Welcome to the “de Roode” Lab
We study the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Much of our work focuses on monarch butterflies, which use medicinal plants as a form of medication. We ask how bee-keeping practices may select for more harmful bee diseases, study how within-host competition between malaria parasites affects the evolution of drug resistance. In addition to these disease-related topics, we also study the genetics of monarch butterfly migration.
Monarch butterflies are commonly infected with a protozoan parasite. Long-term analysis shows that parasite prevalence has sharply increased since the early 2000’s, and that parasites kill up to millions of migratory monarchs each year.
Elevated carbon concentrations, as occurring through current climate change, can result in a loss of medicinal properties of milkweeds. See our paper in Ecology Letters.
Infectious diseases play a major role in the ongoing honey bee crisis. Insights from ecology and evolution may provide novel tools to mitigate these disease threats. See our review in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Our paper in PLoS One shows that simple changes to apiary designs can reduce mite spread and increase honey production.
Drug-sensitive malaria parasites suppress resistant parasites in human infections, potentially slowing down resistance spread. See our papers in Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B and PLOS Biology.