FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Call for Training Grants, 2021-2022
PacVec has released our 4th annual call for training grant proposals. Proposals are due Thursday, March 18, 2021 by 11:59 pm PDT. Proposals are invited from investigators at academic institutions within the following states and territories: California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands. For more information, please click HERE.
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 find information on the PacVec annual meeting HERE!
NOTE: In addition to the PIs and trainees already featured in our draft agenda, PacVec invites other researchers, including graduate students, from our region who are interested in giving a short presentation on a research project at the annual meeting on February 18th, 2021. Please email us here for more information, and be sure to include the proposed topic of your presentation.
Tick season is in full swing in California!
There are over 48 species of ticks in California, but only 7 commonly bite humans. These include the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus (the main vector for Lyme disease in CA) and the Pacific Coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis (the vector for Pacific Coast Tick Fever). Adult ticks are most active during the winter months when the temperature is greater than 40⁰F, so it is important to protect yourself from tick bites when enjoying outdoor activities. When out in tick habitats always remember to:
Be aware! Ticks are present on vegetation, in leaf litter, and on logs and rocks.
Use an EPA registered repellent. Check the label to make sure it repels ticks.
Wear light colored clothing to easily see if ticks are present on you when in tick habitats.
Perform frequent tick checks during your time outside and after you return home.
The best way to prevent tick-borne disease is to avoid tick bites. If you find a tick attached, promptly remove it using tweezers. Monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease for the next few weeks. If symptoms appear, speak to your provider and let them know you have a known tick exposure. For more information on ticks and tick-borne disease in California, visit Tick-Borne Diseases.Stay tick safe CA!
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
New Study: Impacts of timber harvest on communities of small mammals, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens in a high-risk landscape in northern California
Studies have hypothesized that land-use change affects pathogen transmission dynamics by altering niches of vectors, hosts, and pathogens; structure of host and vector communities; behavior of vectors and hosts; and contact rates among people, domestic animals, and wildlife. In a new publication, Andres López-Pérez and colleagues led by PacVec investigator Dr. Janet Foley at UC Davis describe the impacts of timber harvest on communities of small mammals, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens. The team assessed tick and small mammal populations in older second-growth redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) habitat at two harvested sites in Santa Cruz County, California, where local risk of tick-borne disease is high, and determined the prevalence of pathogens in ticks [read full article].
Meet our current training grant recipients!
“Culex tarsalis insecticide resistance”
Billy Mortola, B.S., Trainee
Billy Mortola is a master’s student at the University of Pacific. He graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science in fish, wildlife and conservation biology. Mortola’s research interests are rather broad as he finds anything related to animals, diseases, and toxicology to be fascinating. His plans moving forward are to complete his master’s degree and work in either a government or private sector involved in public health or environmental science.
Sevi Djalilova, Trainee
Sevi Djalilova is a pre-dental student currently working on her Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in business management. She is starting her fourth year of undergraduate studies and applying to dental school this cycle, hoping to be in a DDS program next fall.
Tara Thiemann, Ph.D., M.S., PI, University of the Pacific
The Thiemann Lab focuses on the biology of arthropod vectors that transmit pathogens to humans and other animals. Current projects include characterizing the mechanisms for insecticide resistance in Culex tarsalis, an important vector of West Nile virus. Additional projects are focused on determining which species of mosquito are important in the transmission of dog heartworm in Northern California and on evaluating the blood feeding patterns of various vector species throughout the state.
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.
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. This survey was released on November 10, 2020. All local vector control contacts should be receiving the vector assessment survey in their designated inboxes. For additional information, visit NACCHO’s vector control webpage, or contact email@example.com.
Vector-Borne Disease Centers of Excellence 5-Part Seminar Series
PacVec is excited to announce a 5-part seminar series hosted by the 5 Vector-Borne Disease Centers of Excellence starting on Jan 28th, 11:30-1:00 PM PDT! Join us for the first seminar, "New Bugs on the Block", highlighting applied research on invasive #vectors across the US. Click on the image to enlarge.
