Posted March 15, 2017
Alyssa and Carolyn received 'CVM Advanced Developmental Training
Grants' to support their participation in the Gordon Conference on
Tropical Infectious Disease this week in Galveston, TX, where they
will each present a research poster.
Posted March 04, 2017
New molecular description of a blood parasite associated with
whooping cranes- perhaps a novel genus in Hemosporida?! (Mol Phylogenet Evol
Posted March 04, 2017
Two new Chagas papers: We examined infection of humans and their
pet dogs at the same time in high risk communities along the
TX-Mexico border (Trop Med
), and we found high prevalence of
infection working dogs suggesting multi-dog kennels are high risk
environments (PLoS NTD
Posted December 12, 2016
New conservation medicine publication in support of the surrogate
species approach for disease studies of endangered species. Open
access in Parasitology. Congrats, miranda! Haemosporida prevalence and diversity are similar
in endangered wild whooping cranes (Grus americana) and
sympatric sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis).
Posted December 09, 2016
Congrats to Alyssa Meyers for being selected for a $1000 CVM Grad
Student Assocaition travel award in support of her recent trip to
Atlanta for the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
meeting. Alyssa presented her poster 'Prevalence and risk
factors of Trypanosoma cruzi infections in working dogs along the
Posted November 29, 2016
Carolyn Hodo and Italo Zecca were awarded $500 One Health Travel
Awards! Italo used his award to attend the American Public
Health Association meeting in Denver, CO, where he presented his
poster on Chagas disease surveillance in communities along the
TX-Mexico border. Carolyn will use her award to attend the
AAVP meeting in New Orleans next month to give oral presentaiton on
Chagas pathology in coyotes and poster presentation on a novel
Posted November 16, 2016
Justin Bejcek and Rachel Curtis-Robles were awarded $750 One Health
Travel Awards! Justin used his award to attend the
International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL, where he
presented his poster to help non-experts identify kissing bug
vectors from many common look-alike, non-vector species.
Rachel used her award to attend the American Society of Tropical
Medicine and Hygiene Conference in Atlanta, GA, where she
participated in the Young Investigator Competition with her work on
spatio-temporal patterns of triatomines in the southern US.
Posted September 21, 2016
Publication Celebration/Lab Retreat on Friday! Gabe's team
vs. Sarah's team in the Escape Rooms- one hour to make our way out.
Posted August 31, 2016
Recently accepted papers include Carolyn's work on bat trypanosomes
(Acta Tropica) and Rattus rattus and Trypanosoma cruzi
nonhuman primate faciltiy (Journal of the Am. Association of Lab
Animal Science); our collaborative work with Dr. Light's lab to
study how invasive fire ants may alter tick-borne disease
(Biology Letters); quantitative synthesis of ticks on birds
North America (Oecologia); and Lisa and Gabe's work on stable isotopes to track mosquitoes in
Posted August 31, 2016
Rachel successfully defended her dissertation in early August!
Posted August 23, 2016
Miranda Bertram DVM PhD has been 'hooded' at the graduation
ceremony on August 12 and is off for her postdoctoral position at
the USDA Plum Island Disease Research Center. She will work
on analytical epidemiology of endemic Foot and Mouth Disease
Posted August 23, 2016
Born on June 1 2016: Welcome to the newest lab member Johanna Jane
Hamer! Johanna enjoyed her first research trip in July to
study human and dog populations in the colonias.
Posted May 31, 2016
Congrats to Rachel on being chosen as the American Association of
Veterinary Parasitologists – Merck Outstanding Graduate Student for
2016. Rachel will give a student keynote address at the
National AAVP meeting this summer, and received an engraved plaque
and monetary award!
Posted May 05, 2016
Congrats to Italo for earning the 3-year CVM Graduate Diversity
Fellowship! This funding package will support him through his
Posted April 19, 2016
Publication Celebration this Thursday! Indian Lunch Feast to
celebrate Rachel's new wildlife Chagas disease paper in
International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, and
Matt's new paper in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and
Posted April 11, 2016
Lots of congrats! Miranda successfully defended her dissertation on
whooping crane parasites in March. Jennifer and Chelsea
successfully defended their non-thesis vet public health projects
on Salmonella in feedlots and feral hog ticks, respectively.
Finally, Bhagath was accepted into a doctoral program at the TAMU
College of Medicine. What a team!!
