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SEER Lab has full-time faculty and staff and adjunct faculty providing a wide range of skills in GIS, remote sensing, microbiology, molecular biology, pathogen detection and characterization, laboratory safety, and wildlife ecology

Faculty 

Dr. Jason K. Blackburn, SEER Lab Director, Associate Professor of Medical Geography in Global Health, University Term Professor

Phone: 352-273-9374 EPI; 352-294-7501 Geography

email: jkblackburn@ufl.edu

 

Dr. Michael H. Norris, SEER Lab Associate Director, Assistant Research Professor of Medical Geography in Global Health

Phone: 352-273-8445

email: mhnorris@ufl.edu

 
Dr. Ted Hadfield, Adjunct Professor Geography (joint with Emerging Pathogens Institute) & Courtesy Appointment Infectious Diseases and Pathology at UF VetMed

email: thadfield@ufl.edu

 

Research Staff

Dr. Diansy Zincke, PhD, Research & Development Coordinator, BLS-2 Manager, BSL-3 Manager

PhD Biology, Florida International University, 2015

B.Sc. Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 2005

Research interests: Select agent pathogens, microbiology, molecular biology, PCR, sequencing, serology
Research and duties: Diansy is the SEER Lab BSL-2/BSL-3 manager and works on lab-related diagnostics projects for a variety of pathogens, including Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, Clostridium botulinum. Diansy works closely with lab personnel to test field samples for presence of bacteria and has co-developed several PCR assays for better detection of anthrax causing pathogens. Diansy works on projects in the US, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and Ukraine.

Jeremy P. Orange, MS, Biological Scientist II (Wildlife Biologist)
M.Sc. Wildlife Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, 2015
B.S. Wildilfe Ecology, Purdue University, 2009
Research interests: Cervid ecology, ungulate ecology and management, movement ecology, disease ecology, bird ecology
Research and duties: Jeremy is part of the SEER Lab's deer team for the Cervidae Health Research Initiative (CHeRI) housed in IFAS. Jeremy manages wildilfe captures for the lab and works closely with ranch managers and widllife managers as we monitor movements and behaviors as they relate to orbivirus transmission. Jeremy has a backgroun in bird ecology from his MSc work as well.
Morgan A. Walker, MS, Biological Scientist II (Spatial Epidemiologist)
M.Sc. Geography (Medical Geography in Global Health Program), University of Florida, 2019
B.S. Ecology, B.S. Biology, Minor Sociology, University of Georgia, 2015
Research interests: disease ecology, spatial epidemiology, host-parasite interactions, wildlife conservation
Research and duties: Morgan is the SEER Lab GIS Manager and a spatial epidemiologist focused on our projects in Southeast Asia. Morgan's current focus is on spatio-temporal patterns of carcass use in anthrax zones from camera traps, spatial patterns of human and livestock anthrax and brucellosis in Vietnam, and open source tools for modeling genetic diversity using MLVA for bacteria.
Andrew Bluhm, MS, Biological Scientist II (BSL-2/BSL-3 Laboratorian/Microbiologist)
M.Sc. Microbiology, University of Hawai'i, 2017
B.S. Microbiology, University of California, Davis, 2010
Research interests: pathogensis, microbiology, select agent bacteria, SARS-CoV-2, pathogen evolution
Research and duties: Andy handles much of the day-to-day experiment management for several SEER Lab BSL-2 and BSL-3 pathogens projects. Currently, Andy is working closely with Mike Norris to establish and maintain a viable cell culture collection of SARS-CoV-2 virus for a study of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

SEER Lab GIS/Data Technicians

Maria Uribasterra - Maria completed a BS in Medical Geography in Global Health with a GIS Certificate from UF in 2018. Maria has worked on SEER Lab projects in Montana and Florida, with an emphasis on camera trap data cataloging and animal movement ecology.

Carl Jacobsen - Carl completed an MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University in 2019 with a graduate certificate in GIS and Spatial Analysis. Carl is working with Jason Blackburn on a desert tortoise project modeling survival and movement behaviors of translocated tortoises. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Mary Brown (UF Vet School) and Dr. Jose Miguel Ponciano (UF Biology).

Samuel Canfield - Sam completed and MS in Biology (Conservation Biology concentration) from West Liberty University in 2019. Sam works with Jason Blackburn and Jeremy Orange to map deer data and diagnostics data for CHeRI and works across projects with Jason on modeling anthrax in Kenya and mapping diseases with space-time techinques in Uganda.

Postdoctoral Associates

 

Past Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Berzhan Kurmanov focused on brucellosis patterns in Kazakhstan on a SEER Lab collaborative project with several institutes across Kazakhstan. Dr. Kurmanov left SEER Lab in March 2020 to join UCSD as a postdoctoral associate.

Dr. Juan Pablo Gomez focused on the development a dynamic model to estimate R0 for pathogens with environmental persistence as part of the SEER Lab ongoing NIH/NSF EEID R01 project. Dr. Gomez is now on faculty at Univerisad del Norte in Colombia.

Dr. Karoun Bagamian, SEER postdoc focused on serological studies and disease transmission dynamics. Karoun focused on the serological screening of anthrax exposure in wildlife in Ukraine and the US.

Dr. Nate Royal, SEER postdoc focused on environmental data mining and multi-variate modeling. Nate’s focus was on spatial and environmental patterns of anthrax in Georgia.

Dr. Zaurbek Sagiyev,  Kazakh Bolashak Recipient and SEER Lab postdoc 2013. Zaurbek focused on the spatiotemporal and ecological modeling of plague in humans and wild mammals of Kazakhstan. Dr. Sagiyev is currently an epidemiologist in Kentucky.

Past Staff

Modeline Celestin -  Modeline completed a BA in Sustainability Studies with a minor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from UF in 2019. Modeline worked with Morgan Walker and Jason Blackburn cataloging wildlife data from camera traps that were running in Montana for several years to better understand how ungulates, scavengers, and predators use carcass locations over time from near death to several years post death.

Cody Griffin, MS, GIS Analyst – Spatial Support and spatio-temporal modeling of Georgian Especially Dangerous Pathogens for the DTRA Funded Cooperative Biological Engagement Program through the Academic Engagement Program. Cody is now with the FWRI working on bird ecology.

Catherine Haase, PhD, Spatial Analyst/R Code developer for the DTRA Academic Engagement Program and NIH R01. Dr. Haase is now on faculty at Austin Peay State University.

Kate Ludwig, MS, GIS Analyst - Spatial Support and spatio-temporal modeling of Georgian Especially Dangerous Pathogens for the DTRA Funded Cooperative Biological Engagement Program through the Academic Engagement Program. Kate is currently a field botanist with the NEON Program in the Mountains of Central California.