Office: 310 Deering Hall               Email: allison.gardner@maine.edu               Phone: 207-581-3115

Dr. Allison (Allie) Gardner (Principal Investigator)

I am a medical entomologist and an Assistant Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology. I also am a faculty affiliate of the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program and a faculty fellow of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. I enjoy mentoring graduate and undergraduate students on independent projects spanning a range of topics in infectious disease ecology and entomology, engaging in interdisciplinary research collaborations across the campus and the state, and promoting opportunities for students to explore new scientific problems and ecological settings through study abroad and international research experience. At UMaine, I teach General Entomology (BIO 326) and Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIO 431). I received my PhD in Entomology and MS degrees in Statistics and Pathobiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and my BA from Williams College.

CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

  • Brandon Lieberthal is a Research Associate in the School of Biology and Ecology and a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). His research investigates the impacts of human movement on the spread of mosquito-borne viruses.

  • Elissa Ballman is a Research Associate in the School of Biology and Ecology (MS in Entomology, University of California at Riverside). She is conducting research and leading a citizen science project examining impacts of forest management decision-making on tick-bore disease risk in Maine. 

  • Christine Conte is a Master's student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Her thesis research investigates the cascading impacts of timber harvesting on wildlife communities, blacklegged tick abundance, and Lyme disease transmission dynamics.

  • Stephanie Hurd is a PhD student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Her thesis research investigates forest management strategies to inhibit tick-borne disease transmission in southern Maine.

  • Sara McBride is a Master's student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Her thesis research examines patterns and ecological mechanisms of entomological risk of exposure to Lyme disease in Acadia National Park.

  • Michelle Volk is a Master's student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Her thesis research uses field experiments to analyze the impacts of temperature and snowfall on blacklegged tick over-winter survival across a statewide climate gradient.

LAB ALUMNI

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Undergraduate Honors Thesis and Capstone Students

  • Meghan Frisard graduated from the Honors College in May 2019 with a BS in Zoology and BA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her interdisciplinary thesis project focused on socioeconomic correlates of tick-borne disease incidence in Maine. She currently is a research assistant in the Media and Health Behaviors Lab at Dartmouth College.

  • Lucy Guarnieri graduated from the Honors College in May 2019 with a BS Biology and a minor in Spanish. Her thesis project examined interactions between blacklegged ticks and European fire ants and the consequences for tick-borne disease transmission in Acadia National Park.

  • Cassie Steele graduated in May 2019 with a BS in Zoology. Her capstone project investigated the microbiota associated with native and invasive plant species and the impact of these microbial communities on juvenile mosquito development. She currently is a research technician in medical entomology at Walter Reed Medical Center.

  • Alyssa Marini graduated in May 2018 with a BS in Wildlife Ecology. Until July 2019, she served as a research technician in the lab and worked on a variety of projects related to mosquitoes and ticks, including leading a field season in Eleuthera, Bahamas. She currently is a research technician in mosquito surveillance at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

  • William Aman graduated in May 2018 with a BS in Wildlife Ecology. His capstone project examined insect diversity in different habitats types in the Orono Bog and Bangor City Forest. He currently is a field technician at Central Mass. Mosquito Control.

  • Fatimah Conteh graduated in May 2018 with a BS in Biology. Her capstone project characterized the midgut microbiota of larval and adult mosquitoes collected from storm water catch basins in Bangor. She currently is a lab technician in medical entomology in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Spencer DeBrock graduated from the Honors College in May 2018 with a BS in Zoology. His thesis project examined the impacts of hemlock loss due to hemlock woolly adelgid infestation on blacklegged tick abundance and Lyme disease infection prevalence. He currently is a PhD student in Biological Sciences (epidemiology concentration) at Texas A&M University.

  • Emma Fournier graduated in May 2018 with a BS in Biology. Her capstone project focused on use of dogs as sentinels for Lyme disease transmission in Maine. She currently is a DVM student at Tufts University.

  • Korey Pow graduated in May 2017 with a BS in Biology. Her capstone project examined use of dragonfly naiad predators for control of mosquito larvae and pupae. She currently is an MPH student (infectious disease concentration) at Boston University.