Jenni M. Higashiguchi


2007 - present. Ph.D. student, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
2002 - 2007. B.S. Zoology, Minor French, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Research Interests:

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases and the impacts of these pathogens on wildlife populations. I am especially interested in multiple infection studies, which likely give us a more realistic representation of disease systems in nature and may often differ from what we see when we take a single host-single pathogen perspective. Vector-borne diseases in particular comprise a diverse group of pathogens that can have sizable effects on human and wildlife populations. Vector ecology can mediate host-parasite interactions in significant and often unexpected ways, making it a necessary component of disease studies.

For my dissertation, I am sampling mosquito populations in Galapagos to help us better understand some of the causes for spatial and temporal variation in disease. The two pathogens I am currently focusing on are avian poxvirus and avian Plasmodium. Understanding the significance of these diseases to native populations will require integrating population and community ecology of both vectors and hosts. This project builds on work by previous and current lab members as well as numerous collaborators and colleagues.