About us

We study how human changes to the landscape and the climate drive the emergence and spread of vector-borne diseases, at the interface between the disciplines of ecology, evolution and epidemiology.

Our main focus are tick-borne diseases in the United States, including Lyme disease and human babesiosis. We also study mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, in the US and internationally. 

Undergraduate, Graduate and Experienced Researchers!

Welcoming Research Assistant applications for the 2024 Field Season! See below for more information:

Apply here: https://forms.gle/vE3S6p2sxjGaHAqQ8

Diuk-Wasser Lab team conducting field research in 2022.
Field Research during 2022
Looking for Research Assistants for the 2024 Field Season!

The Eco-epidemiology Lab at Columbia University has multiple positions for highly motivated Research Assistants (RAs) to assist with research and outreach activities for the 2024 field season on projects studying the eco-epidemiology of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases throughout the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island, NY. 

See more information at our "Opportunities" page!

Apply: https://forms.gle/vE3S6p2sxjGaHAqQ8

Blacklegged ticks
Ticks over time

By informing mathematical models with empirical data from the field and lab, we aim to understand the long-term eco-evolutionary dynamics of tick-borne pathogens.

Risk map for Lyme disease cases in Eastern United States
Tick on the move

By analyzing historical patterns of emergence and spread of tick-borne pathogens, we gain insights into the environmental drivers and build spatial risk maps to guide prevention and intervention efforts.

View of a park on Staten Island with the New York City skyline in the back
NYC ticks

By studying how people shape the urban environment in ways that expose them to vectors and pathogens, we explore how the ecological and social factors intersect to influence human health.

Aedes albopictus mosquito
Urban mosquitoes

By examining how a city varies in its composition, configuration, and level of connectivity, we examine how the built environment (and use of the built environment) contributes to different levels of risk for Aedes-transmitted diseases.

As a part of this CDC-led initiative, we are working closely with partners across academic and public health institutions towards more uniform approaches and sustainable solutions for vector-borne disease monitoring, prediction, and control in the Northeast.


November 08, 2019

NYC Ticks project has been awarded a NSF's CNH2 grant

Our research project on Staten Island, NY about urban ticks and the risk of Lyme disease has been awarded an research grant by the National Science Foundation's Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems (CNH2) programme. These funds will allow us to continue and expand our efforts. CNH2 supports research that advances a basic scientific understanding of integrated socio-environmental systems and the complex interactions within and among the environmental and human components of these systems.

August 06, 2019

Fighting Ticks With a Tap of the Phone

You can now track when and how you are exposed to ticks – and get expert advice – via a free app on your smartphone. Researchers developed the tool to combat Lyme disease, which is increasing across the country, including in cities. Through photos and data, the app helps scientists learn more about tick activity to identify areas of high tick risk and help prevent exposure.