Dr. Tamara J. Cook

Dr. Cook



Favorite Book and Why:

Who Gave Pinta to the Santa Maria by Robert Desowitz.

"It is a great 'detective' story on the spread of infectious disease and the impact that the spread of infectious diseases has had on the development of cultures and societies."

Favorite Quote and Why

“Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.” Theodosius Dobzhansky

Professional Development

Graduate Institution

Texas A&M University: Ph.D.; Entomology 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: M.S.; Biology

Undergraduate Institution

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: B.S.; Biology

Courses Taught at SHSU

Within Biological Sciences:

General Zoology


Invertebrate Zoology

Field Parasitology

Outside of Biological Sciences:

UNIV 1301: Introduction to Collegiate Studies

Research Interests


My research focuses on taxonomic survey of eugregarine parasites of insects and includes problems of host-parasite relationships, eugregarine population and community structure, and host specificity. Eugregarines are a diverse group of small, intestinal parasites of insects and other invertebrates. Conservative estimates place their diversity at over 1 million species. Insect/gregarine systems should be excellent models for investigating questions of parasite effects on host fitness, competitive ability and behavior, and biogeographical and coevolutionary studies of arthropods and their parasites. However, despite the predicted diversity in the group, <1600 species have been described and no developed knowledge base exists for these extremely common parasites. Our primary field sites are in the Big Thicket of East Texas, although we include other sites (such as Belize and west Texas) when time and money permit. Our projects primarily use field survey and morphometric analysis to identify taxic diversity and host range and to investigate patterns of eugregarine infection across space and time.