Principal Investigator

Chris Barker
(cmbarker@ucdavis.edu)

Chris Barker, Ph.D.,  is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He studies the epidemiology and ecology of mosquito-transmitted viruses, and he directs California’s central diagnostic laboratory and related data management systems for surveillance of mosquito-borne viruses. Chris has MS degrees in epidemiology and entomology and a PhD in medical entomology.  @TheBarkerLab

Postdoctoral Scholars

Matteo Marcantonio
(matmarcantonio@ucdavis.edu)

Matteo Marcantonio, Ph.D., has a background in natural and environmental science. His interests include the study of species ecology, invasion and conservation biology.  Currently his work integrates experimental and observational data from lab, semi-controlled environments as well as remote sensing and data logger, with modelling applied to the invasion dynamics of Aedes mosquitoes in urban areas. In his research, he is committed to studying the spread of invasive species as a multi-scale ecological process, by exploring how micro-habitat and micro-geographic conditions can affect its outcome at larger spatial scales. The rationale behind his research is to provide information that helps the mitigation of invasive Aedes populations, “know the enemy and you will win”!

Brad Main
(bmain@ucdavis.edu)

Brad Main, Ph.D., has a background in arthropod genomics and transcriptomics. He is passionate about understanding adaptation and speciation and the genetic basis of insecticide resistance, host preference, and vector competence in mosquitoes. Brad is exploring whether and why distinct genetic populations of Aedes aegypti vary in their ability to become infected by and transmit Zika virus.

 

Graduate Students 

Marisa Donnelly
(madonnelly@ucdavis.edu)

Marisa Donnelly is an Epidemiology PhD Candidate at UC Davis and studies the disease ecology of Zika and dengue, including climatic and social drivers of Aedes aegypti abundance. Marisa obtained her B.S. from UCSD where she studied risk factors for HIV in sex workers in Mexico. Marisa’s interests include social determinants of health, spatial analysis, traveling, and rock climbing. @MAPDonnelly

Olivia Winokur
(ocwinokur@ucdavis.edu)

Olivia Winokur is an NSF GRFP fellow and Entomology PhD student at UC Davis where she studies how ecological factors affect mosquito-borne virus transmission. Olivia obtained her B.S. from Cornell University where she studied dog heartworm transmission and mosquito flight tone variation. Olivia enjoys traveling, backpacking, playing pub trivia, and is passionate about promoting diversity in STEM and the outdoors through GOALS. @oliviawinokur

Pascale Stiles
(pcstiles@ucdavis.edu)

Pascale Stiles is a PhD student in the Graduate Group of Epidemiology at UC Davis, where she works on ways to improve the prediction of human West Nile virus disease occurrence in California using entomological observational data. She obtained her MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she studied malaria and sociodemographic factors. Her interests are vector-borne diseases, disease surveillance, and spatiotemporal patterns of disease.

Karen Holcomb
(kmholcomb@ucdavis.edu)

Karen Holcomb is a PhD student in the Epidemiology Graduate Group at UC Davis. Her research entails modeling the effects of vector control on spatial-temporal trends and epidemic potential of vector-borne diseases, particularly West Nile virus. She is interested in quantifying how viral dynamics change as a result of external events. Other interests of hers include quantitative epidemiology, infectious and zoonotic diseases, risk prediction, and backpacking.

Sarah Abusaa
(stabusaa@ucdavis.edu)

Sarah Abusaa is a PhD student in the Epidemiology Graduate Group at UC Davis. Her research focuses on predicting the spread of the invasive mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. She obtained her MPH from Yale University, where she studied factors affecting household-level variation in the abundance of container-breeding mosquitoes on the island of Montserrat.

Ania Kawiecki
(akawiecki@ucdavis.edu)

Ania Kawiecki, DVM  is a PhD student in the Epidemiology Graduate Group at UC Davis. She has a DVM from Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, and a MS in Virology from Louisiana State University. Ania has worked with our team in Iquitos, Peru, and her dissertation will focus on the epidemiology of dengue and Zika viruses.

 

 

Undergraduate Students

Sarah Karels
(sekarels@ucdavis.edu)

Sarah Karels is a third year pre-med student whose interests lie in the intersection of insects and disease. When not raising the lab’s mosquitoes, she can be found helping prep experiments or testing mosquito samples from across the state for various arboviruses.
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Medical-Veterinary Entomology
Program: Research Scholars in Insect Biology

 

Caitlyn Gonzalez
(clgonza@ucdavis.edu)

Caitlyn Gonzalez is a fourth-year pre-vet student whose interests are centered around animals of all shapes and sizes with a special love for invertebrates (like mosquitoes!). Outside of the lab, Caitlyn can be found traveling, volunteering with shelters, and doing animal health-related outreach and education in underprivileged communities.
Major: Animal Biology

 

Fatima Tuqan
(fntuqan@ucdavis.edu)

Fatima Tuqan is a fourth-year undergraduate in Global Disease Biology. Fatima is currently conducting research for her senior practicum focused on Culex tarsalis. With her interests lying in public health, she is interested in learning more about the interface between disease biology and vector control.
Major: Global Disease Biology

 

 

Kurt Cramer
(kcramer@ucdavis.edu)

Kurt Cramer is a third-year undergraduate whose interests include factors influencing vector competence and disease dynamics, and the interaction between disease and host systems. When not studying or in the lab, Kurt enjoys recording music and performing.
Major: Global Disease Biology
Program: Research Scholars in Insect Biology

 

 

Claire Chapman
(cmchapman@ucdavis.edu)

Claire Chapman is a first-year undergraduate in the University Honors Program. She is interested in the epidemiology and prevention of vector-borne diseases.
Major: Global Disease Biology
Minor: Public Health
Program: Research Scholars in Insect Biology

 

 

Staff

Ying Fang
(ylfang@ucdavis.edu)

Ying Fang manages the DART Surveillance Laboratory, where mosquito and bird specimens are tested for viral infection using molecular and traditional biological methods to support surveillance and research on mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses.  Ying also evaluates new laboratory methodology, ensures quality control of work within the DART BSL-3 and other laboratories, curates the DART virus reference collection, and supervises and trains personnel.

 

Sandra Garcia
(sagarcia@ucdavis.edu)

Sandra Garcia is a Lab Assistant in the DART Surveillance Laboratory. She has a wide range of laboratory skills and tests mosquito and bird samples from mosquito control agencies throughout California using RT-PCR, plaque assay, and EIA.

 

 

 

 

Jody Simpson
(jksimpson@ucdavis.edu)

Jody Simpson is the lead programmer, database manager, and system administrator for the CalSurv Gateway and other computing services hosted at DART. He supports a wide range of research and surveillance projects, primarily in California and Iquitos, Peru.

 

 

 

 

Mathew Leland
(leland@ucdavis.edu)

Mathew Leland is a software engineer for the Barker lab.  He utilizes the huge amount of data stored within the CalSurv platform to create informative and fun maps and visualizations.

 

 

 

 

 

Manuel Beja da Costa
(manuelbejadacosta@gmail.com)


Manuel Beja da Costa, an electrical engineer looking for a career change, is currently working in Iquitos, Peru. While his main focus is the management and improvement of our project’s data portal, Manuel also dedicates some of his time to resolving the various technical difficulties that occur both in the office and in the field.

 

 

Sunny An
(sunan@ucdavis.edu)

Sunny An is a Laboratory Assistant who manages the insectary and a wide range of mosquito colonies. She holds a BS in genetic engineering from Korea University.