PhD Student, Department of Entomology
Research Interests: I am a PhD Candidate in Dr. Brian Lazzaro's lab. I graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with my degree in Ecology and Evolutionary biology, where I worked with Dr. Allen Gibbs to understand the impact of the gut microbiome on desiccation tolerance in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. After graduation, I worked as an NIH post-baccalaureate scholar at the University of Kansas. Under the guidance of Dr. Rob Unckless, where I studied the evolutionary genetics of Drosophila immunity and tradeoffs in immune performance. In the Lazzaro Lab, we broadly study the genetic and environmental reasons why individuals are more susceptible to infection. As a PhD candidate, I specifically research the impact of nutrition on infection dynamics in fruit flies, particularly studying the genetic and physiological mechanisms by which dietary sugar shapes resistance and tolerance to infection. I am also investigating the role that insulin signaling has on immune performance in Drosophila especially in the context of dietary sugar.
amd439 [at] cornell.edu