The Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab) is an interdisciplinary laboratory jointly housed in the Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Department of Geography at the University of Florida.
History of the SEER Lab
The lab was founded by Dr. Jason Blackburn in 2007 while on faculty in the Department of Geography at Cal State Fullerton. The SEER Lab moved to UF in July of 2009. SEER Lab is focused on questions addressing the ecology and spatio-temporal patterns of diseases. SEER Lab research is focused primarily on bacterial zoonoses, those bacterial diseases that affect both animals and humans. Toward these research questions, SEER Lab employs spatial modeling and geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing (e.g. satellite data describing the environment), and micro- and molecular biology.
SEER Lab Research Facilities
our GIS facility in Turlington Hall on the main UF campus, houses research staff, postdocs, and graduate students. The lab maintains a state-of-the-art computer facility with several high end PCs and access to the EPI Data Center. The lab promotes collaboration and brainstorming with multiple whiteboards and ample room for impromtu meetings. The lab also serves as a conference/meeting room for Lab-related training sessions and regularly hosts international visitors and collaborators. The lab can comfortably seat 10 people.
A BSL-2 and BSL-3 certified select agent laboratory to support our research in the microbiology and molecular evolution of Bacillus anthracis. Our BSL-2 lab serves as our base for serological studies designed to detect exposure to the pathogen wildlife and livestock species. SEER Lab is actively collaborating with diagnostics companies to improve and implement serological tests that will support the wide range of wildlife species we study relative to anthrax across the US and Southern Africa. The BSL-3 facility supports our work with the pathogen, including our diagnostics for unknown or suspect samples. Additionally, this facility supports our molecular genetics studies, including sub-culturing and DNA extraction for safe export to our BSL-2 lab for genotyping and sequencing.