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Recruiting SMP students

February 7, 2012

I am currently recruiting SMP students for the 2012-2013 school year.  Interested students should look over the material on this webpage, and contact me with their individual interests and background. A short summary of the projects that I will be working on is below, but I am happy to also consider other student interests as well.

Phenology of the mosquitoes of Southern Maryland

In temperate, seasonal, environments organisms maximize their fitness by growing and reproducing during the summer, mitigating the exigencies of winter through migration or dormancy, and by appropriately timing the transition between these two lifestyles. This project focuses on the latter. This project would be field-intensive. Some basic questions include: (1) What mosquitoes exist within tree-hole communities in southern Maryland, (2) What are the patterns of seasonal timing of the various species, (3) what climatic variables are associated with the timing of development in these mosquitoes, and (4) do the various species interact with each other in determining their seasonal timing? Details of this project will depend on the interests and abilities of the students involved.

Mosquito Genomics

Can sequencing genomes help us to answer fundamental questions in ecology and evolution? Yes! My work generally focuses on mosquitoes as a primary focus, and topics include, (1) the transcriptional profiles of mosquito dormancy and development, (2) the effect of mode of selection and time on the genetic architecture of fitness-related traits, and (3) the impact of ecological barriers resulting from deforestation on the population structure of both malarial parasites and malaria-carying mosquitoes in the Amazon. Projects in this area will be focused on the analysis (and generation if appropriate) of next-generation sequencing data. Basic programming skills, or a strong desire to develop these, would be a great asset in these projects.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss SMP opportunities.