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) systematics and phylogeography of symbionts and their hosts; 2) molecular evolution of host-symbiont co-evolutionary interactions; and 3) symbiont community and trait diversity, with an emphasis on host specificity. 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 higher-level systematics, species delimitation, and molecular evolution of  malaria parasites, with an emphasis on the malaria parasites that infect birds (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon). I am 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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