The Schlenke Lab
University of Arizona

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We study evolutionary genetics using Drosophila
Our lab research is rooted in evolutionary biology and genetics, but also spans several other research areas,
including ecology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, and bioinformatics. We are particularly
interested in host-parasite interactions, from the population level down to the molecular level. Current work is
focused on:

  • defense mechanisms (cellular and behavioral) that fruit flies use against their natural parasites
  • virulence mechanisms that parasites use to circumvent Drosophila defenses
  • how fly defense strategies and parasite virulence strategies coevolve over evolutionary time

Our new digs


Our lab recently moved to UA. We have active NIH and NSF grants and are currently in a position to hire a lab
manager (see ad) and multiple postdocs (see ad), preferentially with experience in insect evolutionary ecology,
molecular/cellular genetics, neurobiology, and/or bioinformatics. Interested applicants should contact Todd with
any questions and then apply to the ads.


Lab News

  • Kevin, Shaun, and Earl join the lab as postdocs
  • Corinne joins the lab as a super-lab manager
  • Michael accepts a Lecturer position at Emory University's Oxford College
  • Michael presents his work at the 2017 Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego
  • The Schlenke Lab is moving to the Entomology Department at the University of Arizona!
  • Morgan lands an IRACDA postdoc position in Justin Meyer's lab at UCSD
  • Zach's work on evolutionary tradeoffs between cellular and behavioral defenses is accepted at JEB
  • Shelly's work on infection-induced recombination (a collaboration with Nadia Singh's lab) is accepted at Science
  • Todd, Michael, and Morgan present at the 2015 Gordon Conference on Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics
  • Ivy and Robin submit their 2015 Reed theses
  • Todd is elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Todd gives a popular science lecture for Science on Tap at the Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver, WA
  • Todd's NIH R01 grant is renewed!
  • Daniel, Natalie, Sara, and Shelly submit their 2014 Reed theses
  • Daniel and Gabrielle both receive Biology undergrauate research grants for their theses
  • Todd receives an NSF grant to study the evolution and mechanistic basis of fly defense behaviors
  • Erin accepts a postdoc in Andrew Neish's lab at Emory
  • Erin is now Dr. Keebaugh!
  • Erin's review on natural Drosophila-parasite interactions is accepted at Developmental and Comparative Immunology
  • Balint's paper on a novel hemocyte type in flies, nematocytes, is accepted at Parasitology
  • Nate accepts an assistant professor position at the University of Warwick
  • Todd accepts a visiting associate professor position at Reed College in Portland, Oregon
  • Susanna wins second best undergrad poster and Balint wins third best grad poster at the 2013 Drosophila Conference
  • Zach gets an NSF pre-doc fellowship for his work on the evolution of immune tradeoffs in Drosophila
  • Nate's paper on a venom calcium pump blocking calcium bursts in fly blood cells is accepted at PNAS
  • Susanna gets accepted into the Biosciences PhD program at Stanford
  • Balint gets accepted into the Molecular and Cell Biology PhD program at Dartmouth
  • Balint's paper on fly alterations in oviposition behavior after seeing wasps is accepted at Science
  • Lindsey takes a job at the USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, KS
  • Susanna wins the Genetics Society of America Victoria Finnerty Award for travel to the 2013 Drosophila Conference
  • Nate's paper on the glycosylation of lamellocytes during the encapsulation response is accepted at PLoS Pathogens
  • Susanna is accepted into the Emory SURE program for the summer of 2012
  • Balint wins second best poster at the 2012 Drosophila Conference for his work on D. suzukii
  • Balint's paper on the potential use of parasitoids in Drosophila suzukii biocontrol is accepted at PLoS One
  • Lita gets accepted into the Molecular and Cell Biology PhD program at Dartmouth
  • Neil is now Dr. Milan!
  • Balint is featured on the Department of Biology homepage
  • The alcohol paper gets international press, including a spoof in The Onion (see "press")
  • Neil and Balint's paper on fly use of ethanol as anti-wasp medication is accepted at Current Biology
  • Erin wins a 2011 ARCS Fellowship for her work on the molecular genetics of the candidate anti-wasp protein Lectin-24a
  • Thierry's paper on fly behavioral avoidance of wasp-infested oviposition sites is accepted at Biology Letters
  • Erin's paper on lectin-24a expression and evolution is accepted at MBE
  • Rahul is awarded an independent research grant from the Emory SIRE program
  • Balint wins best poster at the Emory undergraduate research symposium
  • Neil receives an NSF dissertation improvement grant for his work on the horizontal transfer of TEs from flies to wasps
  • Todd receives an NIH R01 to study the genetics and molecular biology of the fly-wasp system
  • Amit and Ethan are both awarded independent research grants from the Emory SIRE program
  • Our visiting undergrad from Kenyon College, Mark Luskus, wins “best poster” in Emory’s 2008 summer research program
  • Neil wins “best student talk” at the Parasitology Society Meeting in Fort Worth
  • Erin gives her first talk at the Evolution Conference in Minneapolis
  • Todd’s graduate work on transposon-mediated insecticide resistance makes Evolutionary Analysis and other textbooks
  • Neil receives a FACES tuition scholarship


Last updated 5.9.17