Research in our lab centers around evolutionary processes in wildlife, from adaptation to changing conditions to diversification across space and time. Much of our work uses wildlife diseases as models to study adaptation. We combine field and lab approaches with genomic and bioinformatic tools to understand evolution in complex disease systems. Current research in the lab occurs in three main systems: 1) avian malaria in Hawaiian honeycreepers, 2) sylvatic plague in prairie dogs, and 3) parasites and pathogens of capybaras. These systems are explored across spatial and phylogenetic scales ranging from microevolution within populations to spatially dynamic communities in metapopulations to multiple species across a phylogeny.
May 2023: We are thrilled that our project "Predicting the evolution of disease resistance in heterogeneous landscapes" was funded by NSF! This project builds on a lot of ongoing work and also has some exciting new dimensions and collaborations. Prospective students can find out more here.
March 2023: Very excited to see the fruit of a long labor by our colleague Kristina Paxton in our paper on the transcriptome response to experimental avian malaria infection in Hawai'i 'amakihi. Read the paper here!
Fall 2022: We are happy to welcome our newest PhD student, Jordan Love, to the lab. Jordan comes to us by way of Louisiana Tech and Mississippi College and has received a fellowship to work on prairie dog fleas and pathogens. Excited to have you here, Jordan!
March 2022: Carlos was awarded a Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship to explore changes in the genomes of endangered and stable Hawaiian honeycreepers. Congratulations, Carlos!
November 2021: Loren is off to Colombia on a Fulbright award to pursue capybara infectious disease research. She will be collaborating with Universidad de los Andes scientists. See more here. Wish her luck!
October 2021: Our latest paper -- led by University of South Florida undergraduate Chadwick Kaufmann -- has been published! Read here about fine-scale spatial variation in soil microbial communities in different partitions of prairie dog burrows. Fantastic job, Chadwick!
August 2021: Welcome to our newest PhD student, Carlos Campos! Carlos comes to us from New Mexico State University and has received a fellowship to work on genomics of Hawaiian honeycreepers. We are excited to have you here, Carlos!
March 2021: Our paper on endangered Kaua'i honeycreeper genetics has been published! This was a huge collaborative effort and we want to express gratitude towards our colleagues at Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who are doing the hard work on the ground. Check out our paper here.
February 2021: Sydni's paper presenting genomic resources for prairie dogs has been published! You can view it here.
January 2021: We are excited to welcome new student Anna Jackson, who will be working on prairie dog evolution. Glad to have you here, Anna!