Study systems include
- Using the house fly (Musca domestica) as a model to investigate how the behavioral fever resulting from infection with entomopathogenic fungi effects fly and pathogen fitness and fly vector competence.
- Investigating how infection with entompathogenic fungi affects the behavior of carpenter ants Camponotus pennsylvanicus, in the context of controlling ants with fungal biopesticides.
- I am also interested in the influence of these environmental factors on the development rates of forensically important insects, in order to improve insect models of post-mortem interval (PMI) estimation.
Anderson, R.D. and M.B. Thomas. 2011. The nature and adaptive value of behavioral fever in the house fly (Musca domestica) In preparation.
Anderson, R.D., A. Bell, S. Blanford, K. P. Paaijmans and M.B. Thomas. 2011. Comparative virulence and growth kinetics of four different isolates of entompathogenic fungi in the house fly Musca domestica L. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. [pdf]
Anderson, R.D., A.C. Bachmann, T.G. Bentley, B. A. Irwin and D. R. Schmehl. 2010. The Use of Genetically Modified Organisms in Entomology - Genetically modified insect disease vectors should be incorporated into vector-borne disease control programs because they decrease disease transmission to humans and livestock with fewer environmental risks than conventional control methods – Con Position. American Entomologist-Summer Issue pp. 106-114.
J.B. Gingrich, R.D. Anderson, G.Williams, L. O'Connor, and K. Harkins (2006) Stormwater ponds, constructed wetlands and other best management practices as potential breeding sites for West Nile virus vectors in Delaware during 2004. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 22(2): 282-91.
I am interested in the interactions between the environment and immune response to pathogens affects non-target microbes living within a host. Specifically, I am interested in how using biopesticides such as entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria effect the behavioral and physiological immune responses of insects, and the downstream effects these changes may have on insect development and insect vector competence.