Though I went to the field intending to study the rodents, I have stumbled upon something really interesting. Spiny pocket mice (C. spinatus) are common in Deep Canyon, and seem to be uniformly parasitized by mites. These mites seem to be unlike any previously described, and this interaction has never been documented. I have been extremely interested in this interaction, and the phylogenetic placement of the mite, the has involved collaborating with Barry OConnor and Ashley Dowling, who are Acarologists specializing in the Family in which these mites are believed to reside.
There are a zillion questions to be asked right now, and my long-standing interest in parasite biology is being rekindled in a very serious way!