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In Memoriam

Laboratorio de Biología Molecular Aplicada researchers at the Ruiz de Montoya Clinic in 2006. From Right-to-Left: Sergio Tonon, Ines Badano, J.B. Zinovich, and XXXXXX,. Photo Credit. T.G. Schurr

Sergio Andrés Tonon passed away in September 2006 at the age of 42. He was a Professor of Genetics in the Faculty of Exact Sciences at the University of Misiones in Posadas, Argentina.

Madison Pedrotty

Madison Pedrotty died in an automobile crash in Tennessee on 31 May 2018. She was 23 years old at the time of her death. Madison majored in Biology with a minor in Anthropology, and graduated from Penn in 2017. In the LMAP, she characterized mtDNA variation in Native Mexican populations as part of the Genographic Project, and wrote a senior thesis entitled, “Mitochondrial DNA Variation and Genetic History of the Cora.”

Dr. Oleg Balanovskiy

Oleg Balanovsky died tragically on 5 July 2021 while trying to save children who were drowning in a river. He was 44 years old. At the time of his death, he was the Head of the Laboratory of Genomic Geography at the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics in Moscow. He was also the Director of the Eurasia Center for the Genographic Project from 2005-15, during which his lab investigated the genetic diversity and migration history of populations living in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Dr. Carlalynne (Yarey) Melendez, with T.G. Schurr (L) and Dr. Miguel Vilar (R)

Carlalynne Melendez passed away in January 2021 due to complications related to cancer. She was the administrator of the indigenous Naguake Community located in eastern Puerto Rico, and a collaborator on studies of genetic diversity in Puerto Ricans as part of the Genographic Project. She is shown in a photo with T.G. Schurr and Dr. Miguel Vilar that was taken at the 2018 Taíno Conference in New York City.

Dr. Habib Ahmad

Habib Ahmad died on 7 April 2021 following an acute health crisis. He was laid to rest in his hometown, Matta, in Swat, Pakistan. At the time of his passing, Dr. Ahmad was a Professor of Genetics and Vice-Chancellor of Islamia College in Peshawar. He was also a collaborator on studies of genetic diversity in populations from the Khyber Pakhtunkwwa region of Pakistan.

Dr. Ade Offuniyin. Photo Credit: T.G. Schurr

Ade Offuniyin passed away on 7 October 2020 due to an acute health emergency at the age of 67. He formed the Gullah Society in 2013 to identify and preserve Charleston’s many historic Black burial grounds and pay proper tribute to the enslaved and oppressed ancestors of African Americans. In the photo above, he is standing at his family burial plot on Daniel Island, South Carolina.