Meet the Team

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Graeme Lockaby, PhD

Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn Unversity

Dr. Graeme Lockaby’s background is in wetland biogeochemistry and forest ecology and his interests involve the definition of causal relationships between vegetation-soil associations and zoonotic disease vectors. Lockaby’s experience includes studies of linkages between landscape descriptors and incidence of West Nile Virus near Atlanta, and vegetation and soil influences on transmission of tick-borne diseases to wildlife and humans in Alabama.

Email Address: lockabg@auburn.edu

Web Page: http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/faculty-members/lockaby-graeme/

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Derrick Mathias, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida

Dr. Derrick Mathias’s background is in evolutionary biology, medical entomology, and public health. His interests lie in vector-pathogen interactions and the interplay between biological and environmental factors that influence pathogen-transmission cycles. His current research focuses on the transmission biology of malaria, ehrlichiosis, and epizootic hemorrhagic disease, which includes studies on host seeking behavior, vector ecology, and the genetics of vector competence.

Email Address: d.mathias@ufl.edu

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Emily Merritt

Research Associate, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University

Emily Merritt finished her wildlife sciences Master’s program at Auburn University in spring of 2015, and is currently serving as a manager and field researcher for this project. Merritt is interested in exploring the role environmental factors, humans, and wildlife play in the distribution and prevalence of ticks and tick-borne illnesses in the Southeast.

Email Address: ezm0017@auburn.edu

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Sarah Zohdy, PhD

Assistant Professor of Disease Ecology, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Dr. Sarah Zohdy is interested in the ecological and evolutionary drivers of disease in human and wildlife communities. Most of her research takes place in Madagascar, where she is taking a One Health approach to evaluate how anthropogenic disturbance influences vector-borne disease dynamics that threaten human and wildlife health. Using lemurs as a model system, she also aims to understand how host ecology determines disease dynamics and contributes to the heterogeneity in parasitism found in wild populations. She is currently working with this project to evaluate the role that small mammal populations and communities play in the transmission dynamics of zoonotic tick-borne diseases in Alabama.

Email Address: smz0003@auburn.edu

Web Page: http://wp.auburn.edu/zohdylab