Xiaogang (Marshall) Ma is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Idaho. He received his Ph.D. degree of Earth Systems Science and GIScience from University of Twente, Netherlands in 2011, and then completed postdoctoral training in Data Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on deploying data science in the Semantic Web to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and scientific discovery. He will contribute to the work of data source identification, knowledge engineering and workflow development in this Track-2 project, and will lead, coordinate and facilitate the overall progress of the project towards its goals.
Expertise: Cyberinfrastructure, knowledge engineering, data science
Dr. Barrie Robison is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences. He is an evolutionary biologist who has studied the genetic basis of adaptation, behavioral genomics, and quantitative genetics. He is also the co-founder of Polymorphic Games, an interdisciplinary and experimental video game studio at the University of Idaho. Polymorphic Games will collaborate with the faculty, students, and postdocs of the Track II project to create games and interactive simulations that help teach concepts in ecology, evolution, and data literacy.
Dr. Fuchang (Frank) Gao is a professor of Mathematics at the University of Idaho. He received his PhD from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Gao works on probability theory, approximation theory and theoretical foundation of deep learning. His role in the project is to 1) develop new methods for missing data imputation and generating synthetic samples for imbalanced data, and 2) to develop spatiotemporal weighted regression models for accurate predictions.
Expertise: Mathematical modeling, machine learning, data mining
Dr. Chao Fan is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Geological Sciences at the University of Idaho. She received her PhD in Geography from Arizona State University. She is a broadly trained GIS and remote sensing scientist with research interest in spatial analysis, spatial pattern recognition, and machine learning. Her research focuses on the development and application of spatial analytical tools and advanced machine learning methods to address a variety of research topics. She has extensive experience in high-resolution remote sensing, GIS, and big data analytics. In this Track-2 project, she will develop spatially explicit models to understand ecological and economic drivers of the Tick-borne disease and establish a GIS platform to assist visualization and interaction with stakeholders to support decision making.
Expertise: Spatial analysis and modeling, land cover and land use change
Felix Haifeng Liao is an Association Professor of Geography at the University of Idaho and he is an economic and social geographer with a strong background in applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and dynamic modeling. He has published journal articles related to the economic impact of water quality and food security in Idaho, travel behavior and human mobility, and regional economic inequality in China. He has worked on HAZMAT or hazardous commodity flow studies focusing on rural communities in Idaho, food-energy-water nexus in the state of Idaho, and led a USDA-funded project investigating the issue of food security in the states of Washington and Idaho. Drawing upon his background in both GIS applications, spatial analysis and modeling, and socioeconomic geographies, he will research the economic burden of tick-borne (TB) diseases and assist the spatial-temporal modeling of TD outbreak. He will also work with other team members for the development of the GIS platform that assists visualization and interaction with stakeholders in the context of decision support.
Dr. Luke Sheneman directs Research Computing and Data Services within the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences at the University of Idaho and manages a team of programmers, systems administrators and data managers. The vision of RCDS is to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by facilitating an interactive Data Observatory, enabling seamless access to large, interoperable, and transdisciplinary research data. He received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Idaho, where he developed new computational approaches to phylogenetic inferencing and sequence alignment. Prior to this, he worked in industry as an IT Architect. He is the cyberinfrastructure lead for this project, leading the collaborative development of the online TickBase repository and data management framework.
Frederick C. Harris, Jr. is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Clemson University in 1994. His research focuses on parallel and distributed computing, scientific simulation, data visualization and VR. He will contribute to the game development, outreach, cyberinfrastructure, and serve as Co-PI to help coordinate and facilitate this proposal towards its goals.
Dr. Tin Nguyen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University (WSU). His research interests include statistics, data mining and machine learning techniques applied to bioinformatics and computational biology. In this Track-2 project, his lab will develop TickCrawler that mines text and data from published literature. He will also participate in developing the open data repository.
Mike Teglas is an Associate Professor of veterinary microbiology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received a D.V.M. from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in comparative pathology from the University of California Davis. His research interests include investigating the interactions of pathogens with their host and with their environment, especially in relation to ticks and tick borne-diseases. He will serve as project lead for the “Changing tick-borne disease and tick vector dynamics in the western U.S” portion of this Track-2 project and contribute overall by coordinating and facilitating data collection and epidemiologic modeling.
Dr. Andrew Nuss is an assistant professor of entomology in the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary, and Rangeland Sciences at the University of Nevada Reno. His work investigates the physiology of insect neuropeptides and peptide hormones of the gut and their role in insect behavior, digestion, and nutrient storage. This work serves as a basis for new insecticide discovery by targeting peptide receptors for control of disease vectors and crop pests. In addition, Dr. Nuss is leading efforts to characterize and modify mosquito odorant receptors that facilitate their choice of humans as hosts, in order to direct them to other animals in the environment and break human-mosquito-human disease transmission cycles. In this Track-2 project, Dr. Nuss’ lab will facilitate tick collection and molecular sequencing to understand population structure and pathogens in Western tick populations.
Dr. Monika Gulia-Nuss is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her PhD in Disease Vector Biology/Parasitology from Maharshi Dayanand University, India. Her lab employs multidisciplinary approaches to understand the fundamental biology of arthropod vectors (mosquitoes and ticks) and vector-pathogen interactions. Major projects in the Gulia-Nuss lab include tick genome sequencing and annotation, development of genome-editing tools for ticks, tick population genetics, and –omics-based identification of anti-tick/mosquito vaccine candidates. In this Track-2 project, her lab will contribute towards tick collection, next-gen sequencing for building population structure, and pathogen identification in field-collected ticks.
Dr. Claudia Rückert (Rueckert) is an assistant professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh for her work on antiviral responses of tick cells as part of a European network to build capacity on tick-borne diseases. She worked on mosquito and tick-borne viruses during her postdoctoral studies at Colorado State University before starting her position at UNR. Her contribution to the Track-2 project will focus on pathogen detection in field-collected ticks to identify tick-borne disease distribution and importation routes in the Western United States.
Xun Shi is a Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His has been active in the area of health-related geospatial research. His research covers disease mapping, disease-environment association detection, communicable disease modeling, healthcare access assessment, and geomasking. He emphasizes mapping and modeling diseases based on individual-level data and has developed procedures of disaggregating commonly available aggregate data and evaluating the associated uncertainty. He developed ArcHealth, a software package serving spatial analytical functions particularly requested by health-related studies and practices.
Expertise: Geography, health GIS and spatial data science
Dr. Jonathan Winter is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College. He received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Dr. Winter's research broadly explores climate prediction and the impacts of climate variability and change on human health, water resources, and agriculture. For this project, Dr. Winter will develop a process-based model of tick dynamics and Lyme disease prevalence under changing climate and land use, which will be deployed both in the northeastern and western United States.
Dorothy Wallace is Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego in 1982. Her current research is in mathematical biology, including vector-borne disease transmission and vector population dynamics. She will contribute to the design and implementation of tick population models and disease dynamics for locations, diseases and species of interest to this project. These simulations will be used to infer spatial and temporal risk patterns that may be tested against or refined by contributed data.