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Disease Eco-Epidemiology

We research the ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of vector-borne, wildlife, and zoonotic diseases using field-based studies and molecular tools.  By understanding how pathogens are maintained in nature, we aim to identify novel targets for interventions to reduce disease risk to humans, wildlife, and domestic animal populations.

Check out our photostream for updates from the lab, field, and social events: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamerlab/

Recent News from the Lab:

  • December 2018 In the summer Sarah assisted in a new Texas Parks and Wildlife Department investigation of the urban ecology of Green Jays in the Rio Grande Valley, led by biologist Tony Henehan.  You can learn more with this short TPWD documentary with footage from the field. We are now working with blood samples collected from these birds for disease ecology research questions.
  • November 2018 Italo and Carolyn were interviewed during their ASTMH poster session, resulting in this news item: Chagas Disease in Texas- New Surveillance Data: High rates in dogs points to Environmental Persistence.  Carolyn's poster was about her new paper showing near equal prevalence of heartworm antigen and Chagas parasite antibodies in dogs in Texas animal shelters, in addition to tick-borne exposures (anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis).
  • November 2018 Alyssa's work on Chagas disease epidemiology in the government working dogs (border patrol, TSA, etc) at ASTMH was featured with a press release (New Report Finds Tropical Disease Causing Heart Problems in Dogs Assisting with Homeland Security Duties), leading to coverage in the online media.  This includes the US News & World Report, ProMED mail, ASTMH blog, EurekAlert!, LiveScience, Outbreak News Today, HealthDay, and more.
  • November 2018

    Lots of great news to catch up on from Fall 2018:

    • Three new PhD students arrive and plunge in! Welcome to Rachel B. (TAMU Merit Fellow), Spencer (CVM Merit Fellow), and Ed (TAMU Diversity Fellow)!43720160594_59830a6c64_z
    • Congrats to Skye (blood parasites in cranes) and Andy (cardiac manifestations of canine Chagas disease) for successful Vet Med Summer Research
    • Jillian Wormingtion gives EEB postdoc seminar on triatomine colony research
    • Long over-due Publication Celebration at the Escape Rooms
    • Congrats Carolyn on new position in Pathology at TAMU!
    • Interview about Grackles for the CVM 'Pet Talk'
    • Sarah had a spot on the local news re: Chagas disease in dogs
    • Schubot Center organized local bird banding outreach event at Lick Creek Park
    • Congrats Alyssa for second place in the CVM Three Minute Thesis competition
    • Alyssa and Italo organized a booth at the Engage:Global Health event at the ASTMH conference and shared shared how they are using portable ECG units to study canine Chagas disease among other things
    • Congrats on the conference travel awards Alyssa (CVM GSA for Emerging Disease Conference), Alyssa (selected as Society of Vector Ecology student spekar with travel award), Jillian (CVM PDA award for Entomology Society of America), Italo (TAMU GSA and CVM GSA award for ASTMH), Alyssa (GSA award for ASTMH), Sujata (TAMU PDA award for ASTMH)
  • August 2018

    Thanks to the Paws 4 Hearts Working Therapy Dogs for the donation in support of Chagas disease research!

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