Evolutionary Genetics of Vector and Parasite Populations

Evolutionary Genetics of Vector and Parasite Populations

We are using population genetics and genomic approaches to gain insight on the evolutionary history of disease vectors and their parasites. Data on patterns and levels of genetic differentiation of vector population provide information on the spatial structuring of these populations, their sizes and their stability over time. This in turn provides data to estimate levels of past and present connectivity among vector populations, which can be used to implement empirically based control strategies. Similarly, we are involved in understanding patterns and levels of genetic diversity in parasites and symbionts  to gain insights in their past and current history and provide baseline data to predict their potential spread.

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) (a.k.a. African sleeping sickness) kills thousands of people each year in sub-Saharan Africa. The Animal African trypanososmias (AAT) or Nagana kills cattle and other livestock, thus impacts African economic in significant ways. Both disease are caused by the African trypanosomes in the Trypanosoma brucei complex and are transmitted by tsetse flies species... Read more
Determination of critical components of pathogen transmission is essential in the development of effective interventions against important tick-borne infectious disease threats such as Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Accordingly, we are using population genomic approaches to understand the evolutionary history of the tick parasites responsible for these diseases, Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia... Read more
The Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus, is one of the most important pest species globally and the main reservoir of leptospires causing human leptospirosis in the urban slums of tropical regions.  We are part of an international team studying leptospirosis in the favelas of Salvador (Brazil). We are using population genetic approaches to understand the patterns and levels of genetic differentiation... Read more
We are interested in studying patterns and levels of genetic diversity at neutral and non-neutral DNA regions to understand the worldwide history of colonization of these two mosquitoes species, the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and the tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Presently, these species are major health concerns, as they are both powerful invaders and most importantly they are... Read more
We continue our work aimed at understanding patterns of genetic and ecological diversification between and within populations of the main vector of malaria in Africa, the mosquitoes of the Anopheles gambiae complex. The overall aim of the projects are to achieve a better understanding of the population biology of the vector to control the disease it transmits. Work in this area includes 1)... Read more
While a Graduate student at Yale, Mike Reddy’s main research interests include malaria and arthropode-borne disease ecology; mosquito vector population dynamics; and anti-vector intervention design and implementation. Mike was involved in a multi-agency collaborative effort with officials from the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Health, the Marathon Oil Corporation and Medical Care... Read more
Lee was interested in elucidating the evolutionary relationships of isomorphic Phlebotomine sand flies for the reliable identification of species and clarification their role in Leishmania transmission. He is using population genetics to determine sand fly abundance, distribution and migration rates, aids public health departments in disrupting the disease vectors transmission cycles.    Lee... Read more
Mycorrhizal fungi are obligatory plant symbionts of trees in forests with networks that connect the roots of trees and seedlings. These networks are thought to mediate overstorey-understorey competition and influence the rate and trajectory of forest succession.  There are several different hypothesized mechanisms by which these networks might influence tree-seedling interactions, one of which... Read more
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