Current Research Interests

 

My program involves the investigation of vertebrate-invertebrate interactions and is primarily one of parasitology with an emphasis on arthropods. Vertebrates are studied since they promote arthropod dispersion by defensive movements, promote arthropod aggregation by host emanations, and provide energy for arthropod reproduction. Vertebrate pathogenic agents are studied because they are economically important and because they provide valuable clues regarding the coevolution of arthropods and vertebrates. Arthropod studies are usually designed around two-factor (host and arthropod) or three-factor (host, parasite, and vector) complexes. The emphasis of the program is to provide information that can be used to interrupt or reduce the impact of two and three factor "disease".

 

 The study of tabanids (Horse flies and deer flies) is a major thrust of my program. We have worked on a model system for describing the importance of mechanical transmission in the epidemiology of certain diseases, with particular emphasis on equine infectious anemia, bovine leukemia, and anaplasmosis. Basic tabanid biology studies concentrate on the movement of tabanids in association with domestic animals. Recent emphasis has been placed upon the factors which affect tabanid host location.

 

 Horn flies, Culicoides and fleas are other insects that are routinely studied. Responses of horn fly populations relative to environmental conditions is studied with particular emphasis on insecticide resistance mechanisms. Our studies on Culicoides are focused on transmission of onchocerciasis and blue tongue virus. The flea project has oriented toward development of integrated flea control programs.