Staff Spotlight

Dr. David L. Reed

David Reed portraitAssociate Curator of Mammals
350 Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611

Voice: 352-273-1971
Fax: 352-846-0287


Ph.D. Louisiana State University 2000

Reed Lab Site

Florida Museum Mammal Collection


Research Interests

We study mammals, their ectoparasites, and even bacteria that live within the parasites. In the assemblages that we study, the parasites often track the evolutionary history of their hosts. There is much to learn about how and why distantly related organisms (like mammals, lice and bacteria) sometimes get trapped in long-term coevolutionary scenarios. In more recent work we’ve tried to address the question "to what extent can you infer the evolutionary history of the host (mammal) simply by uncovering the evolutionary history of the parasite (lice)?" My students study a broad array of evolutionary questions usually relating to mammals, and sometimes their parasites. We are generally applying techniques from phylogenetics, population genetics, coalescent simulations/modeling, and ecological niche modeling. Please go to the Reed Lab Web Site for more information.


Courses Taught

Methods of Phylogenetic Inference (Grad course)
Fall of odd years

Mammalogy (mixed Grad/Undergrad)
Fall of even years

Broader Impacts of Science on Society
Every other year


Graduate Students

J. Angelo Soto-Centeno
Angelo's research focuses on bat diversity in the Caribbean. He is testing hypotheses relating to colonization of the Caribbean via Florida, Mexico, and South America and is examining the degree of genetic isolation that is caused by the deep oceanic straits that run between some islands. To test these and other hypotheses he is using both molecular data (DNA and microsats) as well as ecological niche modeling.

Jorge Pino
Jorge is studying singing mice in Mexico and Central America. Specifically, he is examining the phylogeography of the genus Scotinomys and investigating patterns of gene flow. These mice are very interesting because the two species are known to segregate based on elevation, and the habitat that they live in seems to be very heterogenious throughout their distribution. Jorge is using a combination of molecular markers and species distribution modeling to better understand how genes are moving between populations over this complex landscape.

Carson Phillips
Carson is new to the Reed and Robinson Labs, and is still formulating parts of her dissertation work. She is studying neotropical primates to examine both evolutionary and ecological interactions in primates and their parasites. A key question that Carson will address is whether human settlements change parasite prevalence, abundance, and perhaps transmission in New World monkeys.

Bret Boyd
Bret is new to the Reed Lab, and is pursuing a Ph.D. through the UF Genetics Institute Graduate Program. He is studying an interesting plasmid in the endosymbiotic bacteria of human head and clothing lice. This plasmid contains the genes required to synthesize the vitamins that the louse requires to complete its life cycle. Bret is interested in knowing whether this plasmid has been horizontally transmitted among louse species. He is also interested in genome-level studies of lice.



Candace McCaffery - Mammals Collection Manager


Representative Publications

Gonzalez, SC, JA Soto-Centeno, and DL Reed. 2011. Population distribution models: species distribution models are better modeled using biologically relevant data partitions. BMC Ecology 11:20.

Reed DL, Currier RW, Walton SF, Conrad M, Sullivan SA, Carlton JM, Read TD, Severini A, Tyler S, Eberle R, Johnson WE, Silvestri G, Clarke IN, Lagergård T, Lukehart SA, Unemo M, Shafer WM, Beasley RP, Bergström T, Norberg P, Davison AJ, Sharp PM, Hahn BH, and Blomberg J. 2011. The evolution of infectious agents in relation to sex in animals and humans: brief discussions of some individual organisms. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1230(1):74-107.

Rivadeneira, C., J. M. Allen, and D. L. Reed. 2011. Microsatellite loci for testing temporal changes in the population genetics of the Florida Mouse (Podomys floridanus). Conservation Genetics Resources 3:135-139.

Toups, M. A., A. Kitchen, J. E. Light, and D. L. Reed. 2011. Origin of clothing lice indicates early clothing use by anatomically modern humans in Africa. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28(1):29-32.

Light, J. E., V. S. Smith, J. M. Allen, L. A. Durden, and D. L. Reed. 2010. Evolutionary history of mammalian sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10:292.

