Scholars in Q. Fang's Laboratory
view the available research projects and graduate assistantships
Xu is a research associate working in Dr. Fang's lab. His research
projects are molecular systematics and molecular vector biology of ticks.
He has been working on cloning and sequencing of new nuclear protein-encoding genes not
previously utilized in ticks phylogenetic analysis. He is also interested in
cloning and characterization of genes that are potentially useful in vaccine
development to control ticks and tick-borne diseases. (See Guang Xu
and Former Graduate Students:
John H. Smoyer, III
Smoyer is a registered graduated student working in Dr. Fang's Laboratory. His research interests are to use molecular
techniques studying ticks and pathogens that carried and transmitted by
ticks. He analyzes and screens bacterial pathogens from ticks collected at
animal shelters or on vegetations in various places of Georgia. John is also a full-time laboratory assistant at East Georgia
College, Swainsboro, GA.
Paola A. Guerrero
Paola Guerrero started her MS
research in the Summer
2001 and received a M.S. in the Summer 2003. Her thesis research is on molecular systematics of ticks. She analyzes the phylogenetic relationships of
ticks species within the Ixodes
ricinus species complex using multiple mitochondrial genes.
was the year 2002 recipient of the graduate fellowship award of the Georgia
started her thesis research in the Summer 2001 and works on molecular
population genetics of microphallids and their hosts, grass shrimps using the
molecular techniques of DNA single strand confirmation polymorphisms (SSCP).
Dr. Oscar Pung and Dr. Q. Fang are her
Chris worked in Dr. Fang 's Laboratory as a graduate student from
the Fall 1999 to May 2001. He received his MS in May 2001. Chris's
thesis research focused on the studies of relationships between
bacteria and their arthropod hosts. Wolbachia were first reported within the reproductive tissues of mosquito Culex pipiens
by Hertig & Wolbach in 1924 and were subsequently described as a new species and a new genus
Wolbachia pipientis by Hertig in 1936.
Together with other six genera, Wolbachia were classified in the bacterial family Richettsiaceae (Rickettsiales: Proteobacteria). In
contrast to many species in the family, which usually are important pathogens of human diseases,
Wolbachia do not cause any human diseases. Instead, Wolbachia cause a variety of host (insects)
reproductive anomalies including parthenogenesis (produce only female offspring). Given their widespread distribution and effects
upon hosts, Wolbachia might have played an important role in insect speciation, evolution, and biodiversity. To test this hypothesis, some fundamental questions have to be answered first.
Using PCR based molecular techniques, Chris research focused on the Wolbachia
in ticks and fleas.
has been awarded the
best M.S. graduate oral presentation at the 65th Annual Meeting of Georgia
Entomological Society, April 4-6, 2001, Gainesville, GA.
Heather Anne Merten
Heather worked in Dr. Fang's Lab for her MS
thesis research. She finished with a M.S. degree in May
of 2001. Her research interests interested are the study of relationships of ticks and
the pathogen of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). She collected
tick samples from various localities in Georgia and screened the HGE agent
from these ticks using molecular techniques. She found that the prevalences of infected ticks
by HGE agent vary a lot among geographical locations in the coastal plain of Georgia.
Dr. Lance Durden was her
was a MS graduate student worked at Dr. Fang's laboratory from 1996-1998 and
graduated in December 1998. Her research project was
genetic variation within and among populations of Florida burrowing owls using DNA markers of single strand confirmation
polymorphisms (SSCP). The project was a collaboration and funded by Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission,
Bureau of Nongame Wildlife (Dr. Brian Millsap). Dr. Ray C. Chandler in biology
department was her co-advisor.
thesis research project was molecular population genetics of blacklegged tick,
Ixodes Scapularis, using DNA single strand conformation polymorphisms
(SSCP). I. Scapularis is the primary vectors of Lyme
disease agent Borrelia burgdoffi. Tonya's research focused on
genetic variations and population structures of blacklegged ticks collected
along the coastal regions of the Eastern US, from Connecticut through Florida.
Tonya has been awarded the
best poster in graduate student competition at the 63rd Meeting of Entomological Society of Georgia
held in Tifton, Georgia, April 14-16, 1999.
worked in Dr. Fang's laboratory on the project of Detection of Ehrlichia
chaffeensis in ticks from the coastal plain in Georgia using nested
polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Ehrlichia chaffeensis is a non-motile, gram-negative bacterium which cause human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME).
John's research was co-directed by Dr. Lance A. Durden.
won the best paper in MS student competition at the 63rd Annual Meeting of Entomological Society of
Georgia, April 14-16, 1999, Tifton, Georgia. John Whitlock received his MS degree in August 1999.
Now, he is a faculty member at Hillsborough Community College (Dale Mabry
Campus), Tampa, Florida.