Michael R. Strand is a biologist recognized for interdisciplinary studies on insects, parasites, and microbes. Contributions include improved understanding of parasite-host immune interactions, the evolution and function of microbial mutualists including viruses, and the development of wasps, moths, and mosquitoes. He has also contributed to several studies in insect behavior and ecology. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia but grew up in Italy, Washington, and Texas. His undergraduate degree and Ph.D. were from Texas A&M University. Postdoctoral work was conducted at Imperial College (UK). He started his first faculty position at Clemson University in 1986. He moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1995. In 2001, he moved to the University of Georgia where he is currently Regents Professor. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.

Research Interests

Michael Strand's laboratory is interested in the interactions between insects, parasites and microorganisms. Early work focused on chemical cues that regulate the foraging of parasitoid wasps, and life history traits that affect clutch size and sex ratio biology. The laboratory thereafter shifted emphasis to studying molecular mechanisms of host immune defense and counterstrategies by parasites for evading or suppressing host defense responses. This includes studies of microbial mutualists that either play essential roles in host defense or parasite virulence. In recent years, his laboratory in conjunction with collaborators has studied the endocrine regulation of mosquito reproduction, and the role the gut microbiota plays in mosquito development. This has led to identification of several genes and molecules with essential functions in egg production and larval growth. Overall, research in the laboratory is strongly integrative and spans the fields of genomics, development, immunology, microbiology, ecology, and evolution. The laboratory has also generated fundamental knowledge that can be applied to pest management.

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Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology