Welcome to the Brown Laboratory at Georgia Southern University
Our research interests center on ecological immunology, which focuses on the mechanisms and function of immune responses in their ecological and evolutionary contexts. In particular, we apply concepts from this field to study innate immunity in arthropod vectors that transmit disease. Like all invertebrates, disease vectors mount strong and rapid immune responses to resist or limit infection against pathogens; however, immune defense mechanisms waver among individuals within a given vector population. Thus, our research aims to determine the genetic and environmental factors responsible for the variability in immunocompetence between individuals from the same vector species. In other words, our research seeks to answer the question: why are some individuals within a vector population able to resist infection while others remain susceptible?