Ecological maintenance of endemic pathogens
We study a variety of pathogens with the goal of understanding how endemicity influences their spread or emergence in a region. Specifically research in this regard investigates the maintenance of the frog chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), tick-borne Borrelia and Hantavirus infections in wildlife hosts from the Western US. This research involves mark-recapture studies in a number of wildlife hosts.
Pathogen Evolution in reservoir hosts
We investigate how reservoir hosts in particular influence the evolution of pathogens. To this end, we use surveillance data and experimentation to describe the differences in evolutionary trajectories between hypothesized reservoir hosts and others within the community. Studies here attempt to address how differential selection in a community influences pathogen evolution. Members of the group conduct research on diverse hosts including amphibian, reptiles, rodents and bats.
Our lab uses qPCR followed by sequencing to evaluate patterns of molecular evolution and epidemiology.
Zoonotic and Vector-borne diseases
Our group is open to research on a variety of zoonotic and vector-borne pathogens. Current projects include investigations of Borrelia (agents of Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever) throughout the Western US, Hantavirus surveillance in Northern Arizona, and pathogen identification and risk within Grand Canyon National Park.