Included here are postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, visiting researchers, and staff affiliated with the Crawford  Lab.

Philippe Aubinada-1

MA student (since 2016), Archaeology
Research Interests: I am interested in the effect the morphology of points has on their penetration and wound characteristics. To explore this I will be using computer simulations and comparing those with experimental data.

Alannah Biegaalannah237x300-photo

M.Sc. Candidate (since 2015), Mooers Lab
Research Interests: As the need for conservation action becomes more urgent, I am interested in the role that zoological institutions can play in species conservation. In particular, I am exploring the potential of Canadian institutions to become centers of ex situ conservation for threatened amphibians and reptiles who are dependent on management for their survival. NSERC gave me a scholarship too.
Twitter: @alannahbiega

Dr. Mana Dembodembo_profile

Postdoctoral Researcher, Mooers and Collard Labs
Research Interests: Dr. Dembo  was awarded a SSHRC post-doctoral position to expand the seminal work she did here at SFU on Bayesian hominin phylogenetics. She completed her Ph D at SFU in 2016, and is now a postdoctoal fellow in the Department of Archaeology.

Natalie Dinsdale

Ph.D Student (since 2017), Crespi Lab
Research Interests: Natalie is a PhD student working IMG_0216
with Dr. Crespi to explore how evolutionary dynamics shape sex differences, personality variation, and health and disease in the human lineage. She is particularly interested in how evolution simultaneously acts on the mind-body – especially with respect to the unsolved mystery of the female orgasm – and is currently exploring how the pleiotropic oxytocin system jointly impacts female sexuality, reproduction, and personality. The tendency of evolutionary processes to shape traits toward elevated or reduced expression, and the idea that ‘too much of a good thing’ can underlie dysfunction is a common theme in her studies. Her work attempts to move beyond disciplinary boundaries created by university structures and scientific jargon while remaining aware of the historical usage of science to oppress certain groups of people. She currently teaches evolutionary psychology and personality psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. As part of her diverse interests, Natalie enjoys dance and movement, and also commits her time to studying the ancient art of astrology, much to the chagrin of scientists everywhere. Visit her personal website for more information, including blogs on human evolution.

Dan Greenbergimg_6300-21

Ph.D Student (since 2014), Mooers Lab
Research Interests: I started my PhD program with an NSERC scholarship in September 2014, co-supervised with Wendy Palen. I am interested in amphibian extinction risk, and whether we can predict species’ responses to different global stressors. I am attempting to link the evolutionary history and functional traits of amphibians to their sensitivity to disease, habitat degradation, and climate change. The ultimate goal is to build predictive models to estimate risk for data-poor species as a means to prioritize those species for conservation management.

Vanessa Guerra

Ph.D. Candidate (since 2015), Hart Lab1501445_10202724336210969_387973333_o
Research Interests: Next generation sequencing techniques have provided us with new tools to help us expand our understanding of evolutionary processes that lead to population isolation and speciation. My research uses NGS techniques to characterize the transcriptomes of gametes and gamete recognition genes in sea stars with varied life histories to deepen our understanding of mating system evolution.
Email: vguerra[at]
Twitter: @vguerracanedo

Jayme M.M. Lewthwaitejayme-237x300

Ph.D. Candidate (since 2013), Mooers Lab
Research Interests: Jayme Lewthwaite is an NSERC scholar and PhD student who is combining spatial ecology and phylogenetic information to help evaluate the biodiversity impacts of anthropogenic change in order to prioritize conservation actions. She is currently examining these patterns in Canadian butterfly species and at the Smithsonian.
Twitter: @jaymelewthwaite

florentFlorent Mazel

Postdoctoral fellow (since 2016), Mooers Lab
Research Interests: I’m a biogeographer and macro-ecologist and my research focuses on phylogenetic and functional diversity patterns – of mammals at global scale but also on mammalian gut microbiota at a micro scale. In Vancouver, I’ll  be focused on linking phylogenetic and functional diversity to conservation.

14858754_10154586332555692_870954252_oBrea McCauley

Honours student (since 2016), Archaeology
Research Interests: My project involves looking at what factors influence tool-kit variation within small-scale food producing groups. I am broadly interested in applying evolutionary theory to the archaeological record to explore the evolution of culture.


Mikael Mokkonenmikael-06

Postdoctoral fellow (since ), Crespi Lab
Research Interests: My experimental, theoretical and applied research work all seek to understand the evolutionary ecology of conflicts by focusing on the genetic, physiological and behavioral differences between individuals. This integrative research is encompassed in five broad themes that address how genetic variation is maintained in the face of adaptation and maladaptation to the environment.

Vahab Pourfaraj20160821_132112

M.Sc. Candidate (since 2013), Mooers Lab
Research Interests: The main focus of my research is to find out if evolutionary isolation metrics are robust and reliable tools for conservation prioritization purposes. Using a combination of simulated and real data I’m looking at the efficiency of isolation metrics in capturing trait rarity and evolutionary history. The ultimate goal here is to justify the application of isolation metrics in species conservation programs.
Twitter: @vahab_p

 Ben Raffieldben.png

Postdoctoral fellow, Collard Lab
Research Interests: My primary research interests lie in the Viking Age and the archaeology of conflict, violence and warfare. My postgraduate research focused primarily on the archaeology of Viking Age England. Since then I have been expanding my interests to investigate themes such as conflict, identity and religion within the wider context of the Viking world. As part of HESP I am currently investigating the biocultural effects of religious change among Scandinavian societies during the Viking Age.

Silven Read

Lab Manager, Crespi Lab
Research Interests: Silven has a wide rage of interests, studying mammalian behavioural ecology as an undergrad, then moving on to intertidal invertebrates for her Master’s. As a career research technician, she has enjoyed working with amphibians in Oregon, Dicty in Texas, codling moths in California, and now evolution in British Columbia. She has a secondary career as a copy editor / proofreader, for both fiction and non-fiction publications.
Website: or

Olga Vasilev ov_photo

PhD student, Psychology
Research Interests: I am broadly interested in human development and the evolution of language, communication and social cognition in humans. My current PhD work focuses on the evolutionary implications of early communicative development, specifically looking at the developmental trajectories of infants’ early communication and how they correspond to the time course of brain lateralization. I have recently developed a course on the Evolution of Human Cognition and Language.