Caroline Keroack

Caroline Keroack
Master’s Student
Ford Hall 132
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
(413) 585-4668





This was my halloween costume this year, a heart worm of course!


M.S. Biological Sciences (Anticipated May, 2016)
Smith College, Northampton MA

B.A., Biological Sciences; B.A., Chemistry (Received May, 2014)
Smith College, Northampton MA GPA: 3.81


Selected Awards & Honors

2015               Best Student Presentation for “Assessing the Spread of Seal Heartworm Using Molecular Techniques”, New England Association of Parasitologists

2015               Outstanding Student Paper Award for “Absence of Wolbachia in Seal Heartworm (Acanthocheilonema spirocauda) with Evidence of Lateral Gene Transfer”, American Society of Parasitologists

2015               Ester Carpenter Award for general biology

2014               Yi Tan and Qingfu Zeng Memorial Award For Excellence, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc

2014               Margaret Temple Brigham Award for excellence in microbiology and immunology


Keroack, C. Wurster, J. Decker, C. Slatko, B. Foster, J. Williams, S. “Absence of the Filarial Endosymbiont Wolbachia in Seal Heartworm (Acanthocheilonema spirocauda) but Evidence of Lateral Gene Transfer. 2015. Journal of Parasitology. Accepted.

Keroack, C. “Nematode Parasites of Marine Mammals: Phylogenetic and Statistical Analysis of Coevolution” Smith College, Honors Thesis. 2014.

award photo

After an amazing trip to the American Society for Parasitologists conference in Omaha, NE, where I had the pleasure of giving a talk about my work on absence Wolbachia in seal heart worm, I was honored with one of two awards for Outstanding Student Paper! If you ever have a change to go to Omaha, definitely check out the zoo!



My team – the Marine Mammal Parasite People!

Current Research

I am currently sequencing and annotating mitochondrial genomes of marine mammal parasites for phylogenetic analysis and diagnostic assay development. Additionally, I am working on confirming the spread of particular marine mammal parasites beyond their normal host range using molecular techniques. A third branch of my team’s research focuses on the evolutionary relationship between filarial parasites of wildlife and the endosymbiont Wolbachia.



Research Interests

– Parasitology, Infectious Disease

– Wild Life Disease Biology, Zoonosis

– Marine Biology

– Coevolution, Phylogenetics, Systematics

research photo

This is an intestinal nematode of a harp seal, collected by the Mystic Aquarium. We take a small portion of every nematode we receive to isolate DNA and ultimately determine the species using single gene “barcodes”: information that we then relay back to the collecting agencies. To date, we have received parasites from the Mystic Aquarium, New England Aquarium, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the National Marine Life Center, and the North East Fisheries Service.


A sample of my work- a self portrait painted during my sophomore year as an undergraduate at Smith College.

General Interests

Swimming, painting, cooking


One of my incredible undergraduates, Kalani Williams, and I working on preparing master mix for PCR.