Research & Publications
My research focuses on acquiring a better understanding of the relationship between insect disease vectors and their associated symbiotic micro-organisms. To this end, I currently use the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans) as a model system. These insects are the sole vectors of pathogenic African trypanosomes, which are the causative agent of Human African trypanosomiasis. Tsetse flies also harbor two distinct endosymbiotic bacteria (Wigglesworthia and Sodalis) that are intimately associated with host's physiological well-being. I am interested in learning more about 1) the evolution adaptations that permit host tolerance of bacterial endosymbionts, 2) how symbiotic bacteria impact host physiology, with specific emphasis on nutritional supplementation and host immunity, and 3) how to use microbial symbionts to reduce disease vector competence.
Education & Training
- PhDUniversity of Alberta (2003)
- MScUniversity of Queensland (1997)