Graduate student, MVZ affiliate
Graduate student, MVZ affiliate
BS Molecular and Cellular Biology, summa cum laude
Conservation biology, landscape genomics, movement ecology
Climate change represents a serious threat to biodiversity: species must move, adapt, or die. While range shifting is generally viewed as a successful strategy, it likely impacts how species respond to concurrent pressures. I am exploring whether climate change can exacerbate emerging infectious disease (EID) pressures on wild populations by affecting the spatial pattern of their immunogenetic diversity. Though studies frequently find links between climate change and EID dynamics, they often lack explanatory mechanisms.
My study is set in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru. Following rapid glacial melt since the end of the Little Ice Age, the Marbled four-eyed frog (Pleurodema marmoratum) has expanded its elevation range into high-mountain passes. These passes, melted entirely open by the 1970s, suddenly offered opportunities for transmontane gene flow. The rapid colonization of these passes by the frogs was accompanied by outbreaks of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen driver of the amphibian biodiversity crisis. Despite die-offs, populations have persisted and may now be rebounding. I will examine how range expansion and ensuing opportunities for gene flow in these frogs mediate their Bd infection dynamics. I expect my results to shed light on this system but also more broadly address the mechanisms connecting EID dynamics and climate change.
Steigerwald, E. C., J. M. Igual, A. Payo‐Payo, & G. Tavecchia (2015) Effects of decreased anthropogenic food availability on an opportunistic gull: evidence for a size‐mediated response in breeding females. Ibis, 157(3):439-448.
Sorokin A and Steigerwald E.C. (2018) Evidence for parental care in Feihyla kajau (Anura: Rhacophoridae). Phyllomedusa. 17(1):127-130.
Sorokin, A. and E. C. Steigerwald (2017) Interspecific combat between Nymphargus aff. grandisonae and Espadarana prosoblepon. Herpetology Notes 10:283-285.
Sorokin, A. and E. C. Steigerwald (2017) Ameerega trivittata (Three-striped Poison Frog) Ectoparisitism. Herpetological Review, 48(2):407-408.
Steigerwald E and Sorokin A. 2016 June 13. Ecological corridor to provide connectivity for endangered, range-restricted Andean species. Mongabay. https://news.mongabay.com/2016/06/ecological-corridor-to-provide-connect....
2019 Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
2018 George and Violet Homem Graduate Award, UC Berkeley
2018 Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research, American Philosophical Society
2018 Olvier B. Lyman Wildlife and Fisheries Program Award, UC Berkeley
2018 Grants in Aid of Research, Berkeley Chapter of Sigma Xi
2018 Tinker Research Grant, Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley
2018 Gradnews Award, UC Berkeley Graduate Division
2017 Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation
2017 ESPM Starter Grant, UC Berkeley
2017 The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Mini-Grant, UC Berkeley
2015 Principal project grant, Loroparque Fundación
2014 Biodiversity & Conservation Fellowship, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg
2014 Principal project grant, Loroparque Fundación
2013 Keegan Traveling Fellowship, Vanderbilt University
2012 Harry S. Truman Scholarship
ESPM114: Wildlife Ecology Discussion Section