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Current & Former Visiting Scholars

Whitney Mgbara, MPH

I am a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley in the Environmental Science, Policy, and Management Department. Currently, I am co-advised by Dr. Wayne Getz and Dr. Justin Remais (Public Health). My main areas of interest include disease ecology, applied mathematics, infectious disease epidemiology, and environmental science. For my research, I want to focus on understanding how landscape changes influence the transmission of environmentally-mediated infectious diseases. My experience involves analyzing compartmental disease transmission models for leishmaniasis, ZIKV, and EBOV. I visited the Escobar lab to gain more experience with spatial analysis and biogeographical methods to answer questions related to the spatio-temporal spread of diseases.




Daniela A. Poo-Muñoz


Veterinarian, Doctor of Conservation Medicine. I have experience in invasive and non-invasive methods to study wildlife interactions for conservation, including camera trap surveys and spatial modeling. My main areas of interest include anthropic effects on wildlife dispersal, invasive terrestrial species, wildlife epidemiology, and the domestic-wild interface.


Manuel Barrios-Izás

Researcher - Centro Universitario de Zacapa


Systematics and Biogeography

My main research has focused on the study of the diversity and evolution of Mesoamerican weevils. I am primarily interested in the biogeographic processes that originated the mountain fauna but I am also concerned about species conservation and large-scale human impacts over ecosystems. I visited the Escobar's lab for training in the development of past, present, and future ecological niche modeling, as a result of my training we are currently modeling the distribution of the genus Plumolepilius (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

Alba Frias-De-Diego

My interests focus on the application of interdisciplinary sciences to transform classic diagnostics, treatment protocols and control strategies in applicable solutions for epidemiology problems. My ambitions base on applying my expertise in genetics, molecular virology and bioinformatics on the application of interdisciplinary sciences to improve the knowledge, diagnostic, treatment and control of current diseases and syndromes affecting both human and animal populations. My favourite things to do when I'm not working are reading and outdoor activities, doing sports in contact with nature is always awesome!

Manuel Jara

I am a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology at North Carolina State University. My research focuses on macroevolutionary problems employing a range of technical approaches to test and advance theory, via the combination of field-based research, spatial analysis, and phylogenetic modeling to investigate the factors that drive, maintain and predict the geographic distributions of animal species and pathogens in space and time. In my free time, I love spending time in natural places where I can take wildlife pictures, but if that's not possible I use them as my inspiration for my indoor passion, wildlife drawing. 


International visitor scholars. 

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