Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Pilar Fernandez

Dr. Fernandez is an assistant professor at the Allen School for Global Health at Washington State University. She completed her PhD at the Department of Ecology, Genetics and Evolution at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina focusing on vector-borne Chagas disease; and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, NY, focusing on tick-borne diseases.

As a disease ecologist her research focuses on the eco-epidemiology of zoonotic diseases, and in particular, vector-borne diseases. Her main research interests lay in understanding the transmission of zoonotic diseases as complex socio-ecological systems, combining methods from epidemiology and ecology. The ultimate goal is to identify critical factors affecting disease transmission, which will aid in the design of improved intervention strategies to alleviate the disease burden in affected communities.



Graduate students

Katie Tseng

Katie Tseng is a PhD student of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Allen School for Global Health. Through her graduate studies, Katie combines her love of epidemiology with her keen interest in zoonotic diseases. Her research uses methods in computational epidemiology to investigate how interactions at the human-animal-environment interface drive cross-species transmission and modify the risk of pathogen spillover. Katie earned her BS in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and her MPH in Epidemiology from New York University.

Catherine Grady

Catherine Grady is a Master’s student studying Immunology and infectious disease at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health. Her research interests applies epidemiology, disease and landscape ecology to zoonotic and vector-borne diseases to understand how human-animal interactions impact global health inequities. Currently, Catherine’s work focus on the impact of human modifications on agroecosystems for rodent-borne and rodent associated diseases. Catherine holds a BA in Public Health and Animal Behavior from Franklin and Marshall College.

Steven Winter

Steven Winter is a PhD student studying Immunology and Infectious Diseases working with Drs. Pilar Fernandez and Margaret Wild in the Allen School for Global Health and Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology. His research applies landscape ecology and spatial epidemiology methods to understand treponeme-associated hoof disease (also known as elk hoof disease) in wild elk populations of the US Pacific Northwest. Steven’s work builds off his BS in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Delaware years of fieldwork, and a MSc in Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Virginia Tech, where he studied the landscape ecology of chronic wasting disease. After his PhD, Steven plans to continue learning about wildlife diseases through research at a government science agency.

Undergraduate students

Lily Prouse

Alejandra Prado

Alejandra Prado is an undergraduate student majoring in Human Development and Human Biology. Her research interests lay in understanding health disparities and inequalities among vulnerable populations with a keen interest in Latino/a/x farmworkers. Her research project aims to validate a survey and understand the current levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices towards rodent and tick-borne diseases among Latino/a/x and non-Latino/a/x farmworkers via a mixed-methods study.