My research interest lies in the ecology and evolution of mosquito-borne viruses and spans across scales of the disease transmission. At the community level, I explore how changes in mosquito community diversity, human behaviors, and vector density play a role in driving disease emergence and determining endemicity. At the microbial community level, I characterize the mosquito microbiomes and viromes in relation to the environmental changes to understand how humans may influence virus transmission by changing the natural microbial diversity.
Search for Academy curators, collections managers, and research staff working to answer some of the world's most pressing scientific questions.
My research focuses on improving the tree of life for arthropods. Weevils (Curculionidae) are my focal taxon of choice. Weevils have specialized ecological habits, such as feeding on fungi, seeds, pollen, wood, roots and even kangaroo dung, weevils make an excellent system to study the evolution of different ecomorphologies. Currently I am focusing my efforts on whole genome sequencing and functional genomics in the genus Pachyrhynchus as well in the Cryptorhynchinae.
Research interests include the systematics and evolutionary biology of octocorals (soft corals, gorgonians, and pennatulaceans), which comprise 65% of all coral species diversity. Fieldwork is currently focused on two bathymetrically opposite regions of the world's oceans: coral reefs of the tropical western Pacific (the Philippines, Melanesia, and Micronesia), and the deep-sea benthos (particularly the west coast of North America and various deep ocean basins worldwide).
The California Academy of Sciences Center for Biodiversity and Community Science connects people to their local nature and each other while simultaneously collecting data critical to science and management.