PEGL Members

The PEGL (Webster Lab) welcomes people of any race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or disability status.

While PEGL is based at the University of Utah, we have members from a number of different institutions. Together, we all share an interest in fostering a safe, inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment in which we work together to understand human and nonhuman primate diversity.
Tim Webster, Ph.D.
Tim Webster, Ph.D.
he/him/his
Principal Investigator
timothy.h.webster (at) utah.edu
Website
0000-0003-1174-2395
Scholar Citations
@TimWebster17
thw17

Tim was an undergraduate at Miami University (Ohio), graduating in 2008 a BA in Anthropology and Zoology. While he was there, he worked with Linda Marchant and Scott Suarez, both in the Department of Anthropology, on projects related to primate behavior.

After Miami, Tim spent part of 2008 as a Junior Visiting Research Fellow in the Leverhulme Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (LCHES) at the University of Cambridge working with Bill McGrew. He then spent the rest of 2008 studying chimpanzees at Semliki, Uganda.

Tim then moved to Connecticut to earn a Ph.D in biological anthropology from Yale University. At Yale, Tim worked with David Watts and Brenda Bradley, initially studying the behavior of chimpanzees at Ngogo, Uganda, before he ended up taking up genomics to begin exploring questions related to speciation in primates.

After graduate school, Tim did a postdoc with Melissa Wilson in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. During this time, he worked on a variety of genomic projects involving reptile evolution and sex chromosomes.

Starting in January, 2019, Tim became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah. He also currently serves as the President of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics.


Colin Brand
Colin Brand
he/him/his
Ph.D. Student (University of Oregon)
cbrand2 (at) uoregon.edu
Website
0000-0002-6881-8074
colin-brand-27806659
Scholar Citations
@colinmbrand
brandcm

Colin completed his undergraduate degree in anthropology, botany, environmental science, and zoology at Miami University and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. He is primarily interested in the evolutionary ecology of human and non-human primates. His current work is focused on the evolutionary genomics of bonobos and chimpanzees.


Hazel Byrne, Ph.D.
Hazel Byrne, Ph.D.
she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Research Associate
hazel.byrne (at) anthro.utah.edu
0000-0002-0351-3181
Scholar Citations
hazyyb

Hazel’s research interests are centred in molecular primatology and evolutionary genomics of Neotropical primates; using genetic/genomic data to probe their evolution and explore the origins and maintenance of diversity. Much of her research involves the use of molecular techniques to shed light on the evolution and speciation of Neotropical primates, some of which are strikingly understudied. This research often ties into addressing questions surrounding taxonomic classification, biogeographical history, historical demography, and adaptive evolution. Her most notable research subjects to date are the titi monkeys (subfamily Callicebinae), but she is also currently involved in projects on squirrel and capuchin monkeys. Hazel joined PEGL as a postdoc in December 2019 where she studies capuchin genomics with a focus on population demography and adaptive evolution.


Kendal Chatard
Kendal Chatard
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Student
u1200122 (at) utah.edu
kchatard

Kendal is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah currently in her junior year and she is majoring in Anthropology with a health emphasis. She is also on the pre-med track and a double minor in integrative human biology and chemistry. She joined the lab in January of 2020 and am working on a University of Utah Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) project this fall. She broadly interested in the intersection of primate/human genomics and health/disease and her UROP research project is focused on deleterious mutations in the mitochondrial genome of chimps and bonobos at a population level.


Aidyn Eldredge
Aidyn Eldredge
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Student
u1073288 (at) utah.edu

Aidyn is currently a second year at the University studying Anthropology with a Health Emphasis as well as a double minor in Integrative Human Biology and Chemistry. She is broadly interested in human genomics and the evolution of the immune system and hopes to develop her Honors thesis on a similar topic. She is new to the PEGL lab and is excited to learn more about primate evolution and genetics.


