Principle Investigator, Megan Fritz
I am broadly interested in arthropod adaptation in response to human footprints in an ecosystem. I combine laboratory experiments, field collecting/sampling, and cutting-edge molecular and computational approaches in an integrative way to quantify the impacts of human activities on genomic variation in arthropod species. While my focal organisms are from disparate taxonomic groups, they serve as models to address a broad evolutionary question: how do human-mediated changes in the landscape sculpt arthropod genomes and produce adaptive phenotypic change? My research also considers the downstream consequences of rapid adaptive changes for both agricultural productivity and vector-borne disease transmission.
Lab Manager, Thea Bliss
Thea graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Ecology and Evolution and minor in Sustainability in 2021. She joined the Fritz lab as the manager and maintains the mosquito and lepidopteran insect cultures currently being used for research. Her current project involves blood meal analysis to quantify vertebrate blood host use in wild Culex.
Lab Manager, Cara Lamberty
Cara is a laboratory technician responsible for aiding lab maintenance and assisting with projects as needed. Her current project examines Heliocoverpa zea toxin resistence to Bacilus thuringiensis (Bt) corn
Post-Doc, Kate Taylor
Kate’s research interests include evolution, genomics, and speciation. Her current project focuses on the genomic basis of field-evolved Bt resistance in Helicoverpa zea, as well as monitoring for agricultural pest resistance evolution.
Post-Doc, Anastasia Naumenko
Anastasia joined the lab in 2021. She obtained her Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her Ph.D. project focused on chromosomal rearrangements in several mosquito species, including the southern house mosquito. Her current research aims to understand how differences in the antennal distribution of odorant receptors mediate host-seeking behaviors in Culex pipiens mosquitoes.
Ph.D. Student, Theresa Menna
Theresa is a Ph.D. student in the CBBG program (Department of Biology). She uses genomic and transcriptomic data to connect patterns of chemosensory gene expression and polymorphism to host preference in mosquito vectors of disease.
Ph.D. Student, Ben Gregory
Ben is interested in how the built environment shapes animal evolution, and how urban infrastructure can be designed to facilitate more mutualistic interactions between people and wildlife. Ben's Ph.D. research aims to uncover patterns of adaptive genomic divergence and gene flow among Culex pipiens assemblage members along an urban-rural gradient in greater Washington, D.C.
M.Sc. Student, Ben Burgunder
Ben Burgunder graduated from Cornell in 2022 with a degree in entomology and a minor in infectious disease biology. He is interested in West Nile virus transmission and vector ecology. His research in the Fritz lab focuses on the spatial ecology of Culex mosquitoes. Outside of the lab, Ben is passionate about insect photography and hiking.
Undergraduate Research Assistants