About me

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Career update: I’m now a bioinformatics engineer at Delfi Diagnostics! We are using novel machine learning algorithms to analyze fragments of cell-free DNA to detect cancer from blood samples. I’m really excited to be applying my skills in bioinformatics and data science to such an important and applied problem. You can learn more on LinkedIn, or read on to learn about my academic background.

My research background and interests broadly involve evolutionary biology and population genetics of humans, vectors, and diseases. In 2020-2022, I was a postdoc in Dr. Brenna Henn’s Lab in the Department of Anthropology at UC Davis. For my PhD at Yale I studied gene flow and landscape genetics of the dengue mosquito, Ae. aegypti, in North America with Dr. Jeffrey Powell. You can read more about my academic research here.

I’m originally from northern California, where I received my BS and MS in Biology at Stanford University. For my honors thesis, I studied decision-making behavior in the red harvester ant with Dr. Deborah Gordon. After graduation, I worked at NASA Ames with Dr. Lynn Rothschild on a synthetic biology project that was launched on the EuCROPIS satellite mission.

In addition to research, I enjoy teaching and mentoring and participating in science outreach events for the public and to support diversity in science.

Email: espless (at) ucdavis.edu

Twitter: @Evie_Pless