About Me


I am an NSF postdoctoral fellow for research using biological collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. I received my PhD from the Richard Gilder Graduate School of the American Museum of Natural History in 2018, and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 2014.

I am interested broadly in the evolution of host-symbiont interactions across spatial and temporal scales. My research largely encompasses studies on: 1) the diversification of symbionts and their hosts; 2) molecular evolution of host-symbiont co-evolutionary interactions; and 3) symbiont community ecology across scales (from regions to individual hosts). I use birds and their parasitic and mutualistic microbes as a model system with which to study these processes. My current research is focused on the evolution of host specificity within the malaria parasites, and how this trait impacts the diversification and distribution of these parasites. I am also currently working to develop genomic approaches to study the pattern and process of avian malaria parasite diversification and host adaptation.

I have previously worked on avian phylogeography, hemoglobin evolution, and natural history, and I maintain research interests in these areas. My research is heavily dependent on scientific collections, and I strive to actively contribute to these resources.

My Google Scholar profile

My ResearchGate profile

My AMNH profile


spgalen AT gmail.com

sgalen AT amnh.org

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