Our Team | The Wasserberg Lab

Our Team


Left to right: Lexua McLaughlin, Nayma Romo Bechara, Gideon Wasserberg, Dannielle Kowacich, Jimmie Teague, Reuben Garshong, Lindsey Faw (Summer 2020)

Post-doctoral scientist (2016 – 2020)
Tatsyana Shymanovich.
Shymanovich, T., N. Hajhashemi, Wasserberg G. 2020. Quantitative and qualitative costs of autogeny in Phlebeotomus papatasi (Diptera: Phychodidae) sand flies. Journal of Medical Entomology. 57(3): 852 -861. doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjz223

With URCA fellow undergraduate student Nima Hajhashemi

Shymanovich, T., L. Faw, N. Hajhashemi, J. Teague, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C. S. Apperson, E. Hatano, and Wasserberg G. 2019. Diel periodicity and visual cues guide oviposition behavior in Phlebotomus papatasi, vector of old-world cutaneous leishmaniasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13:e0007165. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007165

Current Cohort

PhD Students

Dannielle Kowacich. The effects of conspecific stages on the oviposition site-selection of Phlebotomus papatasi: attraction to conspecific eggs is mediated by dodecanoic acid
Publications: Parasites and Vectors. 13:280. doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04151-w

Jimmie Teague. Ixodes scapularis population genetics in Northwestern North Carolina.

Reuben Garshong. Survey of Ixodes scapularis ticks and their pathogens along the North Carolina – Virginia border

Recently (2021) graduated:

Marcelo Schwartz. Ph.D. candidate. Experimental landscape epidemiology of La Crosse in southwestern North Carolina
Publications: Journal of Vector Ecology 45 (1): 16-24.

M.Sc. Students

Nora Iwunze. Effect of microbes on sand fly larvae growth and development

Recently (2021) graduated:

Nayma Romo Bechara. Effect of larval conditioning on microbiome community structure. Publication in preparation

Lexua McLaughlin. Skip oviposition of sand flies
Publications: Vector borne and zoonotic diseases, 21(4):280-288. DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2020.2737

Lindsey Faw. Larval conditioning and aging of sand fly rearing medium affect oviposition site selection in Phlebotomus papatasi sand flies.
Publications: Journal of Medical Entomology, 58(4):1931-1935

Undergraduate Research Students

Tricia Levi (URCA fellow)

Nadia Maji (URCA fellow, Honors college)

Amanda Claudio-Cordero (Bio 499 – undergraduate research student)

Recently (2021) graduated:

Hieu Nguyen (former URCA fellow). Temporal bet-hedging in sand fly oviposition: pharate Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly neonates regulate hatching time in response to organic matter and proximity to conspecific eggs
Publications: Vector borne and zoonotic diseases 21(4) https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2020.2689

Nima Hajhashemi (former URCA fellow). Quantitative and qualitative costs of autogeny in Phlebeotomus papatasi (Diptera: Phychodidae) sand flies
Publications: Journal of Medical Entomology. 57(3): 852 -861. doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjz223

Former students

2016 – 2018                       Dannielle Kowacich. Oviposition site-selection of Phlebotomus papatasi: The effects conspecific stages. Graduated 2018
2015 – 2018                       Jimmie Teague. Lyme disease tick surveillance in Northwestern North Carolina. Graduated 2018
2013 – 2015                       Anthony Greene. The Establishment of a Behavioral Bioassay to Study Lutzomyia verrucarum Male Sex Pheromones
Using Lutzomyia longipalpis as A Model Species. Graduated 2015
2013 – 2015                        Bahjat Fadi Marayati. Detection of oviposition-site attractants in Phlebotomus papatasi. Graduated 2015
2011 – 2014                         Kim Yeoman. The effect of predation risk and conspecifics on oviposition site selection and onthogenesis of Aedes mosquitoes. Graduated 2014
2009 – 2011                        Kaira Wagoner. “Ecology of aestivation of anopheline mosquitoes: chemical and morphometric characterization
of aestivating and non-aestivating populations
.” Graduated 2011
2009 – 2011                        Tuamami Theophile Tamini. Does Anthropogenic Disturbance Affect the Ecological Transmission Drivers of the La Crosse Virus? Graduated 2011
2011 – 2014                        Co-Advisor of Ikram Salah, a Palestinian masters student from the Ben-Gurion University, Israel. Project: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the West Bank – altitudinal gradients in disease incidence and sand fly abundance. Graduated 2014

Undergraduate students

Eury Adam (MathBio 2010-11), Duncan Ian (MathBio 2010-11), Edwitch Dely (MathBio 2011-12), Daihyun Kwon (MathBio 2011-12), White Laura (Summer REU 2010, idURA 2011), Atchade Axelle.  (idURA 2011). Namrata Dobaria (URA 2011-12), Stephanie Dappenbrook (Spring 2011), Sonia Deochand (Spring 2011), Davis Chris (REU fellow, summer 2011), Bailes Nicholas (REU fellow, summer 2011), Bhavnisha Parekh (Summer 2011, Fall 2012), Cameron Martin (Summer 2011), Nicolas Sam (Summer 2011), Joanie Lambert (Fall 2011-2012), Carroll Lauren (Fall 2012), Edwards Amber (Summer – Fall 2012), Khadija Rubab (Summer – Fall 2012), D’Agostino Cristina (Summer 2012, Fall 2012), Lor Ka (Summer – Fall 2012), Nnadike Zikora (Fall 2012), Bahjat Fadi Marayati (Spring – summer 2013), Ashleigh Boyd (Summer 2012), Adam Hunt (Summer 2012), Joe Nardello (Summer 2012), Teague Jimmie (Summer-Fall 2013, Spring 2014), Randall Ryan (Spring – Fall 2013), Smith Joshua (Summer 2013), Togbonou Diane (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014), Ler Yee Diana (Summer 2013), Chudasama Sheela (Fall 2013), Dave Bhakti (Fall 2013), Anderson Courtney (Spring 2014), Connelly Jon (Spring 2014), Quijano Isabella (Spring 2014), Ana Paula Tognasoli (Summer, Fall 2014), Acosta, Elda (Summer, 2014), Priyanka Bhamidipati (Summer, 2014), Jessica Reid (Fall 2014, Spring 2015), April Langley (Fall 2014, Spring 2015), Mohammed Ibrahim (Spring 2015), Tinaye Mutewa (Spring 2015), Lindsey Faw (Lloyds honors: Fall 2016 – Spring 2-17), Chandler Young (Fall 2015 – 2016), Karen Fundebrook (Fall 2015 – 2016), Raquiba Morgan (Fall 2016), Carl Oldham (Fall 2016), Nima Hajhashemi (fall 2017 – Spring 2018), Emani Boyd (fall 2017 – Spring 2018), Hisham Mohamed (Spring 2018), Hieu Nguyen (Spring 2018), Jonathan Smith (Fall 2018, Spring 2019), Monica Le (Fall 2019), Dipti Chhetri (Spring 2020), Segean Hailu (Spring 2020), Yaa Sapron (Spring 2020), (Ishan Shamra (Spring 2020), Carolina Xiong (Fall 2019 – Spring 2020), Albina Shabarova (Spring – Fall 2020), Megan Booth (Spring 2021), Tricial Levi (Spring 2021)

High school students

Benjamin Rapp (2012), Brianna Shporer (2013), Abby Kaplan (2014), Dan Vapne (2015), Naude, Allison (2016)