Parris T. Humphrey

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The evolution of land plants approximately 470 million years ago created a new adaptive zone for natural enemies (attackers) of plants. In response to attack, plants evolved highly effective, inducible defense systems. Two plant hormones modulating inducible defenses are salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA). Current thinking is that SA induces(More)
Vector-borne microbes necessarily co-occur with their hosts and vectors, but the degree to which they share common evolutionary or biogeographic histories remains unexplored. We examine the congruity of the evolutionary and biogeographic histories of the bacterium and vector of the Lyme disease system, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in North(More)
Simultaneous or sequential attack by herbivores and microbes is common in plants. Many seed plants exhibit a defence trade-off against chewing herbivorous insects and leaf-colonizing ('phyllosphere') bacteria, which arises from cross-talk between the phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA, induced by many herbivores) and salicylic acid (SA, induced by many(More)
Adaptive radiations are characterized by an increased rate of speciation and expanded range of habitats and ecological niches exploited by those species. The Hawaiian Drosophilidae is a classic adaptive radiation; a single ancestral species colonized Hawaii approximately 25 million years ago and gave rise to two monophyletic lineages, the Hawaiian(More)
Herbivorous insects are among the most successful radiations of life. However, we know little about the processes underpinning the evolution of herbivory. We examined the evolution of herbivory in the fly, Scaptomyza flava, whose larvae are leaf miners on species of Brassicaceae, including the widely studied reference plant, Arabidopsis thaliana(More)
Host-derived proteases are crucial for the successful infection of vertebrates by several pathogens, including the Lyme disease spirochete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. B. burgdorferi must traverse tissue barriers in the tick vector during transmission to the host and during dissemination within the host, and it must disrupt immune challenges to(More)
Microbial metabolism is the engine that drives global biogeochemical cycles, yet many key transformations are carried out by microbial consortia over short spatiotemporal scales that elude detection by traditional analytical approaches. We investigate syntrophic sulfur cycling in the 'pink berry' consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh through an(More)
By definition, zoonotic pathogens are not strict host-species specialists in that they infect humans and at least one nonhuman reservoir species. The majority of zoonotic pathogens infect and are amplified by multiple vertebrate species in nature, each of which has a quantitatively different impact on the distribution and abundance of the pathogen and thus(More)
Most students have difficulty reasoning about chance events, and misconceptions regarding probability can persist or even strengthen following traditional instruction. Many biostatistics classes sidestep this problem by prioritizing exploratory data analysis over probability. However, probability itself, in addition to statistics, is essential both to the(More)
Most herbivorous insect species are restricted to a narrow taxonomic range of host plant species. Herbivore species that feed on mustard plants and their relatives in the Brassicales have evolved highly efficient detoxification mechanisms that actually prevent toxic mustard oils from forming in the bodies of the animals. However, these mechanisms likely(More)