My research spans both basic and applied ideas in conservation ecology, particularly with host-parasite systems. My PhD dissertation was on the effect of an introduced parasitic nest fly on birds in the Galapagos and how birds defend themselves against this novel parasite. I also established a method (‘self-fumigation’) for controlling the fly in bird nests. I am currently a post-doc in Jason Rohr’s lab at the University of South Florida where I am exploring the importance of the frog gut microbiota in the development of the immune system and subsequent parasite susceptibility. Specifically, I am determining how the host microbiota mediates the effect of environmental stressors, such as pollution, on disease risk. I am also working at Itasca Biological Station in northern Minnesota where I am exploring fundamental questions on the evolution of bird defenses against their parasites using a box-nesting bird-parasitic fly system.