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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:

  • January 2019 Congrats Jillian for being awarded funding from the CVM Postdoctoral Research Trainee Grant competition!  Looking forward to more great work with the kissing bug colony.
  • January 2019 Congrats to our team for great representation in the 2019 CVMBS Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Research Symposium and Banquet.  Dr. Jillian received the Peoples Choice award for her poster on triatomine flight capability.  Rachel B. presented a great poster on canine Chagas disease epidemiology. Additionally, 'High Impact Awards' were given at the banquet, where Alyssa received a 'Large Grant Recipient' award (with money) and both Alyssa and Italo were recognized for first author publications.
  • 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.

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