia funded by China Scholarship Council.  She is enrolled in the doctoral program of Department of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her study has been focusing on the global transmission of avian influenza and ecological factors of wild birds.

chanelpicChanel Ligon

Medical Student 
Columbia University

Years with group: 2016-2017
Position with group: Laboratory Technician

Chanel Ligon received her BA in Biology at Swarthmore College. Previous research projects include developing a reporter mycobacteriophage to diagnose Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and exploring heart progenitor cell development in Ciona Intestinalis. In the Shaman Group, she worked as a Research Technician on the “Virome of Manhattan” project.

Eliza Little2_0Eliza Little

Post-Doctoral Scientist 
Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Disease
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Years with group: 2012-2017
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Links: Research Gate Publications

Eliza Little completed her PhD in the Climate and Health Program in May 2017. She holds a Bachelors in Wildlife Biology from McGill and Masters in Ecology and Public Health through a joint masters program at Yale.  At Columbia she studied the climatological and socio-ecological drivers of mosquito abundance and mosquito-borne disease risk.

Victoria Lynch

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Department of Environmental Health Sciences 
Mailman School of Public Health 
Columbia University
[email protected]

Tory received her PhD in environmental health sciences from Columbia University, her MPH in epidemiology of microbial disease from the Yale School of Public Health and her bachelor’s in environmental biology from Georgetown University. She studies how extreme climatic events influence the spread of water-borne infectious diseases.

Nelsa Matienzo

Laboratory Technician, Columbia University
Years with group: 2017-2019

Nelsa was an undergraduate researcher and laboratory technician in the Shaman group while studying Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Photo_JLNguyenJennifer Nguyen

Data Scientist 

Years with group: 2014-2016
Position with group: Post-doctoral Research Scientist

Links: Research Gate Publications

Jennifer Nguyen was a postdoctoral scientist at Columbia University.  Her research primarily focused on how seasonal weather patterns may influence patterns of infectious disease and cardiorespiratory morbidity and mortality.

senpei_headshotSen Pei

Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Health Sciences 
Mailman School of Public Health,Columbia University
[email protected]

Years with group: 2015-2021
Position with group: Post-Doctoral Scientist/Associate Research Scientist

Sen Pei received his PhD degree in Mathematics from Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) in Beijing, China.

Ashlinn QuinnAshlinn Quinn

Health Scientist 
Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health
[email protected]

Years with group: 2011-2016
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Links: Research Gate Publications

Ashlinn Quinn completed her PhD in the Climate and Health track of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health in May 2016. She studies the health impacts of climate change adaptation strategies, indoor environmental conditions, and the health effects of indoor cookstoves.

View More: Reis

Post-Doctoral Scientist 
Virginia Tech

Years with group: 2014-2017
Position with group: Post-doctoral Research Scientist

Julia Reis completed her doctorate in water resources engineering at the University of Virginia.   At Columbia, Julia developed model-inference systems to generate skillful, ensemble-based predictions of respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory pathogens.

Dona Sangapalaarachchi

Years with group: 2018-2020
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Dona received her M.D. in General Medicine from Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy in Russia. She was a practicing physician in anesthesiology/ intensive care and ER for the last ten years and she did her post graduate studies in anesthesiology in Sri Lanka. During her work in the ICU she engaged in hospital-based research in infectious diseases in dengue hemorrhagic fever and leptospirosis and studied the severity of clinical outcomes associated with patient admission time to the hospital . She earned ECFMG certification after completing United States Medical Licensing Exams. At Columbia, Dona worked studying symptom response to respiratory viral infections.

Brittany Shea

Doctoral Student
Department of Environmental Health Sciences 
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
[email protected]

Years with group: 2017-2021
Position with group: Director, GCCHE

Brittany received a master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University where she completed her master’s thesis on water quality issues associated with hydraulic fracturing, and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Atinuke Shittu

Years with group: 2017-2018
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Atinuke Shittu obtained her medical degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2013 and her MPH degree in the Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 2016. With Dr. Shaman, she has worked as a Study Coordinator for the Virome of Manhattan project.

hannah_smith_group_pic4Hannah Smith

Medical Student
Oregon Health Sciences University

Years with group: 2015-2016
Position with group: Laboratory Technician

Hannah Smith received her BA in Biology from Reed College and was employed as a laboratory technician at Columbia University Medical Center. Her work as a laboratory technician involved developing protocols for managing and analyzing samples taken during respiratory virus surveillance.

eudosieEudosie Tagne

Years with group: 2016-2018
Position with group: Study Coordinator

Eudosie Tagne holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Bamako in Mali, and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. With Dr. Shaman, she worked as a Study Coordinator for “The Virome of Manhattan: A Testbed for Radically Advancing Understanding and Forecast of Viral Respiratory Infections.”

Tamerius_James GEO SCIJames Tamerius

Years with group: 2011-2013
Position with group: Earth Institute Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Links: Google Scholar Profile

James was an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow while at Columbia.  His ongoing research focuses on the environmental determinants of human health. In particular, he uses statistical and mathematical modeling techniques to examine the response of disease dynamics to temporal and spatial variability of climate and other environmental factors.

Minhaz Ud-Dean

Helmholtz Zentrum München

Years with group: 2017-2019
Position with group: Post-Doctoral Research Scientist 

Minhaz studied Biotechnology at University of Dhaka and later completed an Erasmus Mundus joint masters program at Delft University of Technology and at University of Jena. His doctorate was in chemical engineering on inferability and inference of gene regulatory networks at ETH Zurich. At Columbia, Minhaz is developing multi-factorial models for transmission of airborne virus.

biopage-israelIsrael Ukawuba

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Brandeis University

Years with group: 2016-2021
Position with group: Doctoral Student

Israel received a Bachelors degree in Biology from Oberlin College and MPH and PhD degrees from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.  He studies infectious diseases, in particular, vector-borne infectious diseases.

wanyang_bostonWan Yang

Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University

Years with group: 2012-2018
Positions with group: Postdoctoral Research Scientist/Associate Research Scientist

Links: Google Scholar Profile, Website

Wan holds a doctorate in environmental and water resources engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  She studies how both the built and natural environments, including atmospheric conditions, affect the viability and proliferation of infectious disease agents.

Mariam Youssef

Years with group: 2018-2020
Positions with group: Laboratory Coordinator

Mariam received her MD from Egypt. She has a Masters degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and has worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Egypt.  She has been certified with the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC).  Her previous research focused on studying multidrug resistance bacteria related to urinary tract infection.  With the Shaman group, Mariam studied the clinical symptomatology and viral shedding of respiratory viral infections associated with host transcription factors.