About NEVBD

NEVBD represents the Northeast region of the United States, covering 13 states and the District of Columbia. NEVBD activities are guided by 3 overaching goals:

Goal 1: Training NEVBD is taking a multi-pronged approach to address the training and workforce needs of the Northeast region. We developed a new Master of Science in Entomology curriculum combining public health and vector biology, offered through Cornell University, to provide training for the next generation of public health entomologists. We also offer educational opportunities for current public health and vector control professionals working in the region and throughout the US. Learn more about these opportunities by exploring our training offerings.

Goal 2: Applied Research Our team of expert collaborators is working on an innovative applied research agenda, targeting new strategies for vector-borne disease monitoring, prediction, and control. Learn more about our six applied research focus areas by visiting our research page.

Goal 3: Community of Practice One of our biggest efforts focuses on connecting partners across the Northeast to share knowledge, resources, and form new collaborations. NEVBD serves as a resource to connect individuals working at academic centers and public health agencies at local, state, and federal levels. These partnerships will strengthen our ability to respond to vector-borne disease threats in the Northeast region and broader US.

Structure of Our Network

NEVBD utilizes a three-pronged approach to addressing vector-borne diseases in our region. We bring together public health organizations at the local, state, and federal level, and academic communities to collaborate on pressing vector-borne disease concerns.

  • Collaborators working in public health bring expertise in mosquito and tick surveillance, prevention, and control, and are well poised to effectively engage with our communities
  • Academic researchers focus on key factors of vector biology, including the impact of climate and weather on tick and mosquito overwintering, insecticide resistance monitoring, and the ability of different tick and mosquito species to acquire and transmit disease
  • Center partners will develop and offer a variety of training programs. These include formal academic training programs for medical entomologists, as well continuing education for professionals working in public health, environmental health, and medicine.

These combined efforts will ensure that the next cadre of medical entomologists and public health practitioners are well prepared to address current and future vector-borne disease challenges, and will provide valuable insight into effective prevention and control tools that can be used to combat diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes in the Northeast USA.

The end goal of this work is to improve the lives of those living in our communities through the prevention of exposure to ticks and mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.

NEVBD Leadership

Laura C. Harrington, PhD
Laura C. Harrington, PhD

Professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University

NEVBD Program Director

Philip Armstrong, ScD
Philip Armstrong, ScD

Agricultural Scientist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

P. Bryon Backenson, MS
P. Bryon Backenson, MS

Deputy Director for Disease Control, NYS Department of Health

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

Maria Diuk-Wasser, PhD
Maria Diuk-Wasser, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology, Columbia University

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

Dina M. Fonseca, PhD
Dina M. Fonseca, PhD

Professor, Department of Entomology, Rutgers University

Director, Center for Vector Biology, Rutgers University

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

Laura Kramer, PhD
Laura Kramer, PhD

Director, Wadsworth CenterArbovirus Laboratory, NYS Department of Public Health

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

Thomas J. Daniels, PhD
Thomas J. Daniels, PhD

Director, Louis Calder Center, Fordham University

NEVBD Co-Principal Investigator

Emily M. Mader, MPH MPP
Emily M. Mader, MPH MPP

NEVBD Program Manager

Department of Entomology, Cornell University

NEVBD Postdoctoral Researchers & Trainees

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Eliza Little, PhD
Eliza Little, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, Department of Entomology


Focus area: Spatiotemporal patterns of ticks and tick-borne diseases

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Joseph R. (JR) McMillan, PhD
Joseph R. (JR) McMillan, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, Department of Environmental Sciences


Focus area: Ecology and evolution of vector-borne diseases and vector control

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Rohit Sharma, PhD
Rohit Sharma, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, Department of Environmental Sciences


Focus area: Assessment of vector competence of tick species (Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis) for Powassan virus and experimental evolution of Powassan virus to understand the favorable genetic changes associated with their adaptation and fitness in the new tick hosts.

Columbia University

Daniel Ruiz Carrascal, PhD
Daniel Ruiz Carrascal, PhD

Adjunct Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Climate variability and change and human health impacts

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Pilar Fernandez, PhD
Pilar Fernandez, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: The Tick App, The Coupled Natural Human System of Lyme disease (Staten Island, NY), Modeling the spread of Lyme disease in NY State

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Danielle Tufts, PhD
Danielle Tufts, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Distribution and host preferences of Haemaphysalis longicornis

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Laura Dudley Plimpton
Laura Dudley Plimpton

PhD Candidate

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Effect of anthropogenic drivers on spillover (and spillback) of zoonoses and relationships within and between systems that allow for pathogen emergence, transmission, and establishment

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Pallavi Kache
Pallavi Kache

PhD Candidate

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Examine distribution of Aedes albopictus in the Northeast

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Meredith VanAcker
Meredith VanAcker

PhD Candidate

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Examination of how land alteration and habitat disturbance alter host movement, community assemblage, and vector genomic differentiation

Columbia University

Olivia Anne Card
Olivia Anne Card

Graduate Student

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus Area: Drivers of tick densities in residential, urban areas

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Daniel Mathisson
Daniel Mathisson

Graduate Student

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology


Focus area: Statistical modeling to predict abundance of ticks based on micro-environment variables

CORNELL UNIVERSITY

James Burtis, PhD
James Burtis, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Entomology, Cornell University


Focus area: Pesticide resistance monitoring program

Cornell University

Kara Fikrig, MPH
Kara Fikrig, MPH

PhD Candidate

Department of Entomology


Focus area: Feeding ecology of Aedes albopictus in New York

Cornell University

Antonio Alvarado
Antonio Alvarado

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Thesis in development

Cornell University

Lindsay Baxter
Lindsay Baxter

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus area: Ecological investigation of Powassan virus foci

Cornell University

Cierra Briggs
Cierra Briggs

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus area: Evaluation of West Nile virus in zoo avian community

Cornell University

Mervin Cuadera
Mervin Cuadera

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus area: Tickborne disease knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Long Island communities; tends in tickborne disease health care costs

Cornell University

Nicole Foley
Nicole Foley

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Thesis in development

Cornell University

Jamie Mangan
Jamie Mangan

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Thesis in development

Cornell University

Joseph Poggi
Joseph Poggi

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Thesis in development

Cornell University

Kate Thornburg
Kate Thornburg

MS Student

Department of Entomology


Focus area: Optimization of tick surveillance protocols for natural areas

New York State Department of Health

Constentin Dieme, PhD
Constentin Dieme, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Wadsworth Center Arbovirus Laboratory


Focus area: Vector competence of local mosquito populations for targeted arboviruses

New York State Department of Health

Alexander 'Sasha' Keyel, PhD
Alexander 'Sasha' Keyel, PhD

Research Affiliate

Wadsworth Center, State University of New York at Albany


Focus area: Using climate and other environmental information to predict outbreaks of West Nile in the short term and under future climate scenarios

New York State Department of Health

Maria Onyango, PhD
Maria Onyango, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wadsworth Center Arbovirus Laboratory


Focus area: Impact of climate change on the microbial diversity and the vectorial capacity of Aedes mosquitoes

Rutgers University

Julia González González, PhD
Julia González González, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Center for Vector Biology, Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Asian longhorned tick phenology and control

Rutgers University

Stephanie Aponte
Stephanie Aponte

PhD Candidate

Center for Vector Biology, Department of Entomology


Focus Area: Vector biology and plant-insect interrelationships

Rutgers University

Matthew Bickerton
Matthew Bickerton

PhD Candidate

Center for Vector Biology, Department of Entomology Bergen County Health Department, New Jersey


Focus Area: tick control and tickborne disease epidemiology