New Faculty: Allison Gardner
The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture brought a wealth of experience and expertise to its community when it welcomed new faculty this fall. Over the next few months we will feature a new faculty member every Monday and Wednesday to help you get acquainted with these new members of our community.
Please join us in welcoming Allison Gardner to the School of Biology and Ecology!
Assistant Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology
PhD in Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Specialty Research Area
Medical entomology, ecology of infectious diseases
When did you discover a passion for your specialty?
I first became exposed to medical entomology through a unique program initiated by my high school teacher, the late Dr. Robert Pavlica, that promotes hands-on, original research as part of high school science education. I loved the connection between the time spent outdoors collecting insects and the public health problems you read about in the news, like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
I’m excited to build interdisciplinary collaborations with scientists across campus to address basic and applied questions regarding vector-borne and zoonotic disease ecology and management. The University of Maine is a national leader in climate and land use change research, resource economics, and sustainability, all of which have critical roles in understanding and mitigating the burden of infectious disease.
What is one thing you look forward to in the coming year?
I am most looking forward to teaching General Entomology during my first semester in the School of Biology and Ecology and bringing students into my lab over the coming year. Mentoring students in the classroom and in independent research problems was the highlight of my graduate studies, and the challenges and rewards of teaching are the reason why I decided to pursue an academic career.