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Prosser Lab Personnel

Current and past members of Diann Prosser’s lab at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Eastern Ecological Science Center.

Dr. Diann J. Prosser examining a ruddy shelduck

Diann Prosser, Research Wildlife Ecologist

Diann Prosser is a research wildlife ecologist at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center, where she has been working since 1998. Diann's work focuses on understanding the role of wild waterfowl in the persistence, spread, and amplification of avian influenza viruses both in the United States and around the globe. Within the United States, Diann is working on an approach to integrate spatio-temporal data on waterfowl and poultry distributions with information such as species-specific shedding rates and prevalence rates to predict transmission from wild to domestic birds at high resolution. Internationally, Diann continues extensive collaborative efforts to understand how factors such as land use change are impacting transmission risk across Southeast Asia. Diann also conducts efforts aimed at understanding how restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay impact colonial-nesting waterbirds.

Contact Diann: 301-497-5914

Jeff Sullivan
Jeff Sullivan profile photo


Jeffery Sullivan, Biologist

Jeff Sullivan is a biologist at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center, where he has been working since 2016. He received his Master’s degree in Wildlife Science from Auburn University where he studied the movement ecology of white-tailed deer. At EESC, Jeff’s work primarily focuses on assisting Diann Prosser's research projects including efforts to understand the persistence, spread, and amplification of Avian Influenza in wild waterfowl and domestic poultry. Additionally, Jeff assists with long-term efforts exploring how the development of an environmental restoration site, Poplar Island, impacts colonial-nesting waterbirds in the Chesapeake Bay.

Contact Jeff: 301-497-5914


Person with bird
Lauren Lescure holding a Common Tern chick



Lauren Lescure, Field Lead

Lauren Lescure is a research technician at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center, where she has been employed since September 2021 after receiving her Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Manitoba where she studied predator-prey dynamics of alcids in Newfoundland. Lauren is the field lead on Poplar Island. She works with members of the Prosser Lab to coordinate all research efforts aimed at understanding hatching success, fledging success and overall health of the Least Tern and Common Tern populations that nest on Poplar Island each year.

Person with bird
Ayla McDonough holding a Common Tern chick



Ayla McDonough, Research Technician

Ayla McDonough is a research technician at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center. She received her MS in Environmental Science from Towson University in 2021 after collaborating with Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) to complete research evaluating the effect of the Maryland Green Schools Program on Maryland’s local environment. Ayla joined the team in April 2022 and has been assisting with tasks encompassing research efforts to monitor nesting Least Terns and Common Terns as means to evaluate the effect of restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay on colonial-nesting waterbirds.

Matthew Gonnerman holding a wild turkey in the snow
This photo shows Matthew Gonnerman holding a wild turkey captured for previous field work exploring turkey ecology.



Matt Gonnerman, Ecologist

Matt Gonnerman is a movement and population ecologist who joined the Prosser lab in September 2022. He previously attended graduate school at Auburn University and the University of Maine where he has studied multiple aspects of wild turkey ecology. This work included efforts to improve monitoring of wild turkey populations as well as to understand how their movement ecology impacts fitness, density, and harvest. As part of a larger collaborative effort, Matt studied impacts of LPDV, among other diseases, on turkey survival and reproduction. As a member of the Prosser lab, Matt studies the spatial dynamics of avian influenza, currently how aspects of the landscape and farming practices may contribute to spillover of AI from wild waterfowl populations into poultry farms.

Claire Teitelbaum



Claire Teitelbaum, Post-doc

Claire has been a post-doc in the Prosser lab group since 2021. Claire’s current work focuses on understanding the ecology of avian influenza viruses in wild waterfowl, including interactions with contaminants and relationships between influenza infection and bird movement behavior. She earned her PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2021, where she studied the potential impacts of land-use change on animal movement behavior and infectious disease transmission.

Cody Kent conducting fieldwork



Cody Kent, Post-doc

Cody Kent is currently an Assistant Professor at Frostburg State University, after serving as a post-doc with Diann Prosser and Jennifer Mullinax from 2020-2022. Cody received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University, working on competition and coexistence mechanisms in migrant warblers wintering in Jamaica. Primary work with the Prosser Lab includes modeling avian influenza prevalence in wild waterfowl and quantifying the spatiotemporal risk of spillover events into domestic poultry operations. Additional work in collaboration with the Mullinax lab at the University of Maryland includes collaborating with graduate students to quantify deer and mouse habitat use as it pertains to the risk of Lyme Disease in suburban Maryland.  ​​

Shenglai Yin



Shenglai Yin, Post-doc

Shenglai is a disease ecologist and joined the team in July 2022. Shenglai received his Ph.D. at Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands and was a post-doc researcher at Nanjing Normal University in China. He studied the potential consequences of habitat loss on waterfowl migration and transmission of the avian influenza virus (AIV) in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) by using an Agent-based model. He also examined the effects of functional and phylogenetic diversities in waterbird communities on the risk of highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) occurrence. His current work focuses on using an Agent-based model and Decision-making analysis to explore the persistence of HPAIV in breeding waterfowl populations and testing the potential consequence of rice paddy changes on the HPAIV transmission in EAAF.

Previous Lab Members
  • Andrew Rapp - Chesapeake Conservation Corps Student
  • Natalie Hays - Poplar Island Intern
  • Evan Buck – Field Lead
  • Allison Hendryx - ESA Intern
  • Andrea Contina - Post-doc
  • Carson Coriell - Waterfowl Intern
  • Chris Gilbert - Field Lead
  • Dimitri Pappas - Poplar Intern
  • Eddie Gaylord - Poplar Intern
  • Evan Buck – Field Lead
  • Georgia Riggs - Field Lead
  • Gwendolyn Zeckowski - Poplar Intern
  • Hosung Brian Lee - Research Technician
  • Ishan Merkle - Poplar Intern
  • Jack Taylor – CCC student
  • Jennifer Wall - Poplar Intern/CCC student
  • Joshua Driscol - ESA Intern
  • Julia Geschke - Poplar Intern
  • Kaitlyn Reintsma - Field Lead
  • Katherine Dale - Field Lead
  • Katie Devos - Poplar Intern
  • Kayla Harvey - Poplar Intern
  • Lucas Howell - Poplar Intern
  • Matthew Hack - Field Lead
  • Meghan McHenry - Poplar Intern
  • Mia Zimnick - Poplar Intern
  • Nina Black - Poplar Intern
  • Olivia Butler - Poplar Intern
  • Paul Marban - Graduate Student
  • Rebecca Natoli - Poplar Intern
  • Saba Rahman - Poplar Intern
  • Sophie Hull - Poplar Intern