Alexandre Harris

Alexandre Harris

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Interest

I am interested in characterizing the microbiomes of diverse African populations. Understanding the microbiome is key to understanding the health of any population, and I am particularly interested in approaching this topic from a metabolic perspective. To do this, I am studying the interaction between host metabolic traits, host genome, and microbiome functions, using various approaches. My hope is to translate this work toward health interventions in global populations with African ancestry.



Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biosciences
Advisor: Michael DeGiorgio


B.S. with Honors | summa cum laude, Arizona State University
Genetics, Developmental, and Cell Biology / Biochemistry (Concurrent Degrees)
Honors thesis: Characterization and Phylogeny of Wolbachia Endosymbiont Infections in the Harvester Ant Genus Pogonomyrmex. Advisor: Juergen Gadau

Research Experience

2016 – 2020

Doctoral Thesis Research, Pennsylvania State University
Michael DeGiorgio: Method development in population genetics, focusing on detecting and classifying selective sweep signatures.

2015 – 2016

Research Assistant, Pennsylvania State University
Anthony P. Schmitt: Study of assembly and budding of mumps virus and parainfluenza virus 5

11/2014 - 12/2014

Research Rotation:, Pennsylvania State University
Supervisor: Aimin Liu; Ciliogenesis in mammalian models

9/2014 – 10/2014

Research Rotation, Pennsylvania State University
Supervisor: Anthony P. Schmitt; Paramyxovirus budding and assembly

8/2014 – 9/2014

Research Rotation, Pennsylvania State University
Supervisor: Diana Cox-Foster; Honeybee health and immunology

8/2012 - 12/2012

Undergraduate Research
Supervisor: Jennifer H. Fewell; Microsatellite genotype analysis of P. californicus queens (Arizona State University)
Supervisor: Jennifer H. Fewell; Behavioral analyses of Pogonomyrmex californicus ants (Arizona State University)
Supervisor: Martha S. Hunter; Studying the reproductive effect of Wolbachia endosymbiont infection of Eretmocerus emiratus wasps (University of Arizona)

Awards and Scholarships

2018, 2019

Huck Institutes travel grant, Pennsylvania State University

2017, 2018, 2019

Department of Biology travel grant, Pennsylvania State University

2017, 2018

J. Ben and Helen D. Hill Memorial Fund, Pennsylvania State University

2014 – 2017

Verne M. Willaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University (tuition support)

2010 - 2014

New American University Scholarship, Arizona State University (tuition support)


AM Harris, M DeGiorgio (2020). A likelihood approach for uncovering selective sweep signatures from haplotype data. Molecular Biology and Evolution link

AM Harris, M DeGiorgio (2020). Identifying and classifying shared selective sweeps from multilocus data. Genetics 215:143-171.

AM Harris, NR Garud, M DeGiorgio (2018).Detection and classification of hard and soft sweeps from unphased genotypes by multilocus genotype identity. Genetics 210:1429-1452.

AM Harris, M DeGiorgio (2017). Admixture and ancestry inference from ancient and modern samples through measures of population genetic drift. Human Biology 89:1

AM Harris, M DeGiorgio (2017). An unbiased estimator of gene diversity with improved variance for samples containing related and inbred individuals of any ploidy. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 7:671-691

E Chiel, SE Kelly, AM Harris, M Gebiola, X Li, E Zchori-Fein, MS Hunter (2014). Characteristics, phenotype and transmission of Wolbachia in the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), and its parasitoid Eretmocerus sp. nr. emiratus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae).