Gillian Eastwood

Assistant Professor

  • Vector-Borne Disease Ecology

Research

The Eastwood laboratory aims to investigate the complex interactions between disease vectors, hosts, and their environment using a One Health lens.

Areas of Expertise

Field- and laboratory-based studies of vector-borne disease ecology.  Enzootic transmission cycles of mosquito- and tick-borne pathogens. Vector ecology and surveillance. Sero-surveillance. Vector manipulation in BSL3 containment. Arboviral vector competency and transmission analysis. Ecological drivers of emerging infectious disease.

Research Interests

Eastwood’s area of expertise is the ecology of vector-borne disease, with a key focus on the transmission cycles of arboviruses and the emergence of infectious zoonotic diseases. She is passionate about One Health and approaches that recognize the integration of human health with animal, wildlife, and environmental health. Her current research interests include the host and vector ecology of novel arbovirus lineages; the vectorial capacity of invasive mosquito and tick species; and, the influence of tropical forest degradation on vector species diversity and pathogen dynamics.

·         Emergence and spread of vector-borne pathogens.

·         Co-infection of tick-borne pathogens.

·         Arbovirus ecology, including (mosquito-borne) La Crosse virus and (tick-borne) Powassan virus.

·         Ecological association of invasive disease vectors

·         Drivers of emerging infectious disease, and impact of ecosystem changes such as deforestation.

Education

2012 Ph.D., Disease and Conservation Ecology, University of Leeds and the Zoological Society London, UK

2006 M.Res., Environmental Biology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK

Work Experience

2018 - Present Assistant Professor, Vector-borne Disease Ecology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, USA

2017 - 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Entomology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, USA

2015 - 2017 Postdoctoral Fellow, Hantavirus Ecology, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, USA

2013 - 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Enzootic arbovirus emergence, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA (based with Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya)

Teaching

ENT 6004 – Field Entomology Skills

With experience in vertebrate and arthropod fieldwork investigations, Dr. Eastwood co-instructs a graduate course on field entomology skills incorporating both field and lab-based elements. The course is hands-on, with a focus on study design, sample collection, sample processing, and data analysis as it relates to entomological surveys. Skills acquired during the class can be applied to research such as surveillance of disease vectors, crop insect monitoring, urban pest management, diversity index quantification and spatial distribution analyses.

ENT 5004 – Graduate seminar, peer review and critical analysis

Publications

Eastwood, G., Donnellycolt, A. K., Shepard, J. J., Misencik, M. J., Bedoukian, R., Cole, L., Armstrong, P.M., Andreadis, T. G. (2019). Evaluation of Novel Trapping Lures for Monitoring Exotic and Native Container-Inhabiting Aedes spp. (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes. Journal of Medical Entomology. doi:10.1093/jme/tjz200

Kache, P. A., Eastwood, G., Collins-Palmer, K., Katz, M., Falco, R. C., Bajwa, W. I., . . . Diuk-Wasser, M. A. (2019). Environmental Determinants of Aedes albopictus Abundance at a Northern Limit of Its Range in the United States. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.19-0244

Eastwood, G., Cunningham, A. A., Kramer, L. D., & Goodman, S. J. (2019). The vector ecology of introduced Culex quinquefasciatus populations, and implications for future risk of West Nile virus emergence in the Galapagos archipelago. MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY, 33(1), 44-55. doi:10.1111/mve.12329

Eastwood, G., Camp, J., Chu, Y. K., Sawyer, A. M., Owen, R. D., Cao, X., . . . Jonsson, C. B. (2018). Habitat, species richness and hantaviruses of sigmodontine rodents within the Interior Atlantic Forest, Paraguay. PLOS ONE, 13(8), 20 pages. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201307

Loaiza, J. R., Dutari, L. C., Rovira, J. R., Sanjur, O. I., Laporta, G. Z., Eastwood, G . . . Pongsiri, M. (2017). Disturbance and mosquito diversity in the lowland tropical rainforest of central Panama. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 13 pages. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07476-2

Eastwood, G., Sang, R. C., Guerbois, M., Taracha, E. L. N., & Weaver, S. C. (2017). Enzootic Circulation of Chikungunya Virus in East Africa: Serological Evidence in Non-human Kenyan Primates. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, 97(5), 1399-1404. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.17-0126

Contreras, M., Eastwood, G., Guzman, H., Popov, V., Savit, C., . . . Walker, P. J. (2017). Almendravirus: A Proposed New Genus of Rhabdoviruses Isolated from Mosquitoes in Tropical Regions of the Americas. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, 96(1), 100-109. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.16-0403

Ladner, J. T., Wiley, M. R., Beitzel, B., Auguste, A. J., Dupuis, A. P., Eastwood, G., . . . Palacios, G. (2016). A Multicomponent Animal Virus Isolated from Mosquitoes. CELL HOST & MICROBE, 20(3), 357-367. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2016.07.011

Pedersen, K., Marks, D. R., Wang, E., Eastwood, G., Weaver, S. C., Goldstein, S. M., . . . DeLiberto, T. J. (2016). Widespread Detection of Antibodies to Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Turlock Viruses in Various Species of Wild Birds from Across the United States. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, 95(1), 206-211. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0840

Eastwood, G., Loaiza, J. R., Pongsiri, M., Sanjur, O. I., Pecor, J. E., Auguste, A. J., & Kramer, L. D. (2016). Enzootic Arbovirus Surveillance in Forest Habitat and Phylogenetic Characterization of Novel Isolates of Gamboa Virus in Panama.. American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, 94(4), 786-793. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0445

Eastwood, G., Loaiza, J. R., Pongsiri, M. J., Sanjur, O. I., Pecor, J. E., Auguste, A. J., & Kramer, L. D. (2016). Enzootic Arbovirus Surveillance in Forest Habitat and Phylogenetic Characterization of Novel Isolates of Gamboa Virus in Panama. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, 94(4), 786-793. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0445

Shi, M., Lin, X. -D., Vasilakis, N., Tian, J. -H., Eastwood, G, . . . Chen, X. (2016). Divergent Viruses Discovered in Arthropods and Vertebrates Revise the Evolutionary History of the Flaviviridae and Related Viruses. JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 90(2), 659-669. doi:10.1128/JVI.02036-15

Eastwood, G., Goodman, S. J., Hilgert, N., Cruz, M., Kramer, L. D., & Cunningham, A. A. (2014). Using Avian Surveillance in Ecuador to Assess the Imminence of West Nile Virus Incursion to Galapagos. ECOHEALTH, 11(1), 53-62. doi:10.1007/s10393-014-0911-5

Eastwood, G., Goodman, S. J., Cunningham, A. A., & Kramer, L. D. (2013). Aedes Taeniorhynchus Vectorial Capacity Informs A Pre-Emptive Assessment Of West Nile Virus Establishment In Galapagos. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 3, 8 pages. doi:10.1038/srep01519

Professional Societies & Affiliations

CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases [NEVBD]

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Member

American Committee for Arthropod borne viruses, Member

British Ecological Society, Member

Wildlife Disease Association, Member

Scholarships and Awards

Robert E. Shope International Fellowship in Infectious Diseases, ASTMH (2012)

McLaughlin Postdoctoral Fellowship, UTMB (2013-2015)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Travel Award to attend and present at the ASTMH annual meeting (2015)

Center for Wildlife Health Travel Award, University of Tennessee (2016)

McColgan Award - Northeastern Mosquito Control Association (2017)

CALS Global Faculty Partnership Award, Virginia Tech (2019) – to visit London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

CALS Global Opportunity Initiative, Virginia Tech (2019) – for capacity building and network development in East Africa

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