megan_thoemmes2_dunnlab

Megan Thoemmes

PhD Student | Dunn Lab

I study the evolutionary history of human and other mammal-associated Demodex (face) mites, as well as the general patterns found in the assemblage of associate species living on and around a broad range of mammal hosts.

Mites of the genus Demodex live on many, if not all, mammal species. The two described species of human-associated mites, D. folliculorum and D. brevis, live in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the face and across other various regions of the body. Currently, I study the prevalence, genetic diversity and evolutionary history of Demodex lineages, in relation to both human populations, as well as other mammalian hosts. In conjunction with this, I am beginning to explore the full diversity of arthropod and microbial communities associated with mammals and their homes.

On the Web

Email: msthoemm@ncsu.edu

Projects

Recent Publications

Palopoli M, Fergus DJ, Minot S, Pei D, Simison B, Fernandez-Silva I, Thoemmes MS, Dunn RR, & Trautwein M (2015) Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages. PNAS 112(52): 15958–15963.

Thoemmes, MS*, Fergus DJ, Urban J, Trautwein M, Dunn RR (2014). Ubiquity and diversity of human-associated Demodex mites. PLoS ONE 9(8): e106265.

In the Press

Our Parasites And Vermin Reveal Secrets Of Human History

NPR Dec 24, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

Face Mite Genetics Offer Clues To Human Evolution

IFL Science Dec 15, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

Your Hair Mites Are So Loyal Their DNA Reflects Your Ancestry

Smithsonian Dec 14, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

Your Face Is Covered in Mites, and It’s Your Parents’ Fault

WIRED Dec 14, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

What the mites on your face say about where you came from

Science Dec 14, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

We Know Almost Nothing About the Animals That Live on Our Faces

The Atlantic Dec 14, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

Scientists say face mites evolved alongside humans since the dawn of human origins

California Academy of Sciences Press Dec 14, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

Face Mites

This Way Up (Radio New Zealand) May 15, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes et al.

These Microscopic Mites Live on Your Face

BBC Earth May 8, 2015 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes and Dan Fergus

You’ve Got Face Mites

WIRED August 28, 2014 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes and Dan Fergus

Bad News, Arachnophobes: All Adults Have Facial Mites

IFL Science August 28, 2014 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes and Dan Fergus

You Almost Certainly Have Mites On Your Face

Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science August 27, 2014 – Features the research of Megan Thoemmes and Dan Fergus