Curator of Mammals
David Reed grew up in a family of musicians.
Thanks to an influential science teacher in high school, he enrolled in a marine biology program and went on to graduate school at Louisiana State University, where he studied coevolution with Mark Hafner, one of its pioneers.
Reed is best known for research that explores human evolution through the lens of our species’ longtime traveling companion, the lowly louse.
Results on human migration have received widespread public attention and even a wag of the finger from Stephen Colbert.
As curator of mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Reed oversees more than 30,000 mammal specimens collected around the world.
He and his students also study the effects of climate change on mammal populations. He also developed a course with Bruce MacFadden that teaches graduate students how to better communicate with public audiences.