People

Gerry Carter (CV)
I started the lab in 2018. I’m interested in the evolution and ecology of cooperation, communication, and cognition. Currently, I am testing ideas about how new cooperative relationships develop. My familiarity with bats and vampire bats in particular helps me develop testable hypotheses and models. I’m also interested in improving access to science and the incentive structures of academia. More about me.

Postdocs

Sebastian Stockmaier (website)
I have been a postdoc in Gerry’s lab since June 2021. I am a behavioral ecologist with a background in immunology and infectious disease biology. I am broadly interested in how host behaviors affect pathogen transmission within and between species and how pathogens affect host social behaviors. I aim to use high-resolution proximity sensors to describe dynamic contact networks between vampire bats and their livestock hosts (and their potential effect on cross-species transmission). I love bats, fieldwork, and science outreach, and if I am not chasing vampire bats through the forest, I enjoy football (the European kind), hiking, paddle boarding, and camping.

Grad students

Imran Razik (website)
I joined the Carter Lab as a PhD student in 2018 after completing my undergraduate degree in Zoology at SUNY Oswego. I’m largely interested in the behavioral ecology of mammals, and more specifically, bats. For my dissertation, I work with captive vampire bats at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I aim to test if and how partner choice and individual differences in cooperative behavior affect the formation of new social bonds between strangers. I believe strongly that teaching, mentorship, and science communication should be accessible, effective, and fun.

Julia Vrtilek
I started my Ph.D. in the Carter Lab in Autumn 2020, following a B.A. in Biology (Amherst College 2015), an internship in the Page Lab (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), and an M.S. in Biology (ETH Zürich 2019). I am interested in social behaviors, particularly cooperation, communication, and social learning. I am currently using a massive dataset of vampire bat contact calls to study the relationship between social bonds and vocal communication. I also plan to study the stability of vampire bat social bonds. One of my goals as a scientist is to write clearly and comprehensibly; good writing is an essential part of making both professional and popular science communication accurate, engaging, and accessible.

Raven Hartman
I joined the lab Summer 2020 as a BSc student in zoology, and I’m starting in Fall 2021 as a MSc student in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. Previously, I obtained a BS in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics and an MS in aerospace engineering with a focus on control theory from the University of Cincinnati. I’m currently interested in studying animal behavior and potentially applying my knowledge of mathematics and sensory information to a new field.


Undergrads

Tatyana Sopka 
I am majoring in Zoology and minoring in Environmental Science. I joined the lab in August 2019. I am currently working on a project on whether mouth-licking serves other functions aside from food sharing in vampire bats.

Molly Lynch 
I am studying evolution and ecology. I joined the lab in 2019 and am excited to begin working on a research project. I am thrilled to be a part of this lab and have the opportunity to learn from such great people.

Eleanor Cronin
I am majoring in Biology. I joined the lab in the fall of 2019 as a freshman. I am not yet working on a project but I am hoping to begin one soon. 

Pictures from lab socials


Collaborators

Previous members of Carter Lab:

  • Bridget Brown (graduate student 2018- 2021)
  • Simon Ripperger (postdoc 2018-2021)
  • Theresa Chen (grad student 2018-2020)
  • David Girbino (undergrad 2018-2020)
  • Jessica Nystrom (undergrad 2019-2020)
  • Emma Kline (undergrad 2018-2021)

Previous members of ‘Team Vampire’ at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute:

  • Sebastian Stockmaier (2016-2019)
  • Dineilys Aparicio (2019)
  • Lovisa Duck (2019)
  • Darija Josic (2017)
  • Samuel Kaiser (2017)
  • Jineth Berrio-Martinez (2017)
  • Katharina Eggert (2017)
  • Nia Toshkova (2017)
  • Hugo Narizano (2016)
  • Julia Vrtilek (2016-2017)
  • Ellen Jacobs (2016)
  • Rachel Moon (2016)
  • Yelitza Garcia (2016)
  • Emily Dong (2016)
  • Yesenia Valverde (2016)
  • Rachel Crisp (2016- 2017)
  • Jana Nowatzki (Spring 2016)

Previous research assistants at University of Maryland:

  • Erik Kim (Spring 2013)
  • Edward Hurme (Summer 2013)
  • Micah Miles (2013)
  • Lauren Leffer (2013- 2014)
  • Collin Mummert (Spring 2012)
  • Anna Jiang (Fall 2011)
  • Tanya Tran (Fall 2011)
  • Alex Lundy (Summer and Fall 2011)
  • Ryane Logsdon (Summer 2011)
  • Adi Shaked (Fall 2010)

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