M.S. Exercise Science 1990, University of Buffalo (State University of New York at Buffalo, N.Y)
B.S. Physical Education and Biology 1987, State University of New York at Cortland (Cortland, N.Y)
Ph.D. Biological Sciences 1999, Louisiana State University
M.S. Zoology 1988, University of Maine at Orono
B.S. Forestry 1986, Louisiana State University
Modern primate genomes contain lineage-specific, population-specific and individual-specific insertions of Alu elements. Currently, I am screening loci to generate a dichotomous "molecular key" for identifying anonymous DNA samples from anthropoid primates, lemuriformes and lorisiformes. Ideal primer pairs amplify the locus in most species such that a clean, distinct band of the appropriate size for an "empty" or a "filled" site is visible in a 2% agarose gel. Most of the primers were previously used to ascertain various relationships within the three anthropoid primate groups: Hominids, New World Monkeys, and Old World Monkeys. However, many primers have been redesigned and new primers are being developed for the non-anthropoid primates. This "key" will be useful for verifying organismal identity for DNA or tissue samples received from sources lacking proof of the primate's identity, identifying primate samples for which the labels are missing, assaying cell cultures to ensure that cell lines have not been contaminated, identifying the organism from which divorced tissue samples (e.g., hair from bedding sites) were taken in the field, and determining organismal identity of primate products seized from illegal wildlife trade.