I am interested in how parasites cope with the challenges associated with living inside a host and the impact of their coping mechanisms on host health. The parasitic lifestyle is wrought with dangers: a host might try to get rid of its parasites by taking an antimicrobial drug or mounting an immune response. Alternatively, a host may be eaten by a predator or encounter harsh environmental conditions and so alter the fate of its parasites, indirectly. What adaptations allow parasites to survive these stresses and how do they arise? What are the consequences of these adaptations for the health of hosts & the environments they live in? On the other hand, how do hosts control the growth of a parasite population that's living within them? By exploring these questions, I hope to explain the rich variety in parasite lifestyles, understand the underlying causes of the symptoms of disease and design new ways to prevent parasites from evolving or expressing traits, such as drug resistance and virulence, that make humans and animals sick. To ask these questions I use experiments, fieldwork and theoretical tools. To find out more about specific projects I am working on, see my research page.
I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Michigan, where I work with Meghan Duffy & Aaron King. Previously, I completed my PhD with Andrew Read at Penn State University's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and worked at EcoHealth Alliance. Before I discovered my love of all things parasitic, I did my undergraduate degree in the (sometimes equally-grisly) subject of Archaeology & Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in England, where I was born & raised. For my full CV, click here.