Swei Lab


Our research interests are in the fields of pathogen, vector, and population ecology. We study the underlying disease ecology that determines the distribution and abundance of zoonotic pathogens and how human public health is affected. Using a combination of field ecology and metagenomic analyses to inform mathematical models and guide metagenomic analyses, we make make predictions about when and where diseases are likely to change or emerge.


Research interests


San Francisco State University

Biology department

Our research focuses on zoonotic diseases such as:

  1. Lyme disease, a vector-born zoonotic disease that is endemic to the United States, Europe and Asia. We investigate the relationship between habitat disturbance and host community composition on the prevalence of Lyme disease

  2. Distribution and prevalence patterns of tick borne bacterial diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI)

  3. Ecology of tick-borne viral diseases such as bunyaviruses

  4. Batrachochytrium dendrobatitis a fungal pathogen that is responsible for widespread population and species declines around the world

The co-circulation of pathogens in ticks presents many challenges to studying tick-borne diseases because it confounds detection efforts and has significant impacts on human public health. Because of this, we also work on improving metagenomics techniques for the detection of tick-borne pathogens in a variety of samples with the goal of detecting co-infections in ticks, vertebrate hosts, and humans.