Posted February 21, 2016
Dr. Ashley Saunders led a team including Dr. Sarah Hamer, Dr. Ann
Millard, Trevor, Rachel, and others in a Chagas dissease case study
that was selected for publication by the American Association of Veterinary Medical
Posted January 29, 2016
Congrats to Alyssa for being selected as a recipient of a 2015 CVM
High Impact Award- Large Grant Categoty at last night's award
banquet. This is in recognition of her NSF Graduate Research
Fellowship, and she will receive a cash prize!
Posted January 17, 2016
Miranda was just selected as the to receive the 2015 CVM
Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship for $1,500! This
scholarship is based on publications, presentations, grant-writing,
GPA, extracurricular work, and other honors.
Posted November 20, 2015
NBC News from Dallas/Fort Worth toured our lab and met with Chagas
researchers across the state- you can see their four-night
investigation here: human disease
, canine disease
, blood donations
, and look-alike insects
. Our Chagas program is also
featured in Dallas Morning News
, The New Yorker
Posted November 12, 2015
An 8 minuted documentary about PhD student Rachel Curtis-Robles and
her research was produced by UT gradate student film maker R.
Bardin. The documentary is called Nocturne
and is viewable at the link.
Posted November 11, 2015
Gabe and Sarah's labs will celebrate recent
student/postdoc/research associate publications on Friday with lots
of Indian food! Congrats for recent papers accepted:
Rachel/Lisa (PLoS Negl Trop Dis), Juliette/Rachel (J Wildl Dis),
Lisa (Appl Environ Microbiol), Matt (Parasitol).
Posted October 14, 2015
Doctoral student Rachel Curtis-Robles is this year’s recipient of
the James Gus Foyle Memorial Scholarship
Texas Mosquito Control Association. Congratulations, Rachel!
Posted October 13, 2015
Our work on the annual importation of exotic ticks and microbes
with Neotropical migratory birds is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology
some popular press write ups, too! (Texas Standard
, The Nature Conservancy
, Texas A&M Today
, US News & World Reports
, Texas Tribune
Posted September 22, 2015
Congrats and gratitude to Lisa- she was just promoted from Research
Assistant to Research Associate!
Posted September 14, 2015
Welcome new PhD students Alyssa Meyers (NSF Graduate Research
Fellow) and Italo Zecca MPH!
Posted August 11, 2015
Dr. Miranda was interviewed by The Nature Conservancy about
her crane research. Best first line ever!
Posted July 04, 2015
Our work at dog kennels is featured on the front page of the Uvalde
Posted June 09, 2015
Rachel's Citizen Science kissing bug program is featured in 'Citizen Science Tuesday
' blog of The Nature
Conservancy. It is kissing bug season... please submit your
Posted June 07, 2015
Congrats on your earning your non thesis Master of Science degree
in Veterinary Public Health, Katlyn! Best wishes for vet school
Posted May 15, 2015
The Nature Conservancy featured some of our migratory bird,
tick, and pathogen research in their Cool Green Science Blog. Here, you can
read about the hitchhikers across the Gulf of Mexico.
Posted May 13, 2015
Congrats Miranda on being one of 5 students (of 41 applicants)
chosen to receive a 2015 Mewaldt-King Student Research Award fro
the Cooper Ornithological Society. This award is in support
of efforts to characterize the hemoparasite populations in sandhill
and whooping cranes.
Posted May 13, 2015
We seek a postdoc to join our team to lead some Chagas disease
ecology work. Please see the job announcement in the
'Opportunities' tab and share with qualified individuals.
Posted April 21, 2015
Congrats Miranda on the acceptance of your first paper in PLoS ONE:
Coccidian parasites and conservation implications for the
endangered whooping crane (Grus americana)!
Posted April 14, 2015
The American Association of Zoo Vets has awarded our team a 2015
Wild Animal Health Fund grant to examine Chagas disease ecology at
a central Texas zoological collection.
Posted April 14, 2015
The National Center for Veterinary Parasitology has awarded our
team a small grant to pursue analyses of Trypanosoma cruzi strains
Posted April 14, 2015
Congrats to Rachel Curtis-Robles for being named the 2015 CVM
Outstanding PhD Student!
Posted April 14, 2015
New publications in Spring 2015 include Lisa's collaborative work
on pathogens in lone star ticks (Journal of Clinical Microbiology),
Jaime's ecological work on ticks and rodents (Southeastern
Naturalist), and Sarah's collaborative work on a tick systems
simulation model (Journal of Vector Ecology).
