INHS Medical Entomology Lab hiring for TWO salaried staff positions!

We are hiring for two positions at the INHS-MEL located at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. These are jobs with long-term employment potential working with outstanding colleagues in a great environment.

Champaign-Urbana is a lively and growing area with excellent recreational and cultural opportunities and a low-cost of living. The University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana has a diverse and engaging research and teaching community. The 2021-22 U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges rankings rated Illinois as the number 15 public university and the number 47 national university.

Click here to learn more about the unique Illinois Natural History Survey and diverse flora and fauna of our state.

(For the seasonal hourly positions job ad, see our last News post.)

1. Scientific Specialist: primarily working in the lab on mosquito colony maintenance, behavioral and manipulative experiments with mosquitoes and ticks, and molecular testing of vectors; ($44K+ w/benefits; minimum qual: BSc)

Application deadline April 11, 2022

2. Sr. Scientific Specialist: planning and conducting mosquito and tick surveillance, conducting research on improved vector surveillance/control methods and bite prevention, and assisting with lab diagnostics; (salary commensurate; minimum qual: BSc)

Application deadline April 11, 2022

For questions or inquiries, please contact the INHS-MEL Lab Director, Dr. Chris Stone.

Now hiring hourly positions in Public Health Entomology 2022

Our advertisement for seasonal hourly technicians is now open! Deadline for full consideration is April 1, 2022.

Please see announcement at the INHS website.

The work is diverse and provides great field and lab experience. Positions will be focused on one or a combo of: field collections of mosquitoes & ticks, pathogen testing, and organismal lab experiments. We are seeking undergraduate or recently graduated hourly technicians during April-November to work on mosquito and tick surveillance and field experiments. The positions are based at the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Lab, within the University Research Park. Applicants should be available part or full-time Monday through Friday. For more information contact Lab Director Dr. Chris Stone by e-mail.

We will also be announcing two salaried research positions very soon. Check back or reach out for details.

Dr. Holly Tuten interviewed by FOX32 Chicago about ticks in Illinois

“Summer is just about here, and it is shaping up to be a buggy one when it comes to ticks and Lyme disease.

If you plan on golfing this summer or swimming at the beach or taking a walk through the woods, it’s not what you want to hear.

“Yes, this could be quite a bad tick year,” said Holly Tuten of the Illinois Natural History Survey. “We have several factors indicating that. We have factors indicating Lyme might be more prevalent in the tick population.””

Dr. Chris Stone & Dr. Holly Tuten on “The 21st” to chat about statewide mosquito and tick surveillance for Illinois

It’s bug season which in Illinois means ticks (which are actually arachnids, not insects), mosquitoes and other insects are looking to attach themselves to people and pets. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and here in Illinois, there is a team of entomologists working to track tick and mosquito populations, and trying to discern how climate change is affecting their populations.

The 21st spoke with an ecologist and a mosquito expert about how climate change is affecting mosquito populations and diseases ticks can transmit.

Lone Star ticks in Illinois can carry, transmit Heartland virus

Dr. Holly Tuten, who is a vector ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, says she specializes in the study of spineless blood suckers such as ticks and tick-borne disease agents. Her current work with Erica Hernandez, right, looks at the Heartland Virus, a serious tick-borne virus that is now spreading into Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have confirmed that Heartland virus, an emerging pathogen with potentially dire consequences for those infected, is present in Lone Star ticks in two Illinois counties hundreds of miles apart. Lone Star ticks were first detected in Illinois in 1999 but had not been found to be infected with Heartland virus in the state.

The findings are reported in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Read the complete story here:

Asian tiger mosquito gains ground in Illinois

Researchers Chris Stone, left, and Rebecca Smith have been studying the impact of the invasion of Aedes albopictu mosquitoes. Hanging on the tree is a mosquito collection station. NEWS BUREAU PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/FRED ZWICKY

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers report that the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has become more abundant across Illinois in the past three decades. Its spread is problematic, as the mosquito can transmit diseases – like chikungunya or dengue fever – to humans.

The Asian tiger mosquito originated in the forests of southeast Asia. It found its way to Texas around 1985 and very quickly spread to Illinois.

Read the complete story here.

Disease-carrying coastal tick established in Illinois

Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf coast tick)female (left) and male (right)
Photo credit: Emily Struckhoff, INHS Medical Entomology Lab

The Gulf Coast tick is usually found in the Southeast along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, but researchers at the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) and Southern Illinois University (SIU) have new evidence of the Gulf Coast tick becoming established in Illinois. They also have found that it often harbors a pathogen that can make people sick. 

Read the full story here.