Susan Elias

A2C2 IGERT Graduate Fellow

Advisor: Kirk Maasch


I am a staff scientist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s Vector-borne Disease Laboratory (, where since 2000 I have been studying the ecology of disease-causing ticks and mosquitoes. During 2015-2019 I was a graduate student in a PHD program administered by the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute. This program was known as the “NSF IGERT A2C2” (National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program, Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change). My PHD work quantified relationships between blacklegged ticks and climate, hosts, and habitat. I have a BS (UMaine 1984) and MS (Virginia Tech 1994) in Wildlife Science, and PHD in Earth and Climate  Sciences (UMaine 2019).


Research Area:

1. Ecology of tick and mosquito vectors and vector-borne disease agents (such as Borrelia spp., Babesia microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Powassan virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus) as related to climate, hosts, habitat, and human behavior.
2. Modeling environmental spatio-temporal disease risk.
3. Disease risk communication through a One Health framework. The One Health concept is that human and veterinary health are tied to the health of the environment. With support from the IGERT program I was able to commission “Ecology of Lyme”, a surreal painting by Olaf Hajek.