Posted January 13, 2015
Sarah and Gabe’s new class ‘Field and Lab Techniques in
Vector-borne Disease Ecology’ is underway. The group of 15 graduate
and undergraduate students has already trapped birds, mammals, and
ticks in the field. The class is supported in part by funds from
the Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence award.
Posted January 13, 2015
Welcome Nuray Aydin, new MS student in the Hamer Lab! Nuray is
fully supported on a fellowship from the Turkish government.
Posted January 13, 2015
Rachel Curtis-Robles lands a Texas EcoLab grant and receives a CVM
High Impact Award (and cash prize) in the Small Grant Category
Posted January 13, 2015
Trevor Tenney receives a CVM High Impact Award (and cash prize) in
the First Author Publication Category for his paper resulting from
his summer in the Veterinary Medical Summer Research Training
Posted January 13, 2015
Miranda Bertram earns 3rd place in the graduate student platform
presentation competition at the 2015 CVM Graduate Student and
Postdoctoral Research Symposium.
Posted October 12, 2014
- Congrats to Andrew and Gabe for their new PLoS NTD publication on predictive
modelling of Rift Valley fever virus! And congrats on
Andrew's successful MS defense.
- Woo-Hoo! Carolyn is now a Diplomat of the American College of
Veterinary Pathologists! Congrats on passing board exams AND on
being awarded PhD funding though the NIH T32 Program 'Comparative
Biomedical Research Training for Veterinarians'.
- Sarah was named the 2014-2015 Center for Teaching Excellence -
Montague Scholar for the College of Veterinary Medicine. You
can read more about the award here.
- Our proposal for the One Health Grand Challenge has been
funded! Learn more with the info video in the Global
Health and Security thematic area.
- Our New Kissing Bug Citizen Science Website is
The TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine and Department of
Entomology have a collaborative Citizen Science Program to learn
about kissing bug and Chagas disease risk in the state. The team is
interested in receiving safely-collected kissing bugs encountered
by the public across the state. Please visit and share the
new project website to support the citizen science program.
Among the features of the website is an interactive map, so readers
can see in real-time areas of the state from which kissing bugs
have been submitted by the public. Also, there is a
contact form that allows readers to upload some encounter
information and photos of suspect kissing bugs and for
identification prior to submission to the research team for
diagnostic testing for the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite.
Posted October 12, 2014
- Congrats to Trevor, Rachel and the Chagas team for our first Chagas publication, which occurred in
Emerging Infectious Diseases in the August issue. Here are
some of the media articles:
- Congrats to Emily for earning 2nd place for her research
presentation at the TAMU Entomology Student Research Forum!
- Check out the new AVMA Podcast on Chagas Disease!
- Congrats for an awesome TAMU representation at the 59th Annual
Meeting of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists
in Denver, Colorado, in late July 2014.
- Honorable Mention: Miranda Bertram DVM
Presentation: Detection and characterization of
Haemosporidia in Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes
(Miranda Bertram, Gabriel L Hamer, Barry K Hartup, Sarah A
- First Place: Rachel Curtis
Presentation: Diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi strain types
in vector and host populations throughout Texas (Rachel Curtis,
Gabriel Hamer, Sarah Hamer, Karen Snowden, Edward J Wozniak)
Posted June 28, 2014
- Jamie defended his MS thesis on Friday the 13th entitled
Ecology of a Tick-Rodent-Mammal community in east-central TX.
Congrats Jaime! Now its time to publish before med
- Sarah and Gabe presented at the EEID meeting in Colorado, and
spent a couple days in the Rocky Mountains.
- Karen moved in to officially join Gabe's lab as a PhD student.
- Andrew is in Indonesia hunting arboviruses!
- Carolyn completed her anatomic pathology residency,
- Sarah's new paper on the center of origin of tick-borne
zoonoses in the Midwest has been published in Infection, Genetics,
- Rachel, Lisa, Karen, Gabe, and Sarah participated in the
Diseases in Nature meeting in Irving, TX. Lots of great
vector-borne disease work!
Posted June 28, 2014
- We enjoyed a visit and presentation on Chagas disease from Dr.
Sofia Ocana Mayorga, Post-doctoral fellow at the Tropical Disease
Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University.
