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June 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:

Submission photo 1Submission photo 2Submission photo 3


  • 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 of Entomology.
  • 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 Wildlife Refuge!IMG_2479IMG_3975
  • 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.

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