Erin Schuenzel, Ph.D.

Erin Schuenzel, Ph.D.

Erin Schuenzel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
SCSI 1.332
Office: (665) 2229
Research Field
erin.schuenzel@utrgv.edu

Office Hours

Courses

General Biology (BIOL 1401, 1402)
Bacterial Genetics (BIOL 4417)
Plant Pathology (BIOL 4408)
Seminar (BIOL4100)

Education

Ph.D. Biology. 2005. University of California, Riverside, CA.
B.A. Biology. St. Mary's College of Maryland, MD.

Areas of Interest

Population structures of pathogens, bacterial genome, evolution, bioinformatics, computational biology, real-time PCR diagnostic assays.

Research

Current research in the lab includes:

1) Population structures of foreign and emergent pathogenic bacteria. Several of the bacteria currently under study include Candidatus Liberibacter ssp., Xylella fastidiosa, Xanthomonas campestris, Acidovorax avenae and Pseudomonas syringae. Multiple strains of the bacteria are analyzed at several genetic loci to understand how the strains are related to each other using bioinformatic techniques.

2) Population structures of plant pathogens. Plant pathogens are not restricted to bacteria and current work is also examining the genetics of invasive insect pathogens including fruit flies from the family Tephritidae and the Asian gypsy moth, Lymantira dispar.

3) Comparative genomics of bacteria. With the large number of bacterial genomes available, the ability to ask questions and test hypotheses on genome evolution is more accessible than ever. Current research is focusing on the role of natural selection in host adaptation, the effects of host immune response on bacterial pathogen evolution, the rate of recombination in genomes, and the effects of inversions on gene expression. While bacteria are the main focus of the lab, we are open to asking the same questions on other organisms such as population

Most Recent Publications

Curriculum Vitae