Allison Gardner

Associate Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology


  • BIO 326: General Entomology (Fall)
  • BIO 431: Emerging Infectious Diseases (Spring)
  • BIO 309: Sustainability Travel Study (Fall semester, irregular offering)

Research Interests

  • Medical entomology
  • Vector-borne disease ecology
  • Epidemiology


  • PhD, Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • MS, Statistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • MS, Veterinary Medical Science-Pathobiology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • BA, History and Biology, Williams College, Williamstown, MA


Dr. Allison Gardner’s research investigates the ecology of infectious diseases that are transmitted via the bite of an infected arthropod (e.g., a mosquito or a tick). In particular, she integrates field-collected ecological data and public health surveillance data to address three overarching goals: 1) identify environmental conditions that enhance vector-borne disease transmission, 2) design effective, sustainable vector management strategies that are grounded in ecological theory, and 3) predict future hotspots of disease transmission to facilitate targeted public health prevention and intervention efforts. To pursue these research avenues, Allison also has acquired advanced training in biostatistics, and her quantitative skills have led her to collaborate on research in theoretical statistics as well as to frequently serve in experimental design, data analysis, and consulting capacities alongside academic researchers and government and non-profit stakeholders.

A major professional goal for Allison is to lead interdisciplinary teams of natural, quantitative, and social scientists to bridge the gap between basic biological research on vector-borne disease and application of these results in public health settings. Although it is well documented that human activities, including land use intensification, international trade and travel, and freshwater management, are among the key drivers of the spread and transmission of vector-borne disease, there has been limited effort to translate these findings into practicable disease management strategies. This is in part due to the formidable challenge posed by understanding and changing human behavior and priorities. Allison’s current projects therefore involve collaborations with social scientists to integrate natural science and human dimensions research.

Selected Publications

B Lieberthal, A Soliman, A Gardner. 2020. Statistical decomposition of cumulative epidemiological curves into autochthonous and imported cases, Letters in Biomathematics 7 (1), 111–125-111–125.

SP Elias, AM Gardner, KA Maasch, SD Birkel, NT Anderson, PW Rand, CB Lubelczyk, RPSmith. 2020. A Generalized Additive Model Correlating Blacklegged Ticks With White-Tailed Deer Density, Temperature, and Humidity in Maine, USA, 1990–2013. Journal of Medical Entomology tjaa180,

AT Parker, AM Gardner, M Perez, BF Allan, EJ Muturi. 2019. Container Size Alters the Outcome of Interspecific Competition Between Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus. Journal of Medical Entomology 56 (3), 708-715.

T Josek, AM Gardner, TJ Hedlund, AT Parker, EA Updyke, BF Allan. 2019. Fatal attraction: lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) exhibit preference for human female breath over male breath. Experimental and Applied Acarology 77 (1), 59-64.

AM Gardner, EJ Muturi, BF Allan. 2018. Discovery and exploitation of a natural ecological trap for a mosquito disease vector. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285 (1891), 20181962

AM Gardner, EJ Muturi, LD Overmier, and BF Allan. 2017. Large-scale removal of Amur honeysuckle decreases mosquito and avian host abundance. EcoHealth 14: 750-761.

EJ Muturi, AM Gardner, and JJ Bara. 2015. Impact of an alien invasive shrub on ecology of native and alien invasive mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae). Environmental Entomology 44: 1308-1315.

AM Gardner, BF Allan, LA Frisbie, and EJ Muturi. 2015. Asymmetric effects of native and exotic invasive shrubs on ecology of the West Nile virus vector Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasites and Vectors 8: e329.

AM Gardner, RL Lampman, and EJ Muturi. 2014. Land use patterns and the risk of West Nile virus transmission in central Illinois. Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases 14: 338-345.

GL Hamer, TK Anderson, DJ Donovan, JD Brawn, BL Krebs, AM Gardner, MO Ruiz, WM Brown, UD Kitron, CM Newman, TL Goldberg, and ED Walker. 2014. Dispersal of adult Culex mosquitoes in an urban West Nile virus hotspot: a mark-capture study incorporating stable isotope enrichment of natural larval habitats. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 8: 32768.

AM Gardner, TK Anderson, GL Hamer, DE Johnson, KE Varela, ED Walker, and MO Ruiz. 2013. Terrestrial vegetation and aquatic chemistry influence larval mosquito abundance in catch basins, Chicago, USA. Parasites and Vectors 6: e9.

AM Gardner, GL Hamer, AM Hines, CM Newman, ED Walker, and MO Ruiz. 2012. Weather variability affects abundance of larval Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) in storm water catch basins in suburban Chicago. Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 270-276.