Principal Investigator
Susanne P. Pfeifer  Susanne is a computational biologist, interested in studying evolution. She received a BSc and MSc from the Max-Planck-Institute for Computer Science/Saarland University (Germany) in Computational Molecular Biology in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Susanne earned her DPhil in Statistics at the University of Oxford (UK) in 2013 advised by Gil McVean, working on the statistical challenges involved in the estimation of variation in mutation and recombination rates from high throughput sequencing data, with direct applications to primate population genetics in a collaboration with Molly Przeworski’s Lab at the University of Chicago and Peter Donnelly’s Lab at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford. She went on to do her postdoc work as a Vienna International Postdoctoral Program (VIPS) fellow at the Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna (Austria). As a research associate at EPFL (Switzerland), she focused on the evolution of cryptic coloration in wild populations of mice (in collaboration with the Hoekstra Lab, Harvard) and lizards (in collaboration with the Rosenblum Lab, Berkeley). Susanne founded the Pfeifer Lab as an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU in 2017. googlescholar   pubmed  


João Santos – João earned his B.Sc. in Biology and M.Sc. in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Lisbon (Portugal), studying the dispersal dynamics of endangered species. He earned his Ph.D. in Population Genetics at CIRAD in Montpellier (France) where he studied the impact of hybridization in rice. João investigates the evolutionary dynamics governing cytomegaloviruses in non-human primates (the project is co-advised by Jeff Jensen). pubmed   github

Graduate students

Mario A. Apata – Mario earned his B.A. in Anthropology and MS in Biological Science at the University of Chile, funded by the national Bicentenario and Conicyt scholarships, respectively. His thesis work in the Moraga Lab centered on the genetic and cultural diversity of Chilean populations. Before joining the Pfeifer Lab, he was a research abroad fellow in Anna Di Rienzo’s Lab at the University of Chicago. Mario’s Ph.D. work, funded by a Fulbright-Conicyt BIO scholarship, investigates the evolutionary and selective forces that shaped the genomes of Andean populations historically exposed to arsenic water in the Atacama desert.

Cyril J.F. Versoza 
– Cyril earned his B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines, where he was a College and University Scholar. His thesis work in the Lazaro Lab focused on the identification of candidate molecular drug targets of antibiotics via comparative genomics of sensitive and mutant strains. In the Pfeifer Lab, Cyril is focusing upon the genomic mechanisms underlying coloration in North American Sceloporus lizards.

Honors students

Sydney Fikse
(co-advised by Beckett Sterner) – Sydney’s thesis focuses on anthropogenic factors that have impacted animal evolution. 

Avery (Danielle) Fry (co-advised by Kerry Geiler-Samerotte) – Avery’s thesis focuses on developing a phage therapy for bacterial necrosis affecting saguaro cacti.

Lab dogs

Aldo & Finn

Lucy A.P. Tran – (2018-2019) Lucy earned her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan advised by Lacey Knowles. The main focus of her work as a NSF Predoctoral Fellow involved the biotic and abiotic factors influencing diversification of herbivorous mammals. Lucy was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Rosenblum Lab at UC Berkeley, where she was working toward a general understanding of the genotypic-phenotypic axes of divergence during colonization of new environments. Her postdoc work in the Pfeifer Lab focused upon germline mutation rates in Old World monkeys. googlescholar   pubmed