Newsletter Issue #79 - January 7, 2021
Register for the 4th PacVec Annual Meeting 2021!

Please mark your calendars! The Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (PacVec) will host our 4th annual meeting virtually on February 17-18, 2021. The meeting will include presentations from researchers, trainees, public health officials, and vector control professionals from across our collaborative network, and we will discuss plans for applied research and training opportunities in the coming year. A detailed agenda will be available soon - REGISTER NOW! You can now find information on the PacVec annual meeting HERE!
New Study: Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi seroprevalence in California blood donors
The western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus, an important vector in the western United States of two zoonotic spirochetes: Borrelia burgdorferi (also called Borreliella burgdorferi), causing Lyme disease, and Borrelia miyamotoi, causing a relapsing fever-type illness. Human cases of Lyme disease are well-documented in California, with increased risk in the north coastal areas and western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range. Despite the established presence of B. miyamotoi in the human-biting I. pacificus tick in California, human exposure to this spirochete has not been well-studied. To assess exposure to B. burgdorferi and B. miyamotoi in California, and to address the hypothesis that B. miyamotoi exposure in humans is similar in geographic range to B. burgdorferi, PacVec training grant recipients Ph.D. student Sharon I. Brummitt and Dr. Woutrina A. Smith and colleagues sampled both high-endemic and low-endemic counties for Lyme Disease; 1,700 blood donor sera from California were tested for antibodies to both pathogens [full article].
The CDC Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch is starting a new MALDI-TOF Tick ID project

The Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with various US-based and international universities and public health agencies to develop a robust, protein-based platform for identification and characterization of tick species of medical and veterinary importance, with applications for surveillance and scientific activities in the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. We are currently seeking collaborators to provide recently collected (2017- present), field-caught specimens of Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes scapularis, and Ixodes pacificus. We are requesting samples of all feeding life stages of these species from various US locations for subsequent proteomic analysis. Desired specimens should be preserved in 70-95% ethanol and stored at room temperature since the time of collection. Ideally, at least 10 specimens from each geographical location are requested.
If you have questions or can assist with this project please contact Maria Galletti (, Joy Hecht ( or Chris Paddock ( for more information.
Updated: Response requested for the second nationwide assessment of local vector control organizations

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are actively administering the second nationwide assessment of local vector control organizations in the United States to inform CDC funding of state and local vector control programs, and to determine how NACCHO can best provide targeted guidance and training opportunities for local agencies. Starting September 2020, NACCHO reached out to every vector control program in the country to confirm the point of contact for the assessment. All local vector control contacts at LHDs should have received the vector assessment in their designated inboxes. For additional information, visit NACCHO’s vector control webpage, or contact
NEW: Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CCEID) Seminar Series
The NYS Department of Health and University of Albany are hosting a joint seminar series on Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CCEID).

When: Every third Thursday of the month starting January 2021

Fourth Virtual Vector Biology Seminar Series 2021
Join the 4th Virtual Vector Biology seminar series to hear from fantastic speakers about their research on mosquitoes, ticks, tsetse flies, and kissing bugs!

Organized by: Monika Gulia-Nuss and Claudia Rückert

When: Every Friday at 9AM PDT from January 15 - March 19

Virtual Seminar Series on Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
The Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease (CREID) is hosting a virtual seminar series every second Tuesday of the month starting January 2021. Register in advance for this webinar series!

Organized by: Kathryn Hanley
and Nikos Vasilakis
When: Every second Tuesday of the month starting January 2021

International Virtual Seminars on Arbovirus Biology
Organized by: Tem Morrison and Clive McKimmie
For Zoom login: Email Clive McKimmie

When: Every third Thursday of the month starting October 2020

Next Offering 13 January 2021 - Online Training in Vector Surveillance
Learn to develop an effective vector surveillance program, collect data, and communicate risk with the Cornell Entomology Department and eCornell in the newest online course Vector-Borne Diseases Surveillance. Take this 3-week instructor-led course with Dr. Laura Harrington and learn best practices to implement vector surveillance, data, and reporting methods. The next offering of the course is scheduled to begin January 13, 2021.

