Kelly Speer works at the interface of microbial ecology and evolutionary biology at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Genomics and the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Invertebrate Zoology. Speer’s research focuses on blood-feeding flies that transmit diseases to wildlife. Using genomics to examine the interactions between beneficial and pathogenic microbes in these flies, Speer tests fundamental hypotheses about how complex communities of microbes, arthropods and mammals co-evolve.
Speer’s projects include:
- Determining the microbial enablers of blood-feeding in calyptrate flies using historical specimens
- Estimating population bottlenecks associated with maternal transmission of symbiotic bacteria
- Disease ecology of arthropod-vectored bacteria in neotropical bats
Becker, D.J., Speer, K.A., Brown, A.M., Fenton, M.B., Washburne, A.D., Altizer, S., Streicker, D.G., Plowright, R.K., Chizhikov, V.E., Simmons, N.B., Volokhov, D.V., 2020. Ecological and evolutionary drivers of haemoplasma infection and bacterial genotype sharing in a Neotropical bat community. Mol. Ecol. 29, 1534–1549.
Galen, Spencer C; Speer, Kelly A; Perkins, Susan L. Evolutionary lability of host associations promotes phylogenetic overdispersion of co-infecting blood parasites. Journal of Animal Ecology.88.12.1936-1949.2019.
Speer, Kelly A; Luetke, Eli; Bush, Emily; Sheth, Bhavya; Gerace, Allie; Quicksall, Zachary; Miyamoto, Michael; Dick, Carl W; Dittmar, Katharina; Albury, Nancy; Reed, David. A Fly on the Cave Wall: Parasite Genetics Reveal Fine-Scale Dispersal Patterns of Bats. Journal of Parasitology.105.4.555-566.2019.American Society of Parasitologists