Hi! I'm Michelle.

I'm a PhD student in the Integrative Conservation
and Ecology program at the University of Georgia,
advised by Dr. John Drake and Dr. Courtney Murdock.

I am interested in the effects of land-use change on vector-borne disease dynamics and ecology. Specifically, my research is focused on how mosquito ecology shifts across an urban landscape to influence human risk of mosquito-borne disease. I approach this problem from an interdisciplinary perspective, incorporating the social, ecological, and political complexities characteristic of urban systems.

Current Projects

Urbanization and Mosquito-Borne Disease

How does microclimate across an urban gradient alter disease dynamics of dengue and Chikungunya in Aedes albopictus?

Predicting Yellow Fever Risk in Brazil

In 2017, Brazil had the largest yellow fever outbreak in decades. How can we predict this risk over time and space to better allocate resources to prevent another?

Mosquito Community Composition on a Fine Scale

How does microclimate and habitat availability impact mosquito community dyanmics across a landscape?



  • Participated in the Inquiring and Innovating to Improve Human Health reception at the University of Georgia Graduate School
  • Presented a poster at the Center for Ecology of Infectious Disease's Symposium on the Population Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases on our work predicting the spatio-temporal dynamics of yellow fever. Check it out! ()
  • Presented at the 2018 Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium on my work on mosquito community composition across an urban landscape


  • Participated in a symposium on microclimate and insects at the Entomological Society of America meeting in Denver, CO
  • Gave a talk on our mosquito larval habitat surveys at the Georgia Mosquito Control Association Meeting. Slides here! ()
  • Presented on the carry-over effects of larval microclimate on adult vector competence at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Portland, Oregon
  • Won Third Place in the PhD category at the 2017 Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium, for a talk on my summer field work. Take a look at my slides! ()
  • Presented on a collaboration with Atlanta's branch of The Nature Conservancy exploring urban biodiversity potential in Atlanta with my ICON cohort


  • Attended the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and presented a poster () on my summer field work
  • Presented a talk () at the Annual Georgia Mosquito Control Association Meeting
  • Presented a poster at the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Meeting. Check out the pdf!
  • Awarded an Odum Small Grant to conduct larval and adult mosquito surveys in Athens, GA
  • Awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Presented a talk at the Symposium for Integrative Conservation. You can watch it here.
  • Won Best Rapid Fire Talk at the Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium



  • Anticipating emerging mosquito-borne flaviviruses in the USA: What comes after Zika?
    Evans, MV., CC Murdock, JM Drake. 2017. Trends in Parasitology. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2018.02.010

  • Fine-scale variation in microclimate across an urban landscape shapes variation in mosquito population dynamics and the potential of Aedes albopictus to transmit arboviral disease
    Murdock, CC., MV Evans, TD McClanahan, KL Miazgowicz, B Tesla. 2017. PLoS NTD 11(5):e0005640 doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005640

  • Detecting the impact of temperature on transmission of Zika, dengue and chikungunya using mechanistic models
    Mordecai, E., J Cohen, MV Evans, P Gudapati, LR Johnson, CA Lipp, K Miazgowicz, CC Murdock, JR Rohr, SJ Ryan, V Savage, M Shocket, AS Ibarra, MB Thomas, DP Weikel. 2017. PLoS NTD 11(4):e0005568 doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005568

  • Data-driven identification of potential Zika virus vectors
    Evans, MV., TA Dallas, BA Han, CC Murdock, JM Drake. 2017. eLife 6:e22053 doi:10.7554/eLife.22053