Welcome! The Walke lab at Eastern Washington University studies microbial and disease ecology. Our work spans a variety of host systems, from amphibians to honey bees and birds. We are interested in the basic biology and ecology of microbes, as well as how they can be harnessed to improve health and conserve species. We address these questions by combining field observational studies, laboratory experiments, and computational bioinformatics. Most of our work takes place in temperate North America, but have also enjoyed working in the tropics.
Interested in joining the Walke lab? I am looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students to join my lab, so please have a look around, and feel free to contact me!
Honey bees are extremely important animals, both in terms of crop pollination and the production of honey as a commodity. However, colonies are being lost due to a variety of factors, including poor nutrition, pesticides, and diseases. My research seeks to understand how these factors interact with the gut microbiome to influence bee and colony health.
Amphibian populations are experiencing unprecedented declines and extinctions around the world. A primary factor in these declines is the disease, chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. I am interested in understanding the role of the microbiome in disease susceptibility, and how these interactions respond to a changing environment.