I am a molecular evolutionary biologist, primarily interested in the interactions of arthropods with symbiotic bacteria, plants, and pesticides. My research focuses on trait and genome evolution that is driven by ecological interactions and toxins.
As model systems, I mainly use plant feeding spider mites of three different genera; Tetranychus, Bryobia, and Brevipalpus, and their bacterial symbionts; Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, and Cardinium. These arthropod herbivores display great variation in their host plant range with some species being strictly monophagous, whereas others are highly polyphagous.
I use the breadth of these systems to study:
(1) the eco-evolutionary dynamics of arthropod-microbe symbioses
(2) the genetic architecture underpinning pesticide resistance
(3) the molecular basis of arthropod herbivory