Neuroendocrine systems regulating physiological processes in arthropod vectors of human and animal diseases

 
 

My research focuses on the molecular physiology and neuroendocrinology of blood-feeding (i.e. haematophagous) arthropods including mosquitoes and ticks, which are vectors of parasites causing numerous diseases that include yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. In particular, I am interested in discerning how hormone-induced control of visceral tissues helps to regulate the biology of the whole organism. This includes signalling pathways related to development, reproduction and in the control of epithelial tissues which function to regulate osmotic and ionic balance. Understanding these fundamental neuroendocrine regulated processes may aid in the future development of improved arthropod vector control strategies.

Ixodes scapularis, a vector of Lyme disease

Aedes aegypti, a vector of several tropical diseases including yellow fever