Annual Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases six-day course
The Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem is hosting the third annual Biology of Vector-borne Diseases six-day course. This six-day course, offered through the University of Idaho, is both lecture- and discussion-based and is delivered by internationally recognized experts, with integrated case studies of emerging vector-borne pathogens. The course registration fee includes housing, meals, course materials and social activities. Registration will be due following acceptance into the course.

When: Sunday through Friday, June 20-25, 2021
Registration fee: $1,500 USD

Visit PacVec Training Opportunities
PacVec Resistance Testing
The Kearney Center has transitioned to remote work as a precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means any requested insecticide resistance testing or workshops will need to wait until normal activities resume. Dr. Anton Cornel and Katherine Brisco will still be available to offer resistance testing support and guidance at this time through email ( or teleconferencing.
Videos on Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing
In collaboration with partners at the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, PacVec CoE has produced new training videos providing an overview of resistance testing for larval mosquitoes. The videos discuss the rationale for monitoring resistance in mosquitoes, an overview of dose responses and how the dose response changes as resistance to larvicides evolves in a mosquito population, the different types of larval mosquito control agents, the supplies needed for carrying out bioassays, bioassay set-up and making stock solutions of control agents, and interpreting the bioassay results. See the videos and related materials at
Need Bottle Bioassay Testing?
If you have mosquito (Aedes or Culex) samples to be tested for insecticide resistance, PacVec is providing testing and training services at no charge, and all results will be returned to you. Dr. Anton Cornel's laboratory is leading this activity and organizing various regional training workshops on bottle bioassay testing. If you are interested, please contact us right away at to arrange for shipment and timing of the testing.

Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing:
Vector Control and Public Health Agencies Need Summer Interns for 2020, or Just Help Advertising Positions for Students?
Please contact us anytime if your agency has seasonal positions that may be of interest to undergraduate students in the Pacific Southwest region. Such positions are important formative experiences for students, and they are excellent opportunities to raise awareness of career opportunities in vector-borne diseases. These can be simple job postings that we will advertise to our undergraduates or we can help you partner with faculty for project-based internships that involve academic credit with a faculty mentor and possible continued data analysis during the school year. If you are interested, please send us a note at To maximize your audience and reach the best candidates for your positions, please send us these position announcements as early as possible, ideally in January or February, before students have settled their summer plans.
NEW: Postdoctoral Research Associate

The University of South Carolina Laboratory (UofSC) of Zoonotic and Vector-borne diseases is seeking a postdoctoral research associate to join the lab, starting January 2021. The successful candidate will work closely with Dr. Melissa Nolan to execute multiplex pathogen detection assays, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis on pediatric cohort samples and insect vector species. About the UofSC Laboratory of Zoonotic and Vector-borne Diseases: the laboratory focuses on the epidemiology of Spotted Fever group rickettsioses, Chagas disease, gastrointestinal parasites and emerging arboviral pathogens in the United States and Latin America.

Location: Columbia, SC

Research Associate I

The University of Texas Medical Branch is seeking to fill the position, Research Associate I. This position will perform varying standardized laboratory assignments and experiments. Minimum qualifications are: Bachelor's degree in basic science or equivalent; no experience required. Experience in cellular immunology, molecular biology, microbiology, cell culture and sterile technique preferred.

Location: Galveston, TX

PhD Graduate Research Assistant

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA is seeking a Ph.D. level graduate research assistant. The competitive assistantship is funded for 4 years and will cover tuition, stipend, and health insurance. The successful candidate can start immediately upon acceptance into the graduate program. The selected graduate student will be part of an NSF funded, multi-institutional research project aimed at developing accurate predictive tools for assessing tick distribution and tick-borne disease in the western United States.

Please send a letter of interest, concise CV (degrees and courses taken, publications, presentations, awards, etc.) and contact information for three references to Dr. Monika Gulia-Nuss or Dr. Claudia Rückert. The applicant will also need to apply and be accepted into the UNR graduate program. Please email Dr. Gulia-Nuss or Dr. Rückert if you have additional questions.

