Personal profile

Research Interests

I lead the IDPH-funded Illinois Statewide Tick Surveillance Program and conduct research on vectors at the University of Illinois Prairie Research Insitute INHS Medical Entomology Lab. We collect mosquitoes and ticks throughout Illinois for vector-borne pathogen surveillance and conduct field- and lab-based research to inform and improve vector control. We use an integrated approach to study of arthropod vectors that combines molecular analyses (e.g., microbiome characterization, pathogen detection) with taxonomy, organismal experimentation, mathematical modeling, and socioeconomic and environmental analysis. 

I have a B.Sc. in Biology (UNC - Chapel Hill) and an M.Sc. and PhD in Entomology (Clemson University). During my graduate matriculation I won an NSF-GRF for my research on mosquito ecology in zoological parks. I completed two postdocs, in American Samoa and Switzerland, on biology and control of insect vectors. Following those, I worked for two years as an Agricultural Risk Analyst with NCSU & USDA APHIS.

My professional interests center on animal behavior, basic and applied biological research, data gathering and analysis, ecology, entomology, invasive species biology, neglected and (re)emerging diseases, symbioses and coevolution, science communication and collaboration, and teaching.

Teaching

In Spring of even years I teach IB481 "Vector-borne Diseases" at UIUC.

I also provide guest lectures on vector biology and surveillance for other courses on campus.

Education/Academic qualification

Entomology, MSc (en route) & PhD, NSF Graduate Research Fellow - Mosquito Ecology in Zoological Parks, Clemson University

Award Date: Aug 1 2011

Biology (Chemistry minor), BSc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Award Date: May 15 2006

Keywords

  • QH Natural history
  • tick
  • mosquito
  • vector-borne disease
  • ecology
  • insect behavior
  • surveillance
  • pathogen
  • QL Zoology
  • entomology
  • morphology
  • arthropoda

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