Our group

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Kelly Hagadorn, MPH

I am a first year PhD student in the Yale School of Public Health, Epidemiology of Microbial Disease Program. My interests are based on a One Health perspective focusing on human infectious diseases. I am most interested in reducing vector-borne and/or zoonotic diseases by identifying social, biological, and environmental risk factors of disease. Specifically, I hope to use molecular epidemiological studies to gain insight into pathogenesis and to improve the prevention and control of infectious diseases. I will be working with Dr. Andrea Gloria-Soria at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this semester. My project will focus on surveying for Dirofilaria parasites in mosquitoes collected through the Statewide Monitoring Program for Mosquito-borne Viral Diseases in Connecticut, determining transmission potential, and identifying mosquitoes that are transmitting disease.

FORMER MEMBERS

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Andrés Gómez-Palacio, PhD

I am Associated Professor of genetic and evolution at the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia (UPTC), South America. My research interest involves population genetics and phylogeography of vector-borne diseases, particularly of kissing bugs and mosquitoes. Most of my work focusses on investigating evolutionary trends of disease vectors, evidence of incipient speciation, population structure and dispersal. I am currently investigating the demography history of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, in particular on the evolutionary origin of New World populations with a particular interest on northern South American populations such as the Andean Countries. To further explore the demography history of Ae. aegypti populations, I joined Dr. Gloria-Soria in 2020 as a postdoctoral researcher to perform population genomics of mosquitoes from most of South American countries. I would like to reconstruct its origin and colonization sources in order to understand how its history determines its present distribution as well as the risk for diseases it transmits to humans inhabiting northern South America.

image1 (1)Rory McGuire

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology at Cornell University in 2017. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a Research Assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Hay where I became involved in investigating the regulation of the NagC gene in E. coli and it’s effects on biofilm formation. After graduating, I worked as a Microbiology Laboratory Technician at Bristol-Myers Squibb before joining Dr. Gloria-Soria’s research group as a Seasonal Research Assistant from February, 2019 – July, 2019. Starting in the Fall of 2020, I will be attending the Molecular Engineering (MolE) PhD program at the University of Washington, where I intend to pursue research in synthetic biology. 

Erin McEwen

I worked as a Seasonal Research Assistant with Dr. Gloria-Soria from August 2019 to February 2020. I am a graduate from Central Connecticut State University and have a focus in Entomology.  I was a member of the Dean’s-advisory Committee, Student-Faculty Committee, and was President of the Biology club for four years while at central.  I took my research to the 2018 Entomological Society of Americas Joint conference in Vancouver, BC.  Where I presented a poster in forensic entomotoxicology, for my efforts I was graciously awarded the Diana Wowk award for outstanding service to the Department of Biology in 2017 and 2018.

While out of session at CCSU, I traveled to Alaska to spend my summer working for Princess cruises outside of Denali National Park.  I spent two summers in Alaska before being given the opportunity to sail the South China Sea with Princess. I boarded my first ship and traveled through a monsoon to Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. I was also given the opportunity to study abroad in northern India, where I visited the Happy Valley tea plantation in Darjeeling to understand how they combated mold growth on their crops that was commonly found in the misty mountains. I was also able to travel to Mussoorie, a hidden city in the Himilayan Foothills, where I was able to get up close and personal with the wild macaques that roam the city streets.

I am currently working in Hartford at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center within the behavioral health unit at the emergency department. I focus on providing and ensuring the safety of children that may pose as a risk to themselves or others, intentionally or unintentionally. Whatever the situation, I am there to assist our most vulnerable children through whatever hardship they may be experiencing at the time to help them thrive.

jack_pic.jpgJack Tajmajer

I graduated from Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge in the Spring of 2020. I live in both Bethany and Naugatuck, and enjoy working with nature and a wide variety of animals, including chickens, goats, bees, and alpacas. I worked with Dr. Gloria-Soria since the Summer of 2018 for a Science Research Program run through my school. My project focused on investigating how Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes interact throughout their life cycle and over multiple generations. Prior to this, I worked with participants to study subconscious stimuli, and I worked on zebrafish to study Aniridia, a congenital eye disease. I would like to pursue a career in either science or law in the future. I will be attending Brown University in the Spring of 2021 (delayed for a semester due to the Covid-19 pandemic).