Location: Reno, NV
Application deadline: Applications will be accepted until a candidate is identified.
Postdoctoral Fellow

The Foy Lab in the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology Department at Colorado State University is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to lead and manage research projects in the Foy lab and some undergraduate/graduate personnel in the lab. This postdoctoral position’s primary duties are to organize, conduct and develop studies under our funded research aimed at understanding and controlling vector-borne diseases, with a specific focus on genetic analyses of vectors (Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes spp.) and vector-borne pathogens (Plasmodium spp., West Nile virus, and Zika virus). The lab is in the middle conducting a cluster-randomized control trial in Burkina Faso testing whether ivermectin mass drug administrations and seasonal malaria chemoprevention reduces malaria in children and is starting a 5-year project developing and field testing endectocide-treated bird feed for West Nile virus control in the western United States. We also have ongoing projects to understand the sexual transmission of Zika virus, developing/assessing anti-vector vaccines, and developing xenosurveillance for infectious disease surveillance.

Salary: $52,000 - $53,000 per year
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Postdoctoral Associate

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Courtney Murdock at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA), for a highly motivated candidate to study how different environmental drivers impact host-pathogen interactions and transmission in the Asian malaria mosquito (Anopheles stephensi) – human malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) system. The research project, funded by NIH (R01 AI153444-01), will utilize data generated from experiments that define key relationships between temperature, relative humidity, and transmission, along with climate data collected in the field, to build mechanistic models of temporal and spatial variation in urban malaria.

Salary: Commensurate with experience
Location: Ithaca, NY
Application due: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected or deadline for applications is 1/15/2021

Postdoctoral Position

Kansas State University is seeking to fill a postdoctoral position in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Workforce Development (WFD) Program. The WFD was established in 2017 to increase the number of qualified scientists in the U.S. in preparation for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). The Department of Entomology at Kansas State University is partnering with ARS to identify changes in feeding behavior in blood-feeding arthropod disease vectors following infection with arboviruses. The encumbent position will use electropenetrogram techniques to develop baseline libraries for mosquito and Culidoides midge blood feeding behavior and compare these with feeding activity following arboviral infection. Differences observed in feeding activity may lead to new hypotheses and methods for disrupting the ability of these vectors to transmit diseases to livestock.

Location: Manhattan, KS
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Urban Pest Management

The Urban Entomology lab at Department of Entomology, Rutgers University has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position starting in January 2021. Primary responsibility is to conduct applied research in urban pest management. Current projects include house mouse and cockroach management research in apartment buildings. The secondary responsibility is to collaborate with the pest control industry to design, execute, and summarize bioassays. Requires a PhD in area of Entomology or closely related field. Visit the page of Dr. Changlu Wang to learn more about this position and how to apply.
Location: New Brunswick, NJ
NEW: Vector Ecologist

This position, under the general direction of the General Manager and direct supervision of the Operational Services Supervisor, is a mid-level position that performs mosquito and vector-borne disease surveillance. Examples of work include; deploying and collecting various mosquito traps throughout Merced County, mosquito species identification, data entry, blood sampling from sentinel chickens and general biology. Must be able to communicate effectively with the public. Participates in the District’s education campaign.

Salary: $4,255.33 - $5,177.47 per month
Location: Merced, CA
Application due: 03/15/2021


NEW: Vector Control Technician I/II/III

Under immediate (I) to general supervision (II/III), performs routine vector control field operations including identifying mosquito breeding sources and applying the appropriate management measures, responding to public requests for service, and conducting surveillance.  To qualify for Technician I, applicants should have six months experience in vector control or a related discipline or completion of some college coursework (minimum 1 year) in environmental health, biology, chemistry, microbiology, zoology, or a related discipline.  Technician II/III must be certified by the State of California Department of Public Health as a Vector Control Technician.

$45,047.58 - $85,058.59 per year
Location: Ventura and Moorpark (may require travel throughout Ventura County, CA)
Application due: Continuous (may close at any time)


Research Entomologist

The Agricultural Research Service, Animal Disease Research Unit is currently accepting applications for a Research Entomologist. Responsibilities include: conducting independent research with a focus on controlling ticks and tick-borne diseases that impact livestock; conducting research on livestock tick-pathogen and/or tick-host interactions; conducting research to investigate vector competence of tick-borne pathogens of livestock; providing expertise on tick biology and physiology to contribute to a diverse array of collaborative research; and, overseeing the rearing of ticks required for research in ADRU, including the establishment and maintenance of new colonies as needed.