- Sarah presented on canine Chagas disease at the 'Chagas Disease
Symposium' at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. The
event was hosted by the South Texans' Property Rights
Posted April 03, 2014
- For the second year, we are again collaborating with the
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Mad Island Bird Banding
Crew to study exotic ticks on birds. Read more about it at
the new Smithsonian blog post here.
- Jaime gave a great Vector Biology seminar presentation
entitled: Small rodent species as reservoirs for tick-borne
pathogens in East-Central Texas
- Rachel was awarded a travel grant from the College of
Veterinary Medicine Graduate Student Association to attend this
summer's AAVP conference; congrats!
- Sarah and her team's 'One Health' proposal was selected as one
of four to move forward for the TAMU 'Grand Challenge'. Lets
hope for some funding soon so we can pursue our pilot project along
the US-Mexico border!
- Sarah was selected for the 'Outstanding Young Faculty Research
Award' within the TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine and
Biomedical Science. She was unable to attend the Spring
Convocation Ceremony because she was giving birth to baby
- WELCOME to the newest lab member TABITHA! She attended
her first lab meeting at 6 days old, and her first field work
experience (mammal trapping with the epidemiology class and Jaime)
at 7 days old.
Posted March 31, 2014
- Congrats to Andrew for being selected for the NSF GROW
(Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide) with USAID
program. Andrew will be spending the summer in Indonesia to
hunt emerging mosquito-borne arboviruses!
- Rachel was awarded the #1 Student Poster Award at the 2014
American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges conference in
March in Alexandria, VA! Rachel's poster was entitled
'Merging ecology and epidemiology to reduce the burden of human and
canine Chagas disease: a One Health approach'. The poster was
a great contribution to this year's meeting, which had the theme of
One Health in Veterinary Medical Education. We are thrilled
that Texas A&M University was well represented at this year's
conference, and that Dean Green was present for Rachel's
Photo: Left to right: Dean Eleanor Green, Rachel Curtis, Assistant
Dean Mike Chaddock, and Merrideth Holub.
- The Hamer Labs were well represented at this year's Ecological
Integration Symposium, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Program in
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Rachel, Andrew, Jaime, and Emily
all delivered awesome oral presentations, and Adrian Castellanos
(Jessica Light's Lab) was awarded yet another #1 Graduate Poster
Presentation Award for his awesome poster on the fire ant - tick -
pathogen project. Way to go, team!!
- DVM Summer Research Student Trevor Tenney (summer 2013) had his
manuscript on canine Chagas disease accepted for publication in
Emerging Infectious Diseases! Congrats to Trevor and
coauthors Rachel, Dr. Snowden, and Sarah for our lab's first
peer-reviewed Chagas publication, hopefully followed by many
- Congrats to Erica for being accepted to TAMU Vet School!
We're glad you'll be around... hopefully you can keep working with
- Emily delivered an awesome oral presentation to the Vector
Biology group entitled 'Using stable isotopes as a marker for
mosquito movement'. Many members of Gabe and Sarah's labs
were present to cheer her on!
Posted February 23, 2014
- Congrats to Jaime for making his decision to start med school
at UT-Southwestern, after multiple offers!
- Congrats to Lowell for making his decision to start vet school
at Western University in California, after multiple offers!
- Adrian Castellanos, PhD student in Dr. Jessica Light's Lab in
Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, has been leading our collaborative
fire ant-tick research project. He was just awarded the Vernon Bailey Award for
best poster presentation in classical mammalogy at the 2014 Texas
Society of Mammalogists Annual Meeting in Junction, Texas, February
14 2014. Way to go, Adrian!
Posted February 14, 2014
- Miranda Bertram and Rachel Curtis were honored at the 2014 CVM
Graduate Research Symposium with High Impact Awards. These
awards are made by the College of Veterinary Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences, and are given to graduate students for
obtaining research grants or for first-authored publications.
Miranda received an award in the 'Small Grant' category for
receiving an AAZV grant. Rachel received an award in the 'Large
Grant' category for receiving the NSF Graduate Research
Fellowship. Rachel also received an award for second place
graduate student platform presentation for her work on Chagas
disease eco-epidemiology. Congrats to all!!
- Rachel was awarded a $5000 CVM Graduate Student Research
Grant! This will support new efforts for culture-based
diagnostics of the Chagas disease parasite this summer. Way to
Posted December 10, 2013
- Congrats to Drs. Miranda and Carolyn for finishing the BCS half
marathon on a very chilly morning!
