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My name is David Allen. I am an associate professor of biology at Middlebury College. I study forest ecology and the ecology of tick-borne diseases. Here are other places you might want to find me:

Vermont Disease Ecology Conference

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the VT Disease Ecology Conference at Norwich University. There were a great set of presentations for PIs, graduate students, and undergrads from UVM, Norwich, St. Mike’s, the VT Fish Health Lab, Middlebury, and Dartmouth. This is the fourth year of the conference! The list of talks can be found here. And there was a nice write up by the Norwich University Newsroom here. Thanks to the Vermont Biomedical Research Network for their generous funding of the conference.

Vermont Disease Ecology Meeting

Last year Bill Landesman, Alison Neal, Dagan Loisel, and I formed the Vermont Disease Ecology working group. This is a Vermont Genetics Network-funded group to support the research of its members. For the past two Julys we have had a day-long meeting for our students and us the opportunity to share our work. It is always a fun event, if you are interested in attending in the future please contact me!

Here were the talks from our July 2019 meeting:

  • David Allen: Larval blacklegged tick phenology changes with elevation: implications for Lyme disease
  • Dagan Loisel: Geographic variation and evolution of the anti-viral gene, APOBEC3Z3.
  • Allison Neal: Division of labor in the trematode parasites.
  • Cassidy Shaw: Melanoma epizootic in brown bullhead collected from Lake Memphremagog, VT.
  • Bill Landesman: DNA-based host detection of Ixodes scapularis
  • In the afternoon we had student presentations from the Allen, Loisel, and Neal labs.

EEID 2019

June 10-13, 2019 I attended the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases conference at Princeton University. This was my first EEID conference, and I really loved it. Went to some great talks, re-connected with some old friends and colleagues, and met some new ones. I had the great opportunity to give a talk there on the work we are doing. It was titled, “Larval blacklegged tick phenology changes with elevation: implications for Lyme disease.” If you would like to see my slides feel free to contact me!

Got to reconnect with Vandermeer labmates Theresa Ong and Senay Yitbarek!

Tick publication by lab alum!

Laura Bashor, who graduated from Middlebury in 2017 and worked for this lab in the 2016 summer, is the coauthor of a recent paper on how the blacklegged tick blood meal host affects the ticks bacterial microbiome. It is a very cool paper whose results may have implications for identifying the larval blood-meal species of questing nymphal blacklegged ticks. This would have tremendous ecological and epidemiological consequences. Laura contributed to this research while working as a lab tech in Bill Landesman’s lab at Green Mountain College. Congrats to Laura and Bill on the great publication.