Juan C. Santos -- PI

I am a molecular ecologist and evolutionary biologist with interest in ectotherms (frogs and lizards). My research is centered on: (1) Neotropical biogeography and physiological consequences of climate change on ectotherms; (2) Phenotypic adaptations and genomic-trasncriptomic bases of anti-predator defense mechanisms and sexual dimorphism; and (3) Systematics, taxonomy, and natural history of New World reptiles and amphibians. I used bioinformatic tools to address these research interests and I help collaborators to develop and implement such approaches for other biological questions (e.g., comparative analyses in ants and ecophysiology in plants). In 2017, I joined the SJU at Department of Biological Sciences (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) as an Assistant Professor


Master's Students


Maryna Vicinanza

Maryna is a Master’s student in the St. John’s University Biology Program. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology 2015 with Boston University and, is currently researching climate change and bioinformatics of frogs and lizards. She is from New York and, enjoys pasta and working outdoors




Priyangi Jayasuriya

Priyangi is pursuing her Master’s degree in biology at St. John’s University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Sacred Heart University in biology. Currently, her research is focused on bioinformatics and genomics of frogs. Her hobbies include dance, running, and playing with her English bulldog




Benjamin de Leon III

Benjamin is a BS/MS student in the department of biology at St. John's University. He will complete his undergraduate degree in the spring of 2018. He is currently using bioinformatics to research lizards endemic to the island of New Caledonia. He enjoys writing, reading, and playing music.




Christopher Rivera

Christopher is a Master's student in St. John's University Biology Program. He completed his undergraduate degree at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He is interested on amphibian transcriptomics and gene evolution. His hobbies include working out and video games.




Undergraduate Students


Giang (Jacelyn) Vo

Jacelyn is a junior with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She is helping us with the amphibian life history database. She enjoys working out, doing outdoor sports and cooking. Jacelyn thinks that animals are all friends, so she wants to become a veterinarian or a nutritionist.




Past members


Bijaya Gaire (Summer, 2018) -- Rotating Biological Sciences PhD student


Giang (Jacelyn) Vo (Spring/Summer, 2018) -- Biology Undergraduate student


Valeria Miranda (Spring, 2018) -- Biology Undergraduate student