Host-parasite interactions | Schistosomiasis
My dissertation examined the effects of temperature on human schistosomiasis, the second most prevalent neglected tropical disease in sub-Saharan Africa. I worked with Schistosoma mansoni, which causes intestinal schistosomiasis, and Biomphalaria glabrata, its intermediate snail host. The primary questions driving my work were:
a) Does temperature influence the hatching and emergence rates of the parasite's larval stages,
b) Can we quantify how temperature impacts the physiology and movement of the parasite's larval stages, and
c) How do temperature-dependent responses in these larval stages ultimately influence snail infection rates and human health risk?
A more descriptive explanation of my work will be coming soon!
Water Quality | Microbial Source Tracking
Identifying likely sources of fecal contamination is a critical component of water quality monitoring and management. In a separate research project, I demonstrated that the concomitant use of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and microbial source tracking (MST) techniques improves decision-making when water bodies are impacted by wild animal feces.
I have also participated in other projects, including studies that generated a database of thermal performance curves for parasites and vectors, tested the effects of pesticides and resource availability on schistosomiasis dynamics, examined how thermal mismatches may predict infection prevalence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibians, and explored links between emerging infectious diseases and global food production.