Maddy Bursell

PhD Student

Bioinformatics Graduate Program
Email: mgbursel (at)

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology and a minor in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University in April 2021. During my undergraduate degree, my research focused on caddisfly silk elemental analysis and clouded leopard conservation genomics. In collaboration with the Smithsonian Data Science Lab, I assembled and annotated the first whole genomes for Neofelis nebulosa and Neofelis diardi, and performed analyses to better understand their genetic health, evolution, and demographic histories. I am currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Bioinformatics program studying whether we can use machine learning methods to design optimal genomic surveillance strategies and predict if an outbreak will develop into a global pandemic.