Liz is a 4th year PhD student pursuing her degree though the City University of New York. The focus of her dissertation research is the systematics, phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history of the bloodfeeding terrestrial leeches from the IndoPacific. This expedition is designed principally to support her investigations. Her first horrid (at the time) encounter with these tiny vampires of the jungles was as an undergrad at SUNY Stony Brook while engaging in primate work in Madagascar. Little did she know that this experience would come back to haunt her and lead her to travel the world in search of leeches, first as Dr. Siddall's Scientific Assistant at the AMNH and later as his student specializing in those very same creatures.