Ellison (Ellie) Goodrich
Ellison (Ellie) Goodrich
she/her/hers
Post-baccalaureate researcher
goodrichellie (at) outlook.com
ellison-goodrich-9800ab167
eegoodrich

Ellie graduated with Bachelor’s of Science in Anthropology from the University of Utah. Broadly speaking, her interests include Anthropology and Health Sciences. Ellie’s research interests and experience include non-human primate behavior and evolution, historical demography, and evolutionary genomics. In PEGL, Ellie is examining differences in reproductive skew between chimpanzees and bonobos currently, and whether or not these differences have been maintained historically. In addition to this, Ellie is currently working in a lab that studies the development of the inner ear and mechanisms of planar cell polarity.


Tina Lasisi
Tina Lasisi
she/her/hers
Ph.D. Student (Penn State University)
tina.lasisi (at) gmail.com
Website
0000-0002-7546-6724
tinalasisi
Scholar Citations
@TinaLasisi
tinalasisi

Tina’s research focuses on the evolutionary genomics of human scalp hair morphology and is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Her work is interdisciplinary and includes image analysis, human evolutionary genomics as well as experimental work on heat transfer and human thermoregulation.


Sally Matthews
Sally Matthews
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Student
sally.matthews722 (at) gmail.com
Matthews-Sally

Sally is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology with a Health Emphasis and an Integrated Human Biology minor. Sally has performed primate fieldwork in Costa Rica, worked in the Molecular Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Lab with chimpanzee DNA through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, and is now working on primate bioinformatics in the PEGL. Sally is interested in evolutionary genetics, the microbiome, and bioinformatics. She enjoys hiking, camping, canyoneering, and reading in her free time.


Carrie Schultz
Carrie Schultz
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Student
u1255414 (at) utah.edu
cschultz1117

Carrie is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, studying evolutionary anthropology and human biology. She is new to PEGL and is excited to learn more about primate and human genetics!


Brooklynn Scott
Brooklynn Scott
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Student
brooklynnscott00 (at) yahoo.com
brooklynnscott00

Brooklynn is an undergraduate student majoring in evolutionary anthropology and an integrative human biology minor. In PEGL, Brooklynn is working on an honors thesis in macaque behavioral and evolutionary genetics.


Elizabeth (Liz) Tapanes
Elizabeth (Liz) Tapanes
she/her/hers
Ph.D. Student (George Washington University)
etapanes (at) gwmail.gwu.edu
Website
0000-0001-5721-9220
liztapanes
Scholar Citations
@LizTapanes
etapa001

Liz is interested in the forces and mechanisms that generate biodiversity in natural populations. She often combines museum work, lab work, computational analysis, and the sampling of wild populations. Liz is the product of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), having received a Bacherlos of Science from Florida International University and a Master of Arts from Florida Atlantic University. As an undergraduate, she worked on studying behavior of monogamous owl monkeys. As a master’s student, she studied the phenotypic consequences of hybridization on hair morphology. Due to her academic upbringing within HSIs, Liz also plays an active role in her university and within her local community to increase diversity and equity in science. As a PhD candidate at the George Washington University, her dissertation has focused on the ultimate and proximate mechanisms generating hair diversity in the primate clade. Through her affiliation with the PEGL lab at Utah, she is studying protein evolution at key hair genes across Indriidae lemurs and is also working on a population genomics project of diademed sifakas. Outside of the lab, Liz enjoys time off with her cat, exploring the great outdoors, cooking, dancing, and staying politically active.


Andrew J. Zamora
Andrew J. Zamora
He/Him/His
Ph.D. Student (UMass Amherst)
azamora@umass.edu
0000-0003-4414-8958
andrew-zamora-1b352414a
Scholar Citations
SerotoninergicLemur

Andrew Zamora is a PhD candidate under Dr. Jason Kamilar at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He uses comparative genomics to investigate how genetic networks involved in the regulation of social behavior have evolved across Indriid primates and how the evolutionary history of those networks has been potentially shaped by the ecological and social environment of each species. Andrew has also studied primate socioecology, community structure, phylogenetics, functional morphometrics, and cognition in a variety of extant and extinct taxa. He’s had the pleasure of studying two terrific primate species (Propithecus edwardsi and P. deckenii) in Madagascar and really misses the people he worked with and food he would eat while he was there.