Geoff Attardo


I am an assistant professor with a background in entomology, molecular biology and genetics. My work focuses on the reproductive biology of insect vectors of human disease. The primary subjects of my work have been mosquitoes and tsetse flies.

My graduate work at Michigan State University dealt with understanding how female mosquitoes regulate gene expression in response to blood feeding. In my work as a postdoctoral associate and research scientist I studied the reproductive biology and genetics of tsetse flies, unique insects that lactate and give birth to live young! My lab will continue to explore the fascinating biology underlying the reproduction of this important vector insect. This work covers multiple areas of reproduction in tsetse including nutrition; analysis of genes associated with reproduction; the role symbiotic bacteria play in tsetse reproduction; and the interactions between insect vectors and the parasites they vector.

In addition to my science work I also enjoy photography, illustration and 3D modeling. When I can, I try to incorporate my passion for art with science to clearly communicate concepts to non-scientists. I've included a multimedia section of this site from which you can view collection of galleries containing representative samples of photographyillustrationsartwork and videos. I have also included a list of  publications which link to their associated pages at the Pubmed database. Feel free to get in touch or come for a visit to the lab. The contact information for the lab is on the Contact link.

Graduate Students


Lindsey Mack

I received my BS in Biology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this year where I researched the reproductive physiology and immune system of crickets. I am excited to now be pursuing a PhD in Entomology! My interests lie in understanding the physiology of disease vectors, and I hope to work for a government agency like the CDC or NIH in the future. In my free time, I like to hike and spend time outdoors.


Taylor Kelly

I am a PhD student in the Entomology graduate group interested in vector metabolism, reproduction, and mechanisms of insecticide resistance. I’ve always been fascinated by insects, and I studied the web-spinning insect order Embioptera while completing a BS in biology and a minor in chemistry at Santa Clara University. Following my graduation, I worked as a lab manager at NASA Ames, where I studied lipid preservation in Mars analog environments and helped develop technology for life detection on Icy Worlds. I am overjoyed to return to field of Entomology to investigate mosquitoes and tsetse flies. I love running and crafting, and I am passionate about bringing awareness to the interconnected nature of poverty and vector transmitted disease.




Nicole Tam

I am an alumna of the University of California, Davis with a bachelor's degree in Entomology. Currently, I am the lab manager of Dr. Attardo's lab. My interests lie in medical entomology, especially vector-borne diseases and the insects that carry them. Although my previous experience was with Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with tsetse flies. 

During my free time, I enjoy creating artwork, going outdoors, and caring for my various reptiles and arthropods.  




Tess van Schoor

I am an fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences and Spanish. My interests include medical microbiology and infectious disease medicine. In my free time, I enjoy doing yoga and playing with my 3 cats. I plan to attend medical school and become a physician specializing in infectious disease medicine.


Joe Laughlin

I am a current undergraduate student majoring in Global Disease Biology.  I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Entomology focusing on vector-borne disease and hope to work with tsetse flies, phlebotomine sand flies, and mosquitos.  I want to leverage my knowledge and experience of medicine and disease obtained throughout my travels, after five years as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, to better understand vector-borne diseases.  I have experience treating vector-borne disease from the Middle East, South Pacific, and Central and South America.

Joceline Arguellez

New undergraduate student in our lab!

Aamina Zahid

New undergraduate student in our lab!

Victoria Shen

New undergraduate student in our lab!


Madison Lawton

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Global Disease Biology. I plan on pursuing a career in public health and further pursuing research in infectious disease medicine. My interests lie in parasitology and tropical vector-borne diseases within the One Health approach, which emphasizes the application of multidisciplinary fields working collaboratively to improve and promote human and animal health.  During my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and immersing myself in a good book.


Past students & staff


Joshua Cluck

I am a senior undergraduate student and entomology major. I am hoping to continue my studies next fall as a graduate student in medical entomology, and I am passionate about studying tsetse flies and other disease vectors. In my free time, I love spending time outdoors, learning about nature, and doing taxidermy work.