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Susan L. Perkins
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: City College of New York|Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Biology, University of Vermont
Subprogram: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior
Research Interests: Organismal Biology (i.e. Parasitology, Herpetology), microbiomes, systematics, evolutionary biology, genetics, herpetology, biogeography
Research Focus: Systematics|Microorganisms|Evolution|Conservation, Ecology, And Biodiversity|Molecular Biology, Genomics And Biochemistry|Immunology/Infectious Disease|Systematics And Taxonomy
Affiliation(s): American Museum of Natural History

Social Media: Twitter 

Susan Perkins is the current Martin and Michele Cohen Dean of Science at the City College of New York, a position she has held since January 2020. She is also a Professor of Biology at CCNY and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research has spanned multiple lines of inquiry ranging from the evolution, genomics, and biogeography of non-human malaria parasites, genomics of viruses, and studies of the microbiome in wild animal hosts. She has conducted field work throughout the Caribbean, Australia, Indonesia, South America, and Africa.

She did her undergraduate studies at SUNY Potsdam, with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and then completed her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Vermont in 2000. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History and then an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 2001-2004. In 2004, she returned to the AMNH as an Assistant Curator, advancing to Curator and Professor in 2015.

Awards and Grants

  • Distinguished Alumna Award, SUNY at Potsdam, 2013.
  • Daniel C. Wilhoft Lecture in Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University at Newark. 2011.
  • NIH: Adapting to New Hosts: Identifying Genes Under Selection in Malaria Parasites.
  • NSF: A Biotic Inventory of Terrestrial Vertebrates, Spiders, and Haemosporidia Parasites of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • NSF: REU Site: Systematics and Evolution for the 21st Century.
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • New York Academy of Science
  • American Society of Parasitologists
  • Society for Systematic Biology
  • Society for the Study of Evolution
Courses Taught
  • Disease and History
  • Galen, S.C., J. Borner, S.L. Perkins, and J.D. Weckstein. Phylogenomics from transcriptome “bycatch” clarify the origins and diversity of avian trypanosomes in North America. 2020. PLoS One. 15(10): e0240062.
  • Winterhoff, M. L., A. S. Achmadi, E. J. Roycroft, H. Handika, R. T. J. Putra, K. M. C. Rowe, S. L. Perkins, K. C. Rowe. 2020. Native and introduced trypanosome parasites in endemic and introduced rodents of Sulawesi. Journal of Parasitology 106: 523-536.
  • Speer, K.A., N.M. Dheilly, and S.L. Perkins. 2020. Microbiomes are integral to conservation of parasitic arthropods. Biological Conservation. 250: 108695.
  • Siao, M.C., J. Borner, S.L. Perkins, K.W. Deitsch, and L.A. Kirkman. 2020. Evolution of host specificity by malaria parasites through altered mechanisms controlling genome maintenance. mBio 11:e03272-19.
  • Galen, S., Borner, J., Williamson, J., Witt, C., Perkins, S. 2020. Metatranscriptomics yields new genomic resources and sensitive detection of infections for diverse blood parasites. Molecular Ecology Resources 20:14-28.
  • Dheilly, N. W., J. Martínez, K. Rosario, P. J. Brindley. R. Fichorova, J. Kaye, K. Kohl, L. J. Knoll, J. Lukes, S. L. Perkins, R. Poulin, L. Schriml, and L. R. Thompson. 2019. Parasite Microbiome Project: Grand Challenges. PLoS Pathogens 15(10):e1008028.
  • Galen, S. C., K. Speer, and S. L. Perkins. 2019. Evolutionary lability of host associations promotes phylogenetic overdispersion of co-infecting blood parasites. Journal of Animal Ecology 88:1936-1949.
  • Perkins, S. L. 2018. Parasitology: diversity and inclusion for the future. Journal of Parasitology 104:579-583.