$76,721 - $118,603 per year
Location: Pullman, WA
Application due: 01/18/2021



Delta Vector Control District is recruiting for the position, Biologist. Under the general direction of the Manager or his/her designee, the Biologist assists with a variety of routine and standard field, biological, microbiological, chemical and other laboratory procedures to support the District’s vector surveillance and control programs, vector-borne disease surveillance and prevention program, and relative research projects; and performs related laboratory and field work as required.

Salary: $72,016.52 - $90,020.64 (5-Step scale) per year, negotiable
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled


Operations Program Manager

Delta Vector Control District is recruiting for the position, Operations Program Manager. The Operations Program Manager (OPM) is a management-level position. Under the Direction of the Assistant Manager, the OPM is in charge of the day-to-day operations side of the District. The incumbent assists in planning and the organization of District programs, including; the planning, direction and supervision of all vector control inspection and control activities. The OPM is a member of the safety committee, and enforces all District policies, programs and standards. Morale and discipline of employees, including, if necessary, the firing of an employee are among the responsibilities of this position, following written book keeping and approval by the Assistant Manager and Manager.

Salary: $77,367.00 - $96,708.75 (5-Step scale) per year, negotiable
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled



The Arthropod-Borne Disease Laboratory, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, in Yaphank, NY conducts countywide surveillance of arthropod-borne pathogens. The ABDL is seeking an entomologist to assist with various lab functions and field activities including the expansion of a tick surveillance program. The successful applicant will be required to conduct field work for tick collections and molecular laboratory analysis for tick-borne pathogens. Experience in molecular biology is preferred. If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and a list of 3 references via e-mail to Dr. Scott Campbell ( 

Salary: Begins at $61,460 per year with employee benefits
Location: Yaphank, NY
Application due: As soon as a qualified candidate is identified (preferable start date in early 2021)



Pasco County Mosquito Control District is recruiting for the position, Entomologist. The job entails technical and professional work, including planning, coordinating and implementing entomological research, surveillance, and control programs. The candidate should have a Bachelors degree in the Biological Sciences/Entomology and 3 years of experience in a mosquito control program or related field. Possession of an advanced degree (MS) and supervisory experience is highly desirable, although not required.

Salary: $58,032 – $87,028 per year
Location: Odessa, FL
Application due: 2/5/2021



East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control is seeking applications to fill this position. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct highly responsible, professional administrative and supervisory work in directing the activities of the East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control District. Work involves responsibility for directing the planning, operation and financial management of a comprehensive program to identify and eliminate breeding areas of mosquitoes and rodents in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Salary: Commensurate with experience (range from $70,990 - 118,608 per year plus benefits)
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Assistant Professor (Arthropod Vectors & Associated Pathogens)

The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno seeks to fill a position within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: a 9-month, tenure-track Assistant Professor in the area of arthropod vectors and associated pathogens. The Department is currently expanding its research base and is seeking researchers whose expertise complements existing strengths in arthropod vectors and associated pathogens. We are especially interested in outstanding Biochemists, Molecular Biologists, or Biotechnologists. Candidates must demonstrate the capability to develop a high-impact, nationally recognized, extramurally funded research program as well as excellence in teaching and service. There is no teaching experience requirement in year one to allow the opportunity to establish a research program.

Location: University of Nevada, Reno, NV
Applications posted: 12/10/2020

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor (Plant Sciences or Human Health)

The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno seeks to fill a position within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: a 9-month, tenure-track Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor in the area of plant sciences or human health. The Department is currently expanding its research base and is seeking researchers whose expertise complements existing strengths in plant biochemistry and molecular biology and human health. We are especially interested in outstanding Biochemists, Molecular Biologists, or Biotechnologists. Candidates must demonstrate the capability to develop a high-impact, nationally recognized, extramurally funded research program as well as excellence in teaching and service. There is no teaching experience requirement in year one to allow the opportunity to establish a research program.

Location: University of Nevada, Reno, NV
Applications posted: 12/10/2020

Associate/Full Professor

State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University seeks an internationally recognized expert in tick-borne diseases to apply for an Associate or Full Professor of Empire Innovation position (EIP). The successful candidate will join a growing team of collaborative and interdisciplinary infectious disease researchers within the newly established SUNY Center for Vector-Borne Diseases. This position offers a highly competitive hard-money state-line salaries and generous start-up package.

