Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Department of Integrative Biology University of California, Berkeley
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Anh-Thu Elaine Vo

PhD Student (University of California, Berkeley)

Email: vo [at]

Thesis title: To be determined.


Field of Interest

My research interests involve the integration of environmental toxicology, conservation genetics, and disease ecology. During my undergraduate thesis research, I focused on historical and current patterns of mercury exposure and the evolutionary genetics of heavy metal regulation in the endangered Black-footed Albatross. For my PhD project, I am interested in understanding the effects of anthropogenic toxicants on avian physiology and how these effects may support avian-hosted disease emergence, propagation, and spread. Through contaminant quantification, stable isotope profiles, immunological assessments, disease prevalence surveys, pathogen transmission modeling, and molecular markers, I hope to gain insight into possible links between individual-level immune processes, population-level environmental variables, and community-level disease dynamics. Ultimately, I aim to address questions regarding both the current ecological implications and the future evolutionary response of avian populations exposed to human environmental impacts, and I would like to explore the potential societal ramifications of these impacts.



  • Vo, A., Dikou, A., and Newman, S. (2008) Biological, Socioeconomic, and Political Aspects of the Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) Fishery in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal I(1):80-87.