Members

 

Principal Investigator

Professor Harrington is interested in the biology, ecology and behavior of disease vectors; global health and epidemiology. She is the Director of the CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases. Harrington offers courses in Medical and Veterinary Entomology (ENTOM 3520), a non-majors course Plagues and People (BIO&SOC/ ENTOM 2100) and teaches the malaria module of Introduction to Global Health (NS 2060). She advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of entomology, ecology and evolutionary biology, veterinary medicine, bio-mathematics, comparative biomedical science, animal science, and biology and society.

Post-Graduate Researchers

AlexAlexandra Amaro joined the lab in January 2016. She earned her PhD at Cornell in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular biology in 2009 focused on the cellular cytoskeleton during mitosis. She continued expanding her experience in a virology lab, a biotechnology company for which her work contributed to a patent for a therapeutic approach to treat Huntington’s Disease, and a lab interested in RNA processing in the chloroplast of plants and algae. With a longstanding interest in virology (the biotechnology company also acted as a partner in development of field diagnostic kits used for Lassa Fever in Africa), she is excited to come to the Harrington lab to work on the vector for Dengue, Yellow Fever, and other viral diseases. Her focus in the lab is on validating candidate seminal fluid proteins in mosquito using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Outside of lab, Alex enjoys walking the trails of the local parks, dancing, and travel.
Garrett League joined the lab in May 2017 upon completing his PhD in Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. His dissertation work focused on larval and adult stage immune and circulatory physiology in the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Garrett is interested in all things mosquitoes, particularly questions related to development, reproduction, and immunity, and will be exploring these and related topics for his work on mating behavior and seminal fluid proteins in the lab. In his downtime, Garrett enjoys hiking, writing, art, and fiddling around on his guitar.

 

 


James Burtis joined the lab in June 2018 after completing his PhD in Natural Resources at Cornell University. His dissertation focused on factors affecting the off-host survival and body condition of Ixodes scapularis under field conditions. James is excited for the opportunity to expand his knowledge base and work with mosquitoes in addition to ticks. His postdoctoral research focuses on the incidence and mechanisms of pesticide resistance for mosquitoes and ticks throughout the northeastern United States. He addresses these questions working in collaboration with many researchers within the NEVBD network. When not working James likes to hike, take apart old computers, and cook.

Research and Program Support


Sylvie Pitcher joined the Harrington Lab in January 2009. She primarily works as a lab manager for the Harrington lab, but enjoys being part of the numerous experiments that go on in the lab. When she isn’t working Sylvie enjoys spending time with her three children, and wonderful husband just enjoying life.

 

 

 


Lindsay Baxter Joined the lab in August 2017. She is a research technician and works as a support staff on most projects being carried out in the lab. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Molecular and Microbiology at Portland State University in 2014. Lindsay is now pursuing a Master’s degree and is interested in working on applied research projects and enhancing public education regarding medical entomology.  As a West Coast native she seeks wide open spaces in her free time and she enjoys swimming, podcasting and travel.

 

 

 

Lisa joined the Harrington lab as a technician in June of 2019. She provides support for day-to-day lab operations, as well as some ongoing research projects. She graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a BS in Biochemistry, and has been an Ithacan since 2015. She is interested in research-backed solutions for public health problems. When she’s not hanging out with mosquitoes, Lisa enjoys cooking/eating, talking politics, and spending quality time with cool cats (both human and feline).

 

 

Joe with a bat

My name is Joseph Poggi and I have been a lab technician in the Harrington Lab since June 2019. I graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of New Hampshire in May of 2018. Since graduating, I have worked in the northeast on a variety of research projects such as moose/winter ticks (D. albipictis), rodents/black-legged ticks (I. scapularis) and little brown bats/white nose syndrome (G. destructans). These experiences have shaped my career and interest in disease vectors and their ecology. My work in the Harrington lab pertains to the NEVBD’s mosquito and tick resistance projects as well as our tick bite prevention outreach program. I am most excited to be able to practice microscopy, identifying mosquito and ticks that we collect in the field, and to play a role in tick bite prevention outreach. When I am not in the lab I enjoy playing, writing and recording music with friends, and training for/ competing in road races.


 

 


 Emily Mader joined the Harrington lab in July 2017, as the Program Manager for the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases. She earned her Master of Public Health and Master of Public Policy degrees from the University of Utah in 2013. Prior to joining the Harrington lab, Emily worked in chronic disease prevention and quality of care in the primary care setting. In her spare time, Emily enjoys cycling, xc skiing, traveling, and hanging out with her husband and cat.

Graduate Students

 

 


TalyaTalya Shragai joined the lab in August 2015. A native of Berkeley, California, she is fascinated by the intersection of anthropogenic change and vector biology. In 2014 she earned her B.S. in biology and B.A. in international development studies from UCLA. Since graduating she has worked on several projects including research on climate change and chipmunk behavior in Yosemite, CA and a study of waterbird response to human impact in Bahía de Kino, Mexico. Her work in Dr. Harrington’s lab will focus on the invasive vector mosquito Aedes albopictus and identifying the factors that make its invasion successful. In her free time Talya enjoys perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe, re-watching Arrested Development, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.


