top of page



Current: Ph.D. student: Emmett Interdisciplinary Program of Environment & Resources, Stanford University. Advisors: Dr. Greg Asner and Dr. Kabir Peay. Other Committee Members: 

2013 MSc. Ecology, University of Groningen. Advisor: Dr. Han Olff.

2013 MSc. Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University and Universite Montpellier II. Advisor: Dr. Charles Davis

2010 B.A. Biology; Specialization in Molecular Biology, New York University.

Publications and Presentations

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles​

  1. Clarkson JJ, Pennington TD, Chase MW, Haynes G, Engstrand RC, Kaye M, Michalak I, Muellner-Riehl A. Phylogenetic relationships in Trichilia (MELIACEAE) based on ribosomal ITS sequences. Phytotaxa 259(1): 6-17. 2016​

  2. Thomann M, Imbert E, Engstrand RC, Cheptou P-O. "Contemporary evolution of plant reproductive strategies under global change is revealed by stored seeds." Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(4): 766-778. 2015​

  3. Pineda Catalan O, Perkins S, Pierce M, Engstrand RC, Garcia-Davila C, Pinedo-Vasquez M, Aguirre A. Revision of Hemoproteid Genera and Description and Redescription of Two Species of Chelonian Hemoproteid Parasites. Journal of Parasitology 99(6): 1089-1098. 2013

  4. Engstand RC, Cibrian-Tovar J, Cibrián-Jaramillo A, Kolokotronis SO. Genetic variation of avocado stem weevils Copturus aguacatae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Mexico. Mitochondrial DNA 21(S1): 38-43. 2010

Book Chapters

  1. Clarkson JJ, Pennington TD, Haynes G, Engstrand RC, Kaye M & Chase MW. A phylogenetic analysis of Guarea In: A revision of Guarea (Meliaceae). T. D. Pennington & J. J. Clarkson. Cambridge University Press, pp. 180-189. 2013

Manuscripts in Review

  1. Pineda Catalan O, Engstrand RC, Garcia-Davila C, Aquirre A, Pinedo-Vasquez M, Amato G, Perkins S. Reclassifying malaria parasites in turtles: two new species and their phylogenetic relationship with other Haemosporidia. Journal of Parasitology

Manuscripts in Preparation

  1. Engstrand RC, Cappellari SC, Willis CG, Primack RB, Miller-Rushing AJ, Davis CC. Plant-pollinator interactions and the effect of climate change: a community phylogenetic perspective.


  • "The biodiversity within: the genetic diversity of Amazonian river turtles and their parasites." NYU Undergraduate Research Colloquium, 2010.

Teaching and Mentoring Experience



  • Introduction to R, Fordham University. Designed and taught a one day workshop on R basics and graphing. 2015

  • DNA Barcoding, American Museum of Natural History. Designed and taught a one day workshop. 2011



  • From Freshwater to Oceans to Land Systems: An Earth System Perspective to Global Challenges, TA, Stanford University, 2017

  • Evolution of Life In Ecuador, Bing Overseas Study Program, Stanford University, 2017


Mentoring of students

  • Mentor and supervisor of undergraduate researcher Ali Hoffer, Stanford University. 2017-current.

  • Taught basic laboratory methods and DNA sequencing to HS, BSc and MSc students at the American Museum of Natural History and Fordham University. 2009-2011; 2014-2015.

Other teaching experience

  • Grocery Store Botany, Designed and taught a two-hour plant systematics class using grocery store produce for Bay Area high school students. Stanford SPLASH Program, 2017

Grants and Honors Awarded


Fellowships and Scholarships

  • Haas Center Graduate Public Service Fellowship, 2017 

  • William C. and Jeanne M. Landreth IPER Fellowship, 2015-present 

  • Erasmus Mundus Scholar, 2011-2013

  • Milosevic & Kovacevich half-tuition merit scholarship, New York University, 2006-2010         



  • National Geographic Early Career Research Grant, 2017

  • Mentoring Undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Research (MUIR) Fund, Stanford Woods Institute, 2017

  • E-IPER Research Grant, Stanford University, 2016, 2017, 2018

  • McGee Levorsen Research Grant, Stanford University, 2016, 2017

  • Groninger Universiteitsfond, University of Groningen, 2013

  • Collegiate Research Scholar, New York University, 2010

  • Rudin Research Grant, New York University, 2009

Society and Travel Grants

  • Field Research Travel Grant, Stanford Center for Latin American Studies, Stanford University, 2016

  • Marco Polo Travel Grant, University of Groningen, 2013


Other Honors

  • National Geographic Explorer, 2017

  • American Museum of Natural History, Intern of The Year Award, 2010

  • New York University, Undergraduate Intern Award, 2009


Miscellaneous Skills, Hobbies, and Interests


  • English (native), Spanish (fluent)

  • R (advanced), MATLAB (intermediate), python (intermediate)

  • Emergency First Aid & CPR Certified

  • PADI Open Water SCUBA Certified

  • New York State Boat Operator License

  • Heavy machinery operation

  • Hiking, road biking, horseback riding, gardening, photography, cooking, baking, sculpting (glass, paper, wire), motorcycling.

bottom of page