Areas of Expertise:
Insect Vector Biology, Reproductive Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology
Glossina morsitans, Aedes aegypti
My research focuses upon the reproductive biology of insect vectors of human disease. My Ph.D. thesis in Dr. Alex Raikhels lab focused upon the effects of nutritional components of blood (amino acids) upon the transcriptional regulation of yolk protein genes in the Yellow Fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Following that I worked for 13 years, first as a Postdoc and then a Research Scientist, at Yale University with Dr. Serap Aksoy on the reproductive biology of tsetse flies. I have recently started
a lab group in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of California, Davis. My work here is a continuation of my work on tsetse and involves the molecular characterization of reproductive processes of the viviparous Tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans). This work targets multiple aspects of reproduction in tsetse including nutrient metabolism and mobilization to the intrauterine offspring; identification and characterization of reproductive genes and regulatory mechanisms; the role of the obligatory symbiotic bacteria wigglesworthia in tsetse fertility.