Ali Khalighifar Ornithology photo

Ali Khalighifar

PhD Candidate

Ali is a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology mentored by Prof. Town Peterson.  His research is focused on designing automated species identification systems, including both image- and signal-processing techniques, using deep neural networks. He is also interested in vector-borne diseases, biogeography, and ecological niche modeling.


(1) Gurgel-Gonçalves R, Komp E, Campbell LP, Khalighifar A, Mellenbruch J, Mendonça VJ, Owens HL, de la Cruz Felix K, Peterson AT, Ramsey JM. (2017). Automated identification of insect vectors of Chagas disease in Brazil and Mexico: the Virtual Vector Lab. PeerJ 5:e3040

(2) Khalighifar A, Komp E, Ramsey JM, Gurgel-Gonçalves R, Peterson AT. (2019). Deep learning algorithms improve automated identification of Chagas disease vectors. Journal of Medical Entomology,

(3) Khalighifar A, Jiménez L, Nuñez-Penichet C, Freeman B, Ingenloff K, Jiménez-García D, Peterson AT. (2019). Inventory statistics meet big data: Complications for estimating numbers of species. (Submitted).

(4) Machado-Stredel F, Freeman B, Jiménez-García D, Cobos ME, Nuñez-Penichet C, Jiménez L, Komp E, Perktas U, Khalighifar A, Ingenloff K, Tapondjou W, de Silva T, Fernando S, Osorio-Olvera L, Campbell LP, Peterson AT. (2019). Decadal-scale avifaunal change at sites across the United States and Canada. (Submitted).


B.S., Department of Natural Resources Management, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, 2008 – 2012

M.S., Department of Natural Resources Management, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, 2012 – 2015

Professional Presentations: 

Khalighifar, A., 2017. Automating Identification of Vector Insects. Invited presentation. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas

Khalighifar, A., 2018. Automated Identification of Chagas Disease vectors. Conference presentation. Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, University of California, Berkeley