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Students in the Patterson Lab

I am proud of the really outstanding students I've interacted with.  Helping to shape the thinking and careers of curious, self-motivated, and independent young investigators is really the most rewarding part of my job.  

I encourage students interested in joining my lab to write me.  Prospective students should be aware that both of the Chicago-area programs with which I am affiliated are highly selective -- strong credentials or exceptional promise are needed to gain admission.  In most cases, both universities restrict admissions to students seeking doctorates, although exceptions are made for foreign nationals. To offer you much useful feedback on the subtleties of applying, I'll expect a synopsis of your educational background or CV and a statement of research interests.  

Students from other museums and universities who wish to visit and work in the Field Museum's mammal collection can review information on our scholarship, internship, and fellowship programs at Field Museum's Scholarship Committee site

Information about current and past trainees is presented below. 


Current Students

Kenyatta University (Nairobi)

Alex Gombe Mwazo
M.Sc. program, Zoological Sciences-- Habitat associations and status of Grévy's zebras in Taita ranchlands, Kenya


Loyola University of Chicago

Alexandra Weber
B.Sc. program, Biology-- systematics of Kenyan Miniopterus bats (2012 Field Museum REU intern)


Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya)
David Wechuli
M.Sc. program, Biological Sciences -- Bat distribution and diversity in Lake Baringo, Kenya

University of Cape Town

Hassan Aburaida Babiker Salata
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Zoology -- Environmental factors determining the distributions of South African bats (External examiner)

Universität Potsdam
Julia Schad
Ph.D. candidate, Department of Evolutionary Genetics -- Evolution of MHC genes in bats and their relationship to parasite susceptibility and life-history decisions (External examiner)

University of Chicago

Nate Upham

Ph.D. candidate, Committee on Evolutionary Biology --diversification of the New World rodent group Octodontoidea (Major advisor)

Christopher J. Schell
Ph.D. candidate, Committee on Evolutionary Biology --maternal effects on behavior and physiology of coyotes

with Nate beneath Aconcagua, on the Chilean-Argentine frontier, Aug '09 (photo by Dan Patterson)

University of Illinois at Chicago

Carrie Seltzer
Ph.D. candidate, Biological Sciences -- Seed dispersal in fragments by Afrotropical bats
Erika Arnold
Ph.D. candidate, Biological Sciences -- Explaining variation in tick infestations on white-footed mice
Eric Hancock
Ph.D. program, Biological Sciences - Foraging ecology of South African genets

Erika Arnold imaging bat flies on Field Museum's Scanning Electron Microscope, Mar 2009.    

Lab Alumni

as Major/Research Adviser:

Alex Dehgan

(2003) Ph.D. University of Chicago (Science and Technology Adviser to the head of US/AID) -- extinction risk of lemurs in Madagascar rainforest fragments

Related quote

I enjoy honing a student's ability to find wonder in the natural world
Carl W. Dick

(2009) Post-doctoral Fellow, Field Museum (Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University) -- coevolution of bats and parasitic bat flies

Lisa A. Dorn

(1984) M.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago (Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) -- chipmunk burrowing ecology

Roland W. Kays

(1999) Post-doctoral Fellow, Field Museum (Curator of Mammals, New York State Museum) -- lion behavior, ecology and evolution

Lucia Luna W.

(2002) M.Sc. University of Illinois at Chicago (PhD candidate at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) -- systematics of Rhagomys (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae)

Gregory M. Mikkelson

(1993) M.Sc., Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago (formerly Assistant Professor, Rice University; Associate Professor, McGill University) -- how do foodwebs fall apart?

Link Olson

(1999) Ph.D., Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago (Associate Professor and Curator of Mammals, University of Alaska, Fairbanks) -- systematics and biogeography of Tenrecidae (Afrosoricida)

Víctor Pacheco T.