Posted November 26, 2013
- Sarah was invited to give a seminar in the Department of
Entomology at University of Illinois by her colleague Brian
Allan. Great couple of days at my old stomping grounds!
Congrats to Jaime Rodriguez, Rachel Curtis, Emily Boothe, and
Andrew Golnar for their stellar poster presentations at this years
Entomology Society of America Conference in Austin. Gabe and
Sarah gave invited seminars. That's Jaime with Yukie Miyamoto of
Japan, wife of Kenji Miyamoto, the entomologist for which the
pathogen Jaime studies was named (Borrelia miyamotoi).
- Congrats to Carolyn Hodo for her poster AND oral presentations
at the American Association of Veterinary Pathologists meeting in
- Rachel and Andrew represented the Hamer Labs with oral
presentations in the lunchtime Vector Biology Seminar Series. Great
work! (And yummy homemade treats, Rachel!)
- Jaime and Lowell are doing awesome with med and vet school
interviews all over the place!
- Jaime wrapped up his very last field trapping excursion for his
MS program! (we processed critters in the bathroom due to all
the rain outside!)
- Its Crane Season again! Miranda lead an awesome team for
Sandhill necropsies in the Panhandle. The whoopers are making
their way back to Aransas.
- Adrian holds the new record for capture success. He captured 73
small mammals using 240 traps (>30% success) at the Attwater
Prairie Chicken Refuge and processed them all in one day. And then
claimed it was too wet to drag sample for ticks.
Posted November 26, 2013
- The Nostril Tick paper is published in the American Journal of
Tropical Medicine and Hygiene! Thanks to Senior Author (and
the parasitized man himself) Dr. Tony Goldberg, the media is having
fun with this paper. Check out selected media coverage
below. The ultimate highlight? This news story made it
onto the NPR quiz show 'Wait, Wait, Don't Tell
Me!' (Lightening Fill in the Blank, 4:30 into the segment;
- Houston Chronicle:
- National Geographic:
- Public Radio International:
- Sarah had the honor of participating in the 2013 Leadership
Institute of The Wildlife Society. Ten early career wildlfie
professionals from across the country were selected for leadership
training. We participatied in activities over the past four months,
and our experience culminated with face-to-face training at the
2013 TWS meeting in Milwaukee.
Posted October 10, 2013
- Congrats to Emily from Gabe's lab for winning the James Gus
Foyle Memorial Scholarship from the TX Mosquito Control
Posted October 10, 2013
- Our labs were so fortunate to have visiting high school
research Adam Curtis for a full month! Hopefully the fishing
trip to the gulf coast made Adam's time in Texas worth it. We
hope you come back to learn more with us next summer!
- Sarah headed to the 13th International Conference on Lyme
Borreliosis and Other Tick-borne Pathogens on the Harvard Medical
Campus in Boston. She presented a poster on Ehrlichia
muris ecology, and was able to hang out with some of the
original Tick Chicks!
- Gabe and Sarah and our students enjoyed another fun, yet
relatively unproductive morning of mist netting! Check out
our FLICKR site for photos. Also, we were
very happy that Lynn David Cole of Texas Review Stars showed up to
see the birds. He followed up with a visit to campus to
interview Sarah, you can see it here:
- We had a great summer with visiting summer researchers Katlin,
Trevor, Raven, Lee, and Katelyn. Thanks for all your hard
Posted July 28, 2013
- Mosquito Crew is taking over College Station, with Emily in the
- Congrats to Jaime Rodriguez for being awarded the Willie May
Harris Fellowship for Outstanding Graduating Teaching Assistant
from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Jaime was
nominated by Dr. Jessica Light based on his teaching in the
mammalogy class. Although this award provides funding so that
Jaime will not need to teach this fall, he's going to teach
anyways, because he loves it so much. We are also thrilled
that Jaime already has 3 med school interviews lined up this
- Good news for internal funding this month:
- Texas AgriLife has funded our research to explore interactions
among invasive fire ants, ticks, tick-borne pathogens, and small
mammals! Dr. Jessica Light lead this proposal, with Sarah,
Gabe, and other collaborators from WFSC and ENTO on board.
