Phone: 732-932-8165, ext. 316
Ph.D., Yale University, 2006
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Microbial evolution, Viral host-shifts
Memberships and Professional Service
Editorial Board, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2008-2010
International Committee, 6th International Geminivirus Symposium 2010 Memberships: American Society for Microbiology, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Plant Virus Ecology Network
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Grants and Fellowships: 2008 Women's Career Development Grant, American Society for Microbiology; 2007-08 NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship; 2004-06 NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant; 2001-06 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship, 2000 Fullbright Full Grant for Study in Germany.
Awards: 2008 Postdoctoral Post Prize, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution; 2007 John Spangler Nicholas Prize, Yale University; 2006 Raymond W. Sarber Award, American Society for Microbiology; 2005 Travel Grant, World Summit on Evolution, Galapagos Islands.
Academic Interests and Plans
We work on the evolution of emerging viruses both computationally and experimentally. Through bioinformatics, we assess how viruses have evolved, and look for patterns in emergence among unrelated viruses (such as RNA viruses and single-stranded DNA viruses). In the lab, we use model systems and plant pathogens to test how, how quickly, and how predictably viruses adapt to novel hosts. By looking at both short term and long term dynamics, we gain insight into the basic biology of viruses, the fundamental mechanisms of adaptation, and how high mutation rates and unusual genomic architectures lead viruses to evolve distinctly from cellular organisms. We aim to help create predictive models of viral emergence on novel hosts and to design antiviral strategies to interfere with viral emergence and spread.