Kara Fikrig joined the lab in August of 2017. She is interested in the ways in which the ecology of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus can inform public health interventions. Her interest in insects began as a child, but was solidified as an undergraduate at Yale University while working towards her BS in ecology and evolutionary biology. Kara spent one summer studying beetle natural history in Panama. Thereafter, she decided to specify in medical entomology, leading her to study Ae. aegypti the following two summers in Dominica and then in Australia. In an effort to ensure that her scientific questions remain relevant to human health, she completed a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology of microbial diseases as a part of a joint BS/MPH program at Yale. In her free time, Kara enjoys riding horses, playing polo and soccer, and hiking with her adopted mutt from Argentina
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Erin Hassett joined the lab in the fall of 2018. She spent her undergraduate career exploring the way human health is impacted by environmental factors. Erin discovered the importance of medical entomology during her training and work experience at the Tennessee Department of Health Vector-Borne Disease Program where she became proficient in both laboratory and insectary techniques. Erin led investigations of pesticide resistance for the eastern Tennessee region. Additionally, she managed hatching and rearing of Aedes and Culex mosquitoes as well as assisted with environmental collection of adult mosquitoes, identification of mosquito species and molecular identification of arboviruses. Her research interests include understanding population dynamics of vector-borne disease and searching for methods of prevention, management, and control for both disease and vectors. Erin loves long distance backpacking trips, traveling, art, outdoor recreation, tea shops, and her cat.
James Stewart joined the lab in the Fall of 2018 and is pursuing an MS degree in Vector-borne Disease Biology.  He completed his Bachelor’s at SUNY Plattsburgh in Spring 2018, with a major in Biology and minors in Chemistry, Ecology, and Biological Anthropology.  During this time he worked as technician at the Lake Champlain Research Institute where he was involved in various long-term ecological monitoring projects, and was also responsible for mosquito trapping and identification for the Clinton County Health Department.  A lifelong interest in infectious diseases combined with his experiences in Plattsburgh sparked a passion for vector biology. James is most interested in mosquito ecology, behavior, and spatial modeling of vector habitats and associated infection dynamics. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and either playing or listening to music.

 

 


Phurchhoki Sherpa earned her BSc. in Environmental Studies from Colby-Sawyer College, NH. Even though she spent most of her childhood in Kathmandu, she is from the Himalayas of Nepal. Being a part of projects that studied ‘transfer of Mercury, by emergent insects, from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems’ and ‘flat flies as potential vector in transferring West Nile virus in raptors (targeting Cooper’s Hawk)’ got her fascinated in the impacts caused by the ‘little creatures.’ And, a summer work at an Insect Control District lab, in VT (where she collected and identified mosquito samples), opened up a whole new horizon of information for Phurchhoki and challenged what she knew about insects that have profound impact on people’s health. Now (through classes and working in Harrington lab) Phurchhoki hopes to gain in-depth knowledge and skills in mosquito ecology, biology, and vector control schemes/methods, which she wants to bring back to her home country, which is vulnerable and prone to myriads of mosquito-borne diseases. In her spare time she likes to read historical and thriller fictions, do botanical illustrations, and listen to wide variety of music.

Undergraduates

 

Bailey Willett joined the lab in January 2019 following her work in Fall 2018 as a lab technician.  She is a junior from Huntington, Vermont. Bailey is double majoring in Microbiology and Entomology with a minor in Infectious Disease Biology. Her past research involved formulating neuraminidase influenza-A vaccines, Nipah viral entry and egress, and most recently; acaricide efficacy on Northeast tick vectors. Bailey plans on attending medical school specializing in vector-borne disease medicine and continuing arboviral research.  Outside the lab, she likes to hike, ski, read, cook, as well as volunteer in the Ithaca community.

 


Henry Goldsmith joined the Harrington Lab in the fall of 2018 after completing an exciting summer of field research.  Henry is majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences and will graduate in the spring of 2020.  After graduation, Henry hopes to pursue a career in healthcare or public health.  Outside of the Harrington la, he enjoys football, kayaking, and spending time with his family.

 

 

 


 


 

Kimber St. Fleur joined the Harrington lab in June 2018 and is a Sophmore from Long Island, NY.  She is majoring in Global and Puvlic Health Sciences and is hoping to pursue a career involving both health systems and infectious diseases and finding how they intersect each other in a local and global context.  With that knowledge, she hopes to help create sustainavle community-based interventions for issues involving health systems and/or infectious diseases that also address social inequalities.  In her spare time (whenever that is), she enjoys napping, going on adventures with friends, traveling, and watching movies.

 

 



Peter Deckerman joined the lab in May 2019 and plans to graduate in the spring of 2022. He is majoring in Global and Public Health Science and minoring in Infection Disease. After he graduates, he hopes to make it into a MD/MPH program or a MD/PhD program so that he may pursue his passions of medicine, public health, and research. In his spare time, Peter enjoys skiing, volunteering, and ultimate frisbee.

 

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