Kerri Coon

Position title: Assistant Professor


3552 Microbial Sciences Building

Research Interests
Insect-microbe interactions, impacts of gut microbes on the biology of disease vectors
Research Fields
Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Functional Genetics, Genomics

Our research centers on insect-microbe interactions, with a current focus on those between mosquitoes and their gut microbiota. We integrate field and lab-based experiments with bioinformatic approaches to tease apart the genetic mechanisms by which microbes regulate fundamental processes in their mosquito hosts, from their development and reproduction to their ability to transmit disease-causing agents to humans and other mammals. Other research topics of interest in the lab include: i) the ecology and evolution of host-associated microbial communities, ii) the interplay between resident and pathogenic microbes, and iii) the mechanisms underlying host-microbe specificity.

PubMed link:

Lab Website:

Representative Publications:

Coon, K.L., Valzania, L., Brown, M.R., Strand, M.R. 2020. Predaceous Toxorhynchites mosquitoes require a living gut microbiota to develop. Proc. R. Soc. B. 287(1919):20192705.
Valzania, L., Coon, K.L., Vogel, K.J., Brown, M.R., Strand, M.R. 2018. Hypoxia-induced transcription factor signaling is essential for larval growth of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 115(3):457-65.
Coon, K.L., Valzania, L., McKinney, D.A., Vogel, K.J., Brown, M.R., Strand, M.R. 2017. Bacteria-mediated hypoxia functions as a signal for mosquito development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 114(27):E5362-9.
Vogel, K.J., Valzania, L., Coon, K.L., Brown, M.R., Strand, M.R. 2017. Transcriptome sequencing reveals large-scale changes in axenic Aedes aegypti larvae. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 11(1):e0005273.
Coon, K.L., Brown, M.R., Strand, M.R. 2016. Mosquitoes host communities of bacteria that are essential for development but vary greatly between local habitats. Mol. Ecol. 25(22):5806-26.