Kirkness, E. F. (with 50+ coauthors including D. L. Reed). 2010. Genome Sequences of the Human Body Louse and its Primary Endosymbiont: Insights into the Permanent Parasitic Lifestyle. PNAS (available online). See Nature NewsDiscover Magazine.

Wenjun, Li, G. Ortiz, G. Gimenez, D. L. Reed, B. Pittendrigh and D. Raoult. 2010. Genotyping of human lice suggests multiple emergences of body lice from local head louse populations. PLoS: Neglected Tropical Diseases 4(3):e641.

Reed, D. L., M. A. Toups, J. E. Light, J. M. Allen, and S. Flanagin. 2009. Lice and other parasites as markers of primate evolutionary history. In Primate Parasite Ecology: The Dynamics and Study of Host-Parasite Relationships (Colin Chapman and Mike Huffman, eds). Cambridge University Press.

Allen, J. M., J. E. Light, M. A. Perotti, H. R. Braig, and D. L. Reed. 2009. Mutational Meltdown in Primary Endosymbionts: Selection Limits Müller’s Ratchet. PLoS One 4(3): e4969

Light, J.E., and D. L. Reed. 2009. Multigene analysis of phylogenetic relationships and divergence times of primate sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50:376-390.

Light, J. E., J. M. Allen, L. M. Long, T. Carter, L. Barrow, G. Suren, D. Raoult, and D. L. Reed. 2008. Geographic distributions and origins of human head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) based on mitochondrial data. Journal of Parasitology 94(6):1275-1281.

Light, J. E., M. A. Toups, and D. L. Reed. 2008. What's in a name: the taxonomic status of human head and body lice. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 47(3):1203-1216.

Raoult, D.*, D. L. Reed*, K. Dittmar, J. J. Kirchman, Jean-Marc Rolain, Sonia Guillen, and Jessica E. Light. 2008. Molecular identification of pre-Columbian mummy lice. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 197(4):535-543. *Authors contributed equally to the work.

Allen, J. M., J. Coltrain, L. Wilkins, S. Flanagin, and D. L. Reed. 2007. Stable isotope geochemistry as a means of assessing Florida Panther diet. Florida Museum of Natural History Bulletin. 47(3):73-108

Wilkins, L., J. M. Allen, S. Flanagin, J. Coltrain, D. L. Reed. 2007. Osteology as a means of assessing Florida Panther Health, Part I in Museum specimens as a resource to assess health and diet of Florida Panthers, Florida Museum of Natural History Bulletin. 47(3):1-72.

Reed, D. L., J. E. Light, J. M. Allen, and J. J. Kirchman. 2007. Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: The evolutionary history of Anthropoid primate lice. BMC Biology 5(7).

Allen, J. M., D. L. Reed, M. A. Perotti, and H. R. Braig. 2007. Evolutionary relationships of Candidatus Riesia endosymbiotic Enterobacteriaceae living within hematophagous primate lice. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73(5):1659-1664.

Reed, D. L., V. S. Smith, A. R. Rogers, S. Hammond, and D. H. Clayton. 2004. Molecular genetic analysis of human lice supports direct contact between modern and archaic humans. Public Library of Science, Biology. 2(11):e304.

Cummings, M. P., and S. A. Handley, D. S. Myers, D. L. Reed, A. Rokas,and K. Winka. 2003. Comparing bootstrap and posterior probability values in the four taxon case. Systematic Biology 53(4):477-487.

Hafner, M. S., J.W. Demastes, T. A. Spradling, and D. L. Reed. 2003. Cophylogeny between pocket gophers and chewing lice. In Tangled trees: phylogenies, cospeciation and coevolution, (R. D. M. Page, ed.). University of Chicago Press, pp195-220

Reed, D. L. and M. S. Hafner. 2002. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial communities associated with ectoparasitic chewing lice of pocket gophers: A culture-independent approach. Microbial Ecology. 44(1):78-93.

Demastes, J. W., T. A. Spradling, M. S. Hafner, and D. L. Reed. 2002. Systematics and phylogeography of pocket gophers in the genera Cratogeomys and Pappogeomys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22(1):144-154.