Christopher Whipps

Christopher Whipps

Director, SUNY Center for Applied Microbiology and Assoc Professor

133 Illick Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-4762/470-6760


Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Carolyn ChangCarolyn Chang

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Whipps
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: University of Waterloo (Biology)
  • Previous Graduate Study: Saint Mary (Biology )

Personal Website
Web Link

Personal Statement
I am currently a PhD Candidate in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management at SUNY-ESF. I work in the Whipps Fish and Wildlife Disease Laboratory in the Department of Environment and Forest Biology at ESF. My research focuses on controlling an infectious disease in laboratory fish. My research is on mycobacteriosis, a bacterial disease caused by several species and strains of Mycobacterium. Mycobacteriosis is the second most common infectious disease in laboratory zebrafish. I am working to improve our understanding the disease ecology of mycobacteriosis in the zebrafish host. I hope to use these insights to implement successful disease management measures and prevent outbreaks of this disease in laboratory fish.

Graduate Research Topic
Control of Infectious Diseases in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Cassandra ElliottCassandra Elliott

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Whipps
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Research Highlight
My interests are in captive population management, specifically with the incorporation of genomic data into breeding studbooks in efforts to reduce the negative impact of inbreeding for endangered species managed through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Currently I am partnered with the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY to elucidate the markhor goat (Capra falconeri heptneri)genome by identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), a stable marker used to calculate population statistics like genetic diversity and inbreeding coefficients, as well as addressing pedigree anomalies such as unknown paternity. Phase I of our study is exploratory, to determine if the domestic goat reference genome is suitable for discovering SNPs in markhor, while creating a reference library. Phase II will utilize the reference library and the domestic goat reference genome to make inferences on the genetic health of both the captive and wild population. My goal is to leave SUNY ESF with the ability to use molecular techniques with the knowledge gained in population management to work towards improving captive population breeding standards.

Emily GavardEmily Gavard

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Ryan and Whipps
  • Area of Study: Conservation Biology

Samantha MelloSamantha Mello

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Whipps and Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: University of Connecticut (Environmental Science)

Graduate Research Topic
Currently, I am an M.S. student in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management at SUNY-ESF studying under Dr. Jonathan Cohen and Dr. Christopher Whipps working on the New England cottontail project. My research interest is in parasite-mediated competition between the native New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) and the non-native Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). I will be looking at ecto- and endoparasites of the two species and comparing the species of parasites found. I will also be conducting tick drags through our sites to determine if there is a difference in species composition or abundance between different habitat types.

Favorite Quote
Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.


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