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Welcome to the Vector Biology Lab in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine! Our research focuses on the ecology of infectious diseases of humans and wildlife that are transmitted by arthropod vectors. We use lab and field studies in conjunction with geographic, quantitative, and molecular tools to address questions related to 1) understanding the basic biology of arthropod vectors and the socio-environmental conditions that enhance disease transmission, 2) developing effective, sustainable vector management strategies that are grounded in ecological theory, and 3) predicting future hotspots of transmission to facilitate targeted public health prevention and intervention efforts. Current projects include studying the impacts of climate change on the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease in Maine, modeling the spread of mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas, and understanding the interactions between risk of exposure to vector-borne disease and natural resource use (e.g., timber harvesting, nature-based tourism) at local and international spatial scales. We collaborate with other researchers at UMaine and beyond in environmental social sciences, public health, mathematics, and geography. Please contact the principal investigator, Dr. Allie Gardner, for more information!

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