Northeastern Mosquito Control Association Webinar Series
In lieu of their in-person 66th Annual Meeting, NMCA is hosting a series of live and pre-recorded lectures in partnership with NEVBD. Lectures are held weekly on Wednesdays from 1-3pm EST in January and early February 2021. Pesticide applicator recertification credits for select states are available.
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!
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 latest offering of the course began 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
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 https://pacvec.us/resources/.
Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing Videos:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org arrange for shipment and timing of the testing.
Current situation with 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 (email@example.com) or teleconferencing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Wangto learn more about this position and how to apply.
NEW: Mosquito and Vector Control Specialist (2 positions open)
During the warmer months of the year, under the general direction of the District Manager and Assistant Manager and direct supervision of the Regional Supervisor, the Mosquito and Vector Control Specialist (MVCS) performs vector surveillance, performs vector control operations, and provides public education within the District’s service area. The MVCS is assigned a geographic zone and/or specialized functions of a vector control agency, and performs work as required. During the cooler months of the year, the MVCS performs annual maintenance of spray equipment/machines, ATVs, vehicles, and facilities; performs personnel and equipment characterization and calibration; performs and assists with special projects; receives annual training and attends continuing education courses.
Salary: $4,149.16 - $5,839.16 per month Location: Oroville, CA Application due: Open until filled
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
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
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
Serves as Communications Specialist under the general direction of the Director of Communications; assists other managerial staff as well as the Public Information Officer and the Executive Assistant/Clerk of the Board by relieving them of various administrative and clerical duties; to perform website maintenance, graphic design, provide secretarial assistance and to do other work as required.
Salary: $58,780.80 - $73,028.80 per year Location: Orange County, CA Application due: 01/25/21 12:00AM PDT
Under the general direction of the District Manager and direct supervision of the Assistant Manager assists in the general field operations of the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. Work involves full-scale leadership over personnel and equipment in an assigned area or the District's service area. Some technical responsibility is required for calculating and applying pesticides, calibration of spray equipment, mosquito and vector surveillance and control, source reduction, and water management techniques. Employee exercises independent judgment in making decisions within the scope of various duties. Supervision is received through inspections of work, reports, and performance in an assigned area or the District's service area.
Salary: $4,931.33 - $6,939.83 per month Location: Oroville, 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(email@example.com).
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
Under the direction of the Laboratory Director and direct supervision of the Vector Ecologist or Biologist, individual is responsible for performing a variety of laboratory and field services within the vector-borne disease surveillance programs of the Laboratory department for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Salary: starting at $4,589.00 per month Location: Elk Grove, CA Application due: Open until filled
Under the general direction of the Assistant Manager and direct supervision of the Field or Fisheries Supervisor, this position performs inspections and control operations or other related or specialized services in an assigned crew within the Control Operations department for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Salary: starting at $4,162.00 per month Location: Elk Grove, CA Application due: Open until filled
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Informal inquiries are welcome. Review of applications will begin October 30, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.
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.
The incumbent will serve as an Assistant or Associate Professor in the Department of PMB and as such will be responsible for teaching, research, administrative assignments, and service at the program, departmental, and university levels. He/she will be responsible for research and teaching in PMB Graduate Programs. The successful candidate is expected to teach courses in human Parasitology and Medical Zoology in both the School of Medicine and the Graduate School, serve as an academic advisor to both master’s and doctoral level students, and serve on thesis and dissertation committees for students in the School of Medicine and the Graduate School.
Location: Bethesda, MD Applications posted:09/28/2020 (Open until filled)
NEW! Lopéz‐Perez AM, Plourde B, Smith K, Rubino F, Pascoe E, Foley J et al. Impacts of timber harvest on communities of small mammals, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens in a high-risk landscape in northern California. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa297
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. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12111295Pascoe 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. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12398
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. https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa073
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. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.559035
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. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2020-0028
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. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008408
Sambado S, Saloman J, Crews A, & Swei A. Mixed transmission modes promote persistence of an emerging tick-borne pathogen. Disease Ecology. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3171
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