Lab Website:
Publications: Kayla King's Publications
Twitter: @kaylacking

Lab Tel: 604-827-4086
Lab Office #: 4520 - 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Life Sciences Centre

Office Tel: 604-822-0217
Office Rm #: 4502 - 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Life Sciences Centre



Associated Departments

Research Groups

  • Evolution Ecology 
  • Host-pathogen, biodiversity, rapid evolution

Research Interests

A World of Pathogens...

Pathogens and parasites are everywhere. Our research focuses on host-microbial parasite/pathogen systems, which are fascinating for examining the consequences of strong selection and evolution in the lab and in the wild. Host-pathogen interactions can drive some of the fastest evolutionary change observed. We track this rapid evolution, using genomics and experimental tests, and examine the consequences for animal health and pathogen virulence. We have also investigated the effects of biodiversity, the microbiome, environmental variation, and nascent interactions on host-pathogen ecology and evolution.

Our research is hypothesis driven. For our empirical projects, we use a diversity of microbes (bacteria, viruses) and animals (worms, insects, aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial vertebrates) to test evolutionary and ecological hypotheses on host-pathogen interactions. During the pandemic, we also began to develop an expertise in comparative analyses exploring the factors governing host-pathogen evolution and ecology across the tree of life. Theory is crucial for guiding our empirical research. So, we collaborate with math modellers to generate new hypotheses to test.

Our research is fundamental, but with huge translational value. The continual evolution of pathogens makes disease control, pandemic preparedness, and treatment challenging. We can leverage our understanding of pathogen evolution in host species to better predict and mitigate against zoonotic emergence.