Assistant Professor Profile Image
Assistant Professor Biological Sciences Morrison Center 334

Research Interests

My research interests lie in viral genetic adaptations that permit viruses to survive and flourish in alternating host environments. RNA arboviruses must balance high mutation rates with cyclical transmission between arthropod and vertebrate hosts, providing interesting systems to understand viral evolution in competing host environments. I am particularly interested in understanding: 1) what strategies arboviruses employ to evade distinct immune functions of disparately related host species, 2) how viral genetic robustness affects infection in arthropod vs vertebrate hosts, 3) how arboviral populations efficiently prevent disruption from deleterious mutations while maintaining a diverse population for selection, and 4) what distinct pressures are applied to arboviruses from their arthropod hosts.

Recent Publications:

Follow Dr. Sexton on Google Scholar


 • Genetics, Cellular, & Molecular Biology (GCMB)

 • Arthropod-borne virology




• Postdoctoral fellowship, Colorado State University

• Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

• B.S., University of California – Santa Cruz

• A.S., Santa Rosa Junior College