Alec Downie

Alec is fascinated by life history evolution and the multivariate drivers of variation in immune phenotype. He brings phylogenetic, comparative, and behavioral perspectives to generate broad understanding of the diversity of life histories and immunological strategies that hosts exhibit. He is especially interested in sexual dimorphism in immune function and the immunological effects of social life!


Ph.D. candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

2018 – 2020
M.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

2016 – 2017
M.Phil. in Biological Anthropological Science
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

2012 – 2016
B.S. with Distinction in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Yale University


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Paul Mellon Fellowship; Clare College, University of Cambridge
Edgar J. Boell Prize for Excellence in Biology; Yale University

Scientific Posts

2017 – 2018
Postbaccalaureate Research Fellow
Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health

Additional Publications

M. A. Sinnott-Armstrong, A. E. Downie, S. Federman, A. Valido, P. Jordano, M. J. Donoghue. 2018. Global geographic patterns in the colours and sizes of animal-dispersed fruits. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 27:1-13.

S. Federman, A. Dornburg, D. C. Daly, A. E. Downie, G. H. Perry, A. D. Yoder, E. J. Sargis, A. Richard, M. J. Donoghue, A. L. Baden. 2016. Implications of lemuriform extinctions for the Malagasy flora. Proc Nat Acad Sci 113:5041-5046.

S. Federman, A. Dornburg, A. E. Downie, A. Richard, D. C. Daly, M. J. Donoghue. 2015. The biogeographic origin of a radiation of trees in Madagascar: Implications for the assembly of a tropical forest biome. BMC Evol Biol 15:216.

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