- We just learned that we have been awarded a seed grant for our
proposal to explore Chagas disease ecology and epidemiology across
a transnational gradient. This funding is from the Texas A&M
University-CONACYT: Collaborative Research Grant Program. We
are so excited to build new collaborations with investigators from
Instituto Politécnico Nacional in
- Rachel, Miranda, Gabe, and Sarah all presented at the American
Association of Veterinary Parasitologists meeting in Chicago.
Great Job, Miranda and Rachel, on your first national oral
presentations of your dissertation research! And a big
congrats to Rachel for being awarded the #1 Student Presentation
Award! You can read more here about this honor on the VIBS
Posted July 28, 2013
- Our kissing bug 'Citizen Science Initiative' is in full
force! We are receiving public submissions of bugs from
across Texas and the southern US to learn more about geographic
distribution of species, vector phenology, parasite infection
prevalence and genetic strain types. Many bugs originate in
dog kennel environments. If you have bugs you'd like to
submit to our lab for research purposes, please check out the
'Projects' tab to the right and send an email to:
- Rachel heads to Ecuador for 1 month of intensive training in
Chagas Disease field and laboratory work and community development
in an endemic area. Rachel's trip is supported in part by CVM
International Studies and CVM Advanced Training competitive funding
programs. We look forward to all she will learn in an endemic area
of disease transmission, to enhance our research here in Texas
where the diseases is emerging.
- Welcome to Raven Frady (Washington) and Lee Vang (Minnesota),
who have been accepted to work with Dr. Gabe Hamer in the Research
Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program through the Department
- We are thrilled that our grant proposal submitted for funding
from the Texas Agrilife Research/Texas Veterinary Medical
Diagnostic Lab Seed Grant Program has been funded! The title
of our proposal is: "Genetic diversity of the Chagas disease
parasite in natural populations of vectors, wildlife, and domestic
dogs: implications for public health protection"
- Welcome to Katelyn Wagner from Michigan State University.
Katelyn was awarded the Dr. Marvin Hensley Endowed Scholarship Fund
in Zoology to support her undergraduate research in our lab.
Katelyn will lead our new research direction in the ecology of
interactions among invasive fire ants, ticks, small mammals, and
tick-borne disease, in collaboration with Dr. Jessica Light.
Our fieldwork will start at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National
- Our labs had great representation at this year's Diseases in
Nature conference in Houston (formally known as the James Steele
Diseases in Nature Transmissible to Man conference). We were
especially thrilled for our interactions with Dr. James Steele, and
for the keynote from Dr. Peter Hotez. Presentations included
collaborative research by: Miranda Bertram, Carolyn Hodo, Rachel
Curtis, Jaime Rodriguez, Sarah Hamer, Gabe Hamer, Lisa Auckland,
and Alex Weghorst.
Posted May 05, 2013
- Operation Migratory Bird Tick is underway! For a short
time period of the spring migration, we've teamed up with bird
banders from the Smithsonian Institute who run an awesome mist
netting operation on Mad Island, TX Gulf Coast. We look
forward to learning more about the ticks brought in with the
migrants! The Smithsonian crew keeps a weekly blog. You
can read to learn more about their recent 'Fallout' experience as
well as our tick collections:
- Congrats to summer Medical Science Training Program student
Trevor Tenney. Trevor was awarded the prestigious F. Edward
Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship and was sworn
into to the Corps in a nice ceremony on campus. We look forward to
working with you this summer!
- Thanks for a great semester, Matthew and Tyler. Matthew
is off to start DVM training at Kansas State, and Tyler will finish
his last year in the Forensics program before starting medical
- Sarah wrapped up her first semester teaching VIBS 413
Epidemiology... eager to see the student reviews and ways to
improve next year.
- Carolyn heads to University of Texas-El Paso to learn culture
and metacyclogenesis techniques for Trypanosoma cruzi. Thank
you to Drs. Igor Almeida and Rosa Maldonado for hosting
Carolyn. This trip is supported in part by a CVM Advanced
Training competitive funding proposal.
Posted April 07, 2013
- Congrats to Rachel Curtis, CVM
Merit Fellow, on being awarded the prestigious NSF Graduate
Research Fellowship to support her One Health research! Of over
13,000 applicants, 2,000 were selected for this award, which
provides $30,000 per year in stipend plus a tuition waiver for 3
years. This award will support Rachel as she studies the
ecology and epidemiology of Chagas disease in the southern United
States. Rachel was among 9 TAMU students across campus to
receive this award.