(1989) M.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago (Principal Professor and Curator of Mammals, Universidad de San Marcos, Lima) -- systematics and biogeography of Sturnira (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

Scott J. Steppan

(1995) Ph.D., Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago (Associate Professor, Florida State University) -- adaptive radiations of Andean mice (Cricetidae: Phyllotini)

Virginia L. Turner

(1994) M.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago (Instructor, Harper College) -- G-I tract anatomy of caenolestid marsupials (Paucituberculata)

Paúl M. Velazco

(2009) Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago (Post-doctoral fellow, American Museum of Natural History) -- systematics and biogeography of Platyrrhinus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

  Mohammad Abu Baker in Lajuma, South Africa, July 2007.

with Paúl (who is now a collaborator) at IBRC-14 in Prague, Aug 2010

as an Examining Committee member or Co-adviser:

Mohammad Abu Baker

(2011) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus University)-- Habitat selection and community assembly in African small mammals

Nigel Asquith

(1995) M.Sc., University of Illinois at Chicago (PhD, Duke; Director, Fundacion Natura Bolivia)-- seed dispersal in tropical forest fragments in Panamá

Pamela K. Austin

(1998) M.Sc., University of Illinois at Chicago (no longer in science)-- phylogeny and evolution of social behavior in mongooses (Carnivora: Herpestidae)

Henry Bernard

(2003) Ph.D., University of Copenhagen (Deputy Director, Tropical Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah)-- mammal persistence in rainforest fragments on Borneo

Doreen Covey

(2000) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (Adjunct Instructor, Roosevelt University)-- morphological phylogeny of deer (Cetartiodactyla: Cervidae) 

Silvia Fazzolari Correa

(1995) Ph.D., Universidade de Sao Paulo (Executive Coordinator, Avistar, Brazil)-- bat ecology in Atlantic Forest fragments

Carl W. Dick

(2005) Ph.D., Texas Tech University (Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University)-- ecology of bat and bat fly associations

Dianne Jedlicka

(1993) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (Instructor, DeVry University, Chicago)-- optimal foraging of Illinois small mammals 

Maria Luisa Jorge

(2007) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (Visiting Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University)-- Agouti seed dispersal, tree recruitment, and Amazonian fragmentation

Douglas A. Kelt

(1989) M.Sc., Northern Illinois University (Ph.D. Univ. New Mexico; now Professor & Chair, Univ. California, Davis)-- distribution and ecology of Chilean rodents

Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans

(1990) Ph.D., University of Chicago (now Professor, Roosevelt University, Chicago) -- taphonomy of bone assemblages of carnivores and scavengers

Roselis Mazurek

(2001) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (now with IBAMA, Brazil)-- subsistence hunting by Brazilian aboriginals

John Ososky

(1998) M.Sc., Northern Illinois University (now Chief Preparator, National Museum of Natural History)-- ecology and diet of West African rainforest cats (Felidae)

Oliver R. W. Pergams

(2002) Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (now Assistant Professor, City Colleges of Chicago)-- rapid evolutionary change in rodents

Patty Ruback
(2006) M. Sc., Northern Illinois University (now a mom!)-- distribution and status of bats of Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Sergio Solari T.

(1997) Lic., Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Ph.D., Texas Tech University; now Assistant Professor, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia)-- Diet and distribution of Altiplano rodents in Perú

Sigit Wiantoro

(2010) M.Sc., Universitat Malaysia Sarawak--Biogeography and variation of Indo-Malayan Myotis muricola (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)

Christopher J. Yahnke

(1996) M.Sc., Northern Illinois University -- systematics of Chilean foxes

(1999) Ph.D., Northern Illinois University (now Associate Professor, Curator & Chair, University of Wisconsin, Steven Point) -- ecology of hantavirus in Paraguay

John A. Yunger

(1996) Ph.D., Northern Illinois University (now Professor, Governor's State University, College Park)-- population dynamics of small mammals in Illinois

With Rosa Arana and Víctor Pacheco in Amazonas, Peru, in 1987.

Lisa Dorn collecting chipmunks in Colorado and Utah, 1982.

Sept 2010, with former students (l-r) Sergio Solari, Paúl Velazco and Víctor Pacheco, all valued collaborators these days on Neotropical systematics and biogeography (photo via SS at the 2o SPM, Arequipa)