Location: Albany, NY
Veterinary Virology/Immunology Faculty

The University of Tennessee invites applications from all qualified individuals for a full-time (12 month) faculty appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The position will be offered as a tenure- or clinical-track assistant or associate professor, dependent on the individual’s interests and qualifications, and will reside in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences. Applicants are asked to submit their letter of intent, names and contact information for at least three professional references, current curriculum vitae and a concise (up to 3-page) statement of diagnostic, research and teaching aspirations to the search committee Chair, Dr. Michael Fry  (Ms. Donna Longmire, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Rm A201, Knoxville, TN 37996-4546, Email: .

Informal inquiries are welcome. Review of applications will begin October 30, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

Assistant/Associate Professor and Director

The Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology (BCH-EPP) at Mississippi State University seeks to fill a tenure-track, position in entomology at the Assistant or Associate level on the main campus in Starkville. This position will consist of 70% research and 30% Teaching. The successful applicant will also serve as the Director of the MS Entomological Museum. Applications must be submitted through the MSU employment portal. Review of applications will begin on January 4, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.
Vector Control Technician I
West Valley MVCD

Salary: $22.28-$27.83 per hour DOE
Location: Ontario, CA
Application due: 1/15/2021


Vector Control Technician III/Mechanic
Delta VCD

Salary: $53,382.05 - $66,727.56 (5-Step scale) per year, negotiable; plus bonuses per ASEs.
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled


Seasonal Assistant Positions
Butte County MVCD
  • Mosquito & Vector Control Assistant (Seasonal)
  • Lab Assistant (Seasonal)
  • Shop / Hangar Assistant (Seasonal)
Salary: $14.00 - $17.00 per hour
Location: Oroville, CA
Applications due: Open until filled

Seasonal Mosquito Control Aide
East Side MAD

Salary: $13.50 - $15.00 per hour
Location: Modesto, CA
Applications due: Open until filled

Visit PacVec Careers
NEW! Brummitt SI, Kjemptrup AM, Harvey DJ, Petersen JM, Sexton C, Smith WA et al. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi seroprevalence in California blood donors. 2020.

Collette NM, Lao VHI, Weilhammer DR, Zingg B, Cohen SD, Coffey LL et al.
Single amino acid mutations affect Zika virus replication in vitro and virulence in vivo. 2020.
Pascoe EL, Plourde BT, Lopéz‐Perez AM, Foley JE. Response of small mammal and tick communities to a catastrophic wildfire and implications for tick-borne pathogens. 2020.

Snyder RE, Feiszli T, Foss L, Messenger S, Fang Y, Barker CM et al. West Nile virus in California, 2003-2018: A persistent threat. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020.

Torres R, Hernandez E, Flores V, Ramirez JL, Joyce AL. Wolbachia in mosquitoes from the Central Valley of California, USA. Parasites & Vectors. 2020. 

Salomon J, Hamer SA, Swei A. A beginner's guide to collecting questing hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): A standardized tick dragging protocol. Journal of Insect Science. 2020.

Onyango MG, Attardo GM, Kelly ET, Bialosuknia SM, Stout J, Kramer LD et al. Zika virus infection results in biochemical changes associated with RNA editing, inflammatory and antiviral responses in Aedes albopictus. Front Microbiol. 2020.

Weiss CM, Liu H, Riemersma KK, Ball EE, Coffey LL. Engineering a fidelity-variant live-attenuated vaccine for chikungunya virus. npj Vaccines. 2020.

Main BJ, Marcantonio M, Johnston JS, Rasgon JL, Brown CT, Barker CM. Whole genome assembly of Culex tarsalis. . 2020.

Holeva-Eklund WM, Behrens TK, Hepp CM. Systematic review: the impact of socioeconomic factors on Aedes aegypti mosquito distribution in the mainland United States. Rev Environ Health. 2020.

Donnelly MAP, Kluh S, Synder RE, Barker CM. Quantifying sociodemographic heterogeneities in the distribution of Aedes aegypti among California households. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020.

Sambado S, Saloman J, Crews A, & Swei A. Mixed transmission modes promote persistence of an emerging tick-borne pathogen. Disease Ecology. 2020.
Interested in viewing more articles from PacVec researchers?
Visit PacVec Publications
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