Feed on

Group Members



Katia Koelle, PI

Katia is a theoretical ecologist interested in the population dynamics of infectious diseases and, more generally, in biological systems in which a population’s evolutionary dynamics occur on the same timescale as its ecological dynamics. Currently, her research focuses on understanding the epidemiological dynamics of infectious diseases in the context of extrinsic forcing (e.g., climate variability) and nonstationarities (e.g., climate change, long-term public health interventions, demographic changes), as well as in the context of rapid evolutionary changes. She is also interested in how phylogenetic comparative analyses can be extended to allow for more mechanistic representations of ecological interactions, thereby allowing the interaction between ecological and evolutionary dynamics to be considered more explicitly at longer timescales.

Katia’s e-mail is katia.koelle[at]duke[dot]edu

Physical room number: 258 Biological Sciences Building, 125 Science Drive, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Snail-mail address: Box 90338, Room 137, Biological Sciences Building, 125 Science Drive, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Fax number (shared with the department): (919) 660-7293



Ashley Sobel, MSTP (MD/PhD) student

Ashley’s main interests are in using ecological and evolutionary dynamics of infectious disease to understand and predict the emergence of zoonoses, and how recently emerged pathogens adapt to new host populations. Currently, she is focusing on using ‘phylodynamic’ models to better understand the development of feline infectious peritonitis in domestic cats. Her work in the coming years will focus on developing models for virulence evolution in seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, as well as within-host models to better understand patterns of disease severity in flu.


Diana Vera Cruz, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics PhD student

Diana’s research focuses on sequence analysis of cytomegalovirus (CMV) from maternal and fetal samples to determine the effects of treatment on transmission. Her work has been in close collaboration with Sallie Permar and Cody Nelson in the Duke Medical School.


Olivia Yvellez, Associate in Research

Olivia’s research focuses on the effect of spatial expansions on rapidly evolving viruses, most notably rabies virus and influenza virus.


Previous group members

Nicole Nova: Associate in Research, from 2015-2016. Nicole has gone on to do her PhD in Biology at Stanford.

Rotem Ben-Shachar: PhD student in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, from 2011-2016. Rotem has gone on to do a post-doc with Eva Harris and Mike Boots at Berkeley.

Stacy Scholle: PhD student in Biology, from 2010-2016.

Sean Yuan: PhD student in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, from 2007-2013. Sean has gone on to do a post-doc with Steven Riley at Imperial.

Chris Castorena: Graduate student in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, from 2009-2013. Chris finished with a Masters and has gone on to work in the private sector.

Shishi Luo: PhD student in Duke Mathematics, with honorary membership in the Koelle research group, from 2007-2013. Shishi has gone on to do a post-doc with Alan Perelson at LANL.

Jayna Raghwani: Post-doctoral researcher in the Koelle lab from 2012-2013. Jayna completed her PhD with Andrew Rambaut at Edinburgh on dengue and has gone on to do a second post-doc in the Oli Pybus’s group at Oxford.

David Rasmussen: Graduate student in the Koelle lab from 2008-2014, finished with a Ph.D. in Biology. In Fall 2014, David started his post-doc with Tanja Stadler at ETH Zurich.

Oliver Ratmann: Post-doctoral researcher in the Koelle lab from 2010-2012. Olli completed his PhD with Sylvia Richardson at Imperial and has gone back to London to continue research as part of his Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship with Christophe Fraser at Imperial.

Virginia Pasour: Post-doctoral researcher in the Koelle lab from 2008-2009. Virginia completed her PhD with Steve Ellner at Cornell and is now a biomathematics program officer in Research Triangle Park.

Mimi Lin: Master’s student in Duke Biology from 2007-2010, co-advised by Cliff Cunningham and Katia Koelle. Mimi now works for the EPA in Research Triangle Park.

Several undergrads have done independent studies and/or have written undergraduate theses in the group. These include Brian Adams, Meredith Kamradt, Rachel Northeim, Priya Khatri, Rachel Willcutts, and, currently, Alex Dai and Eddie Zhao.

We have also had several visitors to the group:

Celeste Donato visited for October 2016 from Duke-NUS.

Mark Tanaka visited for two weeks in Fall 2014 from the University of New South Wales.

Rolf Ypma visited May 2011 from RIVM, the Netherlands. He is currently a graduate student with Marijn van Ballegooijen and Jacco Wallinga.

Andrea Richter visited Fall semester 2009 from Barcelona. She is a graduate student in Xavier Rodo’s IC3 group.


Comments are closed.