- The great news continues! Andrew
Golnar, PhD student with Dr. Gabe Hamer (Department of Entomology)
was also awarded an NSF Fellowship! We are close
collaborators with Andrew, Gabe, and the Ento Lab, and look forward
to all the great research ahead. Andrew and Gabe will explore
parasite co-infections in the West Nile virus system.
Photo: Rachel Curtis (middle, 2013 NSF Fellowship recipient)
collects samples from wild birds with her lab mates Miranda Curtis
DVM (left; CVM Merit Fellow) and Andrew Golnar (right; PhD student
in Entomology; also a 2013 NSF Fellowship recipient).
- Congrats to Miranda Bertram, CVM Merit Fellow, on being awarded
a $10,000 research grant from the American Association of
Zoological Veterinarians to support her whooping crane
research! This grant is part of the 'Zoological Medicine and
Wildlife Health' research program of AAZV and will allow Miranda to
develop a novel molecular typing system for helminths associated
with this endangered species. Way to go!!
Photo: Miranda Bertram (middle right)
and the whooping crane scat collection crew poses atop the
observation tower at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where a
majority of whooping cranes overwinter. With Miranda are
undergraduate researchers Tyler Smith (left) and Matthew Olcha
(middle left) and Entomology PhD student Andrew Golnar (right).
Posted March 03, 2013
- Sarah and Gabe both presented at the
Southwestern Entomological Society conference in Las Cruces,
NM. Their road trip also included picking up some Rocky
Mountain sandhill cranes for research.
- A press article featuring Rachel Curtis' work
and solicitation of kissing bugs has just been published in the AgriLife News called
'Never Kiss a Kissing Bug'
- Many local newspapers across the state picked up the press
release, including The Eagle (local newspaper in Bryan/College
Station), which ran an article on March 25 2013 including a
great photo of Rachel holding a kissing bug in the lab.
- Congrats to Emily Boothe, undergrad researcher
working with Gabe in Entomology... Emily was just accepted to the
Master of Science program in Entomology. Emily will
officially enroll in the fall, but her first field season will be
this summer working on mosquito stable isotope mark recapture
- Congrats to undergraduate researcher Matthew
Olcha! After being accepted at 4 vet schools (and on
the wait list for an additional school), Matthew made his decision
to accept his offer at Kansas State! We are so proud of
- Miranda wrapped up her first field season late
this month with an final 15 or so fecal samples collected from the
refuge. Now its time to plunge in to molecular parasite ID,
crane microsatellite analysis, and more!
Posted February 12, 2013
- Congrats Rachel Curtis on being awarded travel
funding from CVM International Programs office to support upcoming
summer training in Ecuador! We look forward to all the new
knowledge and skills you'll gain in the area of Chagas
- Congrats Lisa Auckland and Frida
Cano on completing the Ehrlichia muris dataset
leading to submission of an abstract on the research for a
conference this summer!
- The Hamer Lab enjoyed a visit by Jennifer
Sidge, DVM/MS student from Michigan State University. Jen
completed a veterinary externship training with us in Texas.
Highlights from Jen's trip included joining Rachel in the field for
her first Chagas disease sampling trip, and joining Miranda, Tyler,
Andrew, and Matthew in the field for crane fecal collections!
Jen Sidge and the famous Aggie Ring
- Sarah Hamer travelled to University of Richmond to give a
seminar in the Department of Biology, meet with pre-vet
students. Thanks for the invitation, Dr. Jory
Posted January 12, 2013
- Lab member Carolyn Hodo is awarded a TAMU CVM
Postdoctoral Research Grant! We are thrilled! This
grant will fund our new studies in Chagas disease ecology to
explore the role of parasite coinfections on disease outcome using
controlled transmission experiments!!
- This semester, we welcome two undergraduate researchers to the
lab! Matthew Olcha is a senior in Biomedical
Sciences, and just learned he will have to choose from at least a
couple schools for DVM training in the fall! (Congrats, Matt!!).
Tyler Smith is a sophomore in the Forensics
program in the Entomology Department, and we hope he'll work with
our lab for semesters and years to come!
- Crane Research gets some media coverage! From the TAMU VetEpi
'Epidemiology graduate student Miranda Bertram
engages with hunters to address whooping crane conservation
'Miranda Bertram DVM, a PhD student in Dr. Sarah Hamer's lab, is
interested in the pathogens and parasites that are associated with
Whooping Cranes that may play a role in limiting population growth
of this endangered species. To address her questions, Miranda
conducts noninvasive fecal sampling of Whooping Cranes on their
wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Miranda also collects samples from Sandhill Cranes- a common
species in Texas that may be a model for better understanding the
risks to the Whoopers.'
