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Holly Tuten, PhD, is a Vector Ecologist who studies vector potential of mosquitoes and ticks. She is keenly interested in the ecological dynamics and co-evolutionary arms races among vectors and their hosts, and the disease agents that link the two. She believes a robust ecological and evolutionary understanding can inform better vector-borne disease control. She has worked on predicting vector distributions; vector behavior, morphology, and taxonomy; mass-release of mosquitoes for disease control; molecular determination of vectors and their hosts and pathogens; popular science journalism; and risk analysis to prevent pest and pathogen invasions. While continuing these activities, she currently runs the active tick surveillance program for the State of Illinois.


  • 2018–present
    Vector Ecologist, Illinois Natural History Survey
  • 2015–2017
    Risk Analyst, USDA-APHIS & NCSU
  • 2013–2014
    Postdoc - Vector Entomology, University of Zurich - Institute for Parasitology
  • 2011–2012
    Postdoc - Vector Ecology, University of Kentucky & American Samoa


  • 2011 
    Clemson University, PhD - Entomology
  • 2006 
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, BSc - Biology

Professional Memberships

  • Secretary - Illinois Mosquito & Vector Control Association
  • Member - State of Illinois Lyme Disease Task Force
  • Member - NEON Tick Sampling Technical Working Group


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship - Mosquito Ecology in Zoological Parks