Ravinder Sehgal is a professor in the Dept. of Biology at San Francisco State University where he teaches courses in parasitology and emerging infectious diseases. His research focuses on the ecology of diseases in birds. For example, he studies how deforestation affects the prevalence and diversity of avian malaria in African rainforest birds. He also uses molecular tools to understand how pathogens switch hosts and cause disease. With a background in cell biology, he takes advantage of current advances in molecular biology to address large questions in disease emergence. Since an early age, he was fascinated and saddened by the extinction of species, from dinosaurs to dodos. Through research and teaching he strives to make an impact in conservation biology. He is a vegan activist, and also an accomplished musician, playing bassoon and piano.