Dr. Naomi Forrester is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at UTMB. Her areas of expertise are in virus evolution using both experimental infections and phylogenetics. She has 10 years of experience with phylogenetics and has published several papers on phylogenetics as a means of studying virus evolution. Dr. Forrester is interested in Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus evolution and maintenance during transmission cycles, particularly, in the determination of how the virus responds to host pressures and bottlenecks during a transmission cycle. Additionally, she is trying to characterize field strains for minor genetic populations that are of interest in pathogenesis and evolution. Other areas of interest include investigating the South American alphaviruses Mayaro and Una, which have been very understudied, as well as investigating novel deletions found as part of a natural population that are potential attenuating mutations.