Dr. Seifert studies how zoonotic pathogens are maintained in host populations with a focus on identifying factors that contribute to zoonotic spillover of pathogens from animals to humans. Dr. Seifert applies molecular, computational, and laboratory modeling methods to address complex questions in disease ecology. Dr. Seifert received undergraduate and post-baccalaureate training in medical entomology and Animal Biology at UC Davis and completed her doctoral dissertation work in the Evolution and Ecology of Infectious Diseases Laboratory under Dr. Dustin Brisson at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Seifert then completed postdoctoral training in the Virus Ecology Section at the Laboratory of Virology (NIH/NIAID) under Drs. Vincent Munster and Heinz Feldmann where she studied Ebolaviruses in African bats, conducted studies in the maximum containment lab with bats and other animal models, and studied the population genetics of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus in camels.
In the fall of 2020, Dr. Seifert joined as an Assistant Professor in the Paul Allen School for Global Health and started the Molecular Ecology of Zoonotic and Animal Pathogens Lab. Dr. Seifert plans to establish a field and laboratory-based research program to study rodent and bat-borne pathogens including Monkeypox virus, Hantaviruses, and filoviruses. Zoonotic pathogen dynamics are often driven by complex factors including ecological interactions, seasonality, climate change, behavioral practices, habitat quality, and land-use change. Studying the complex drivers of zoonotic pathogen dynamics requires an interdisciplinary research approach. As such, Dr. Seifert is interested in developing collaborations across disciplines to address questions about the underlying drivers of pathogen dynamics in animal populations and to develop novel mitigation strategies to prevent zoonotic spillover.
Dr. Seifert is a dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the sciences and welcomes students, postdocs, and collaborators with diverse backgrounds, training, and interests. Dr. Seifert is committed to building a scientific community where creativity and the unique contributions of individuals are valued by promoting a culture of inclusion across gender, race, religion, age, experiences, and identity.
Molecular ecology, population genetics, field-based ecology, infectious diseases, virology, high containment pathogens