Houston Chronicle Article - January 16, 2013
- Sarah gave a research seminar at the Health Science Center,
TAMU College of Medicine. Thanks for the invitation, Dr.
Posted December 12, 2012
Sarah's CDC Podcast is up and available on I-tunes! See
the Emerging Infectious Disease podcast called 'Wild Birds and the
Urban Ecology of Ticks' (26 min 35 sec... its free!)
Posted November 28, 2012
TAMU was lucky to have a week-long visit by disease
ecologists/epidemiologists Drs. Jean Tsao
(Michigan State University) and Graham Hickling
(University of Tennessee). Their visit included a couple of
awesome seminars, tick-plucking at deer check stations, and useful
feedback at our lab meeting!
Graham Hickling, Sarah Hamer, Lisa Aucklad, and Rachel
Miranda and Carolyn's crane research is well underway, with
field research at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and necropsies
of hunter-harvested birds.
Jaime Rodriguez's tick research update: the
mice have ticks this month (look closely for an engorged
Posted October 22, 2012
Miranda and Sarah represented the Epi and Public Health group at
the TAMU Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Expo. We met some
promising undergraduates interested in disease ecology research. We
promoted research-based career paths for those interested in DVM or
Sarah's newly published article in Emerging Infectious Diseases
on urban wild birds and tick-borne pathogens was selected as a 'Media Highlight':
Wild Birds and Urban Ecology of Ticks and Tick-borne
Pathogens, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005-2010:
'No longer do you have to visit rural areas to find ticks; birds
are flying them directly to you. When researchers sampled several
thousand birds in Chicago, they found that some carried ticks; and
some of these ticks carried the organism that spreads Lyme disease.
Although the number of infected ticks on these birds was low, risk
for their invading an area and spreading infection to humans cannot
be ignored. If conditions are favorable, a few infected ticks can
quickly multiply. Migratory birds also carried tick species only
known to be established in central and South America. Limited
introduction and successful establishment of ticks and
disease-carrying organisms pose a major health risk for humans,
wildlife, and domestic animals in urban environments
Posted September 12, 2012
New student Lowell Pigott
begins his non-thesis MS
in Veterinary Public Health-Epi with the lab!
New student Jaime Rodriguez (co-advised with
Dr. Jessica Light, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences) starts his MS
program working on tick-borne disease ecology!
New student Frida Cano (Entomology
undergraduate) begins her first research experience with us in the
Our lab has been organizing mist netting outreach
opportunities. Participation from TAMU CVM, Epi Group,
Wildlife, Entomology, Rio Brazos Audubon Society, TX Master
Naturalists, and many others have made these monthly events great
fun! We even caught an eastern Screech Owl this month!
Posted August 26, 2012
Please see the CVM Press Release here
about Sarah's national Young Investigator
Award for biomedical research (3rd place)! The award was also
covered in the VIBS Department Spotlight here
Posted July 12, 2012
New students Miranda Bertram
have accepted College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences Merit Fellowships to support their positions in
the Hamer lab for their PhD programs! Both Miranda and Rachel have
also been awarded Lechner scholarships. Congrats, and welcome
Miranda and Rachel! More information about their awards can be
found on the Vet Epi News website
Posted June 12, 2012
Mammal and avian wildlife field research is well underway, with
monthly excursions at local field sites. Check out some of our
field photos at the Wildlife and Fisheries Science flickr site organized by Dr.
Sarah delivered an oral presentation on her research at the James Steele Diseases in
Nature Transmissible to Man Conference in San Antonio, TX.
Posted May 12, 2012
Sarah participated in a workshop and presented at the Ecology
and Evolution of Infectious Disease Conference in Ann Arbor,
Mammal and avian wildlife research permits at the federal,
state, and university levels have been approved. Sarah is now
a Master Bird Bander!
Posted April 12, 2012
The new Hamer Lab is Biosafety Level 2-certified and ready for
action, thanks to lots of help by new Research Assistant Lisa
Auckland. Welcome to the lab, Lisa!
Posted March 12, 2012
An announcement about Sarah's new faculty position at TAMU can
be found on the Vet Epi news