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Jory Brinkerhoff's Lab

My research is broadly focused on factors that drive variation in human risk to flea- and tick-transmitted diseases and my students use a variety of research approaches ranging from molecular genetics and genomics, field ecology, animal behavior, geospatial analysis, computational and informatic analysis, and mathematical modeling.  Much of my current research is focused on the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis, and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, and factors that affect Lyme disease biology in Virginia.  However, I have ongoing projects and collaborations in South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Japan.  Students in my lab regularly present their research at regional, national, and international meetings.

Current projects:

  • Genetic and genomic analysis of the Lyme disease vector and bacterium in Virginia
  • Effects of visual and chemical stimuli on host-seeking behavior in ticks
  • Comparative analysis of natural and artificial repellant and acaricidal chemicals on tick behavior
  • Microbiome analysis of ticks and other blood-feeding parasites
  • Transmission of tick-borne bacterial pathogens in natural cycles

 Current lab members

  • Fernando Otalora-Luna, PhD
  • Suzi Faulkner ‘21
  • Elizabeth Forrey ‘23
  • Sabrina Munro ‘22
  • Patricia Ramsey ‘23

 Recent lab alumni (partial list)

  • Fabio Beltran ’19 (applying to veterinary schools)
  • Bishan Bhattarai ’17 (PhD Student at Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Chris Clark ‘18 (PhD student at Florida International University)
  • Hannah Cornman ’18 (med student at the University of Maryland)
  • Erin Hollis ’18 (medical student in New York)
  • Maggie Michel ‘18 (medical student at George Washington University)
  • Griffin Myers ’20 (plans to pursue a master of public health)
  • Kelly Ocasio ’19 (plans to pursue a master of public health)
  • Hilary Rinsland ’18 (identifying prospective grad programs)
  • Avery Shannon ’17 (Veterinary student at the University of Missouri)
  • Danielle Storozynski (Veterinary student at Virginia Tech)