Texas A&M University
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Mammals and Lice: Evolutionary Insights from Host-Parasite Associations
Monday, February 14, 2011
Science I 149, 5:00 PM
Research in the Light lab is focused broadly in evolutionary biology with a focus on systematics, population genetics, and coevolutionary associations between distantly related organisms, particularly mammals and their parasites. In her research, Jessica is interested in determining which factors are important in driving the association between hosts and their parasites. In general, research in the Light Lab relies on field work and Museum specimens, and we use molecular and morphological data from these recent and ancient specimens to help elucidate broad evolutionary processes operating in distantly related taxa. Her talk will focus on the evolutionary associations between mammals and lice.
Jessica received her Bachelor’s of Science Degrees (two degrees, one in Biology and the other in Resource Ecology and Management) in 1998 from the University of Michigan. After taking a year off, she started a PhD program in 1999 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jessica graduated in December 2005, and moved to the University of Florida for a 3-year postdoctoral research position at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Jessica is now an Assistant Professor and Curator of Mammals at Texas A&M University. Odd fact: While Jessica was enrolled or working at University of Michigan, LSU, and UFL, the football team has won a National Championship. Will A&M be next?
- Reed, D. L., Light, J. E., Allen, J. M., and Kirchman, J. J. “Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: the evolutionary history of anthropoid primate lice”. BMC Biology 2007, 5:7. [PDF]
- Light, J. E., Toups, M. A., and Reed, D. L. “What’s in a name: The taxonomic status of human head and body lice”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2008, 47. [PDF]
- Light, J. E., Smith, V. S., Allen, J. M., Durden, L. A., and Reed, D. L. “Evolutionary history of mammalian sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)”. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:292. [PDF]