University of Florida Department of Geography
The Navi-Gator
January 2020, ISSUE 3 (Download PDF)

Evening of excellence

John & Fawn Dunkle Award for Graduate Student Travel: Ryan Good & Guoqian Yan
David L. Niddrie Excellence Fund: Tierney Shimansky & Shreejana Bhattarai
Little Family Student Fellowship Award: Caroline Parks
Ryan Poehling Award for Top Graduate Student: Michael Dillen (Top Master’s Student) & Cat Lippi (Top PhD Student)

Congratulations to our winners! We loved having you all for a night of celebration, reward and remembrance!

A Survey of Tick-Borne Bacterial Pathogens in Florida
Investigating diseases across mainland Florida!
A team from the University of Florida – including Geography’s Dr. Gregory Glass – has examined the distribution and presence of tick-bourne bacterial pathogens in Florida. Ticks were collected at 41 sites across Florida. DNA was extracted from 1,600 ticks – determining further investigation should be done to identify regional hotspots of tick-borne pathogens. Read more on the Geography website under “Recent Publications.”

12/5 Terry J. Doonan
Conserving Imperiled Mammal Species in Florida Across a Changing Landscape
Dr. Robert McCleery
Dr. Roberta Mendonça De Carvalho
Dr. Robert Walker
Where Are they now?
Our recent grads have found themselves in some interesting places!
Morgan Walker, class of 2019, works with Jason Blackburn as a Master’s research assistant.

GANSER, GLASS, KESSLERA Survey of Tick-Borne Bacterial Pathogens in Florida

Carrie E. De Jesus, Claudia Ganser, William H. Kessler, Zoe S. White, Chanakya R. Bhosale, Gregory E. Glass, and Samantha M. Wisely

Article first published online: 13 SEPT 2019 Insects

DOI: 10.3390/insects10090297

ABSTRACT: Within the past three decades, new bacterial etiological agents of tick-borne disease have been discovered in the southeastern U.S., and the number of reported tick-borne pathogen infections has increased. In Florida, few systematic studies have been conducted to determine the presence of tick-borne bacterial pathogens. This investigation examined the distribution and presence of tick-borne bacterial pathogens in Florida. Ticks were collected by flagging at 41 field sites, spanning the climatic regions of mainland Florida. DNA was extracted individually from 1608 ticks and screened for Anaplasma, Borrelia, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia using conventional PCR and primers that amplified multiple species for each genus. PCR positive samples were Sanger sequenced. Four species of ticks were collected: Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Within these ticks, six bacterial species were identified: Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia lonestari, Ehrlichia ewingii, Rickettsia amblyommatis, Rickettsia andeanae, Rickettsia parkeri, and Rickettsia endosymbionts. Pathogenic Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia species were all detected in the North and North-Central Florida counties; however, we found only moderate concordance between the distribution of ticks infected with pathogenic bacteria and human cases of tick-borne diseases in Florida. Given the diversity and numerous bacterial species detected in ticks in Florida, further investigations should be conducted to identify regional hotspots of tick-borne pathogens.

Read the full publication at Insects.

GLASS, MULLENSFourth National Climate Assessment (NCA)

Article first published online: NOV 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA)

ABSTRACT: These Summary Findings represent a high-level synthesis of the material in the underlying report. The findings consolidate Key Messages and supporting evidence from 16 national-level topic chapters, 10 regional chapters, and 2 chapters that focus on societal response strategies (mitigation and adaptation). Unless otherwise noted, qualitative statements regarding future conditions in these Summary Findings are broadly applicable across the range of different levels of future climate change and associated impacts considered in this report.

Read the full publication at Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA)






Dr. Greg Glass’ youngest #MedGeo students at 4-H Summer Camp

Dr. Greg Glass recently shared his Medical Geography knowledge with 4-H Summer Camp, teaching the campers to fish for ticks, at the Monticello UF Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences field station.

Dr. Greg Glass’ youngest #MedGeo students get out in the field at 4-H Summer Camp
Dr. Greg Glass works with his youngest #MedGeo students at 4-H Summer Camp
Dr. Gregory Glass and Dr. Sadie Ryan

GAINESVILLE – With a $10 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Florida will lead a highly collaborative research program focused on stopping vector-borne diseases such as Zika before they spread farther into the United States.

Key leadership for the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease will be provided by Medical Geographers Dr. Gregory Glass – Co-Principal Investigator for Ecological and Insecticide-resistance Models of Tick Vectors in Florida – and Dr. Sadie Ryan – Core Lead and Co-Investigator for Data Management, Biostatistics, and Communications (DMBC). The Center of Excellence (CoE) will be housed at UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI), and will be a collaboration between the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida International University and the University of South Florida to share research to address the statewide and regional challenge of Zika and other diseases.

“This is a novel approach that integrates laboratory and field studies through intensive modeling of pathogens and their vectors,” Glass said. An important contribution from UF is in mathematical modeling, to quantify how well the field and lab based research solutions work.  “This is a massive collaborative effort, leveraging vector-borne disease expertise, data, and modeling, across multiple institutions and partners, to address the urgent needs of VBD management, particularly in the face of Zika”, said Ryan.

The grant is part of nearly $184 million in funding from the CDC to states, territories, local jurisdictions, and universities to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including microcephaly and other serious birth defects. These awards are part of the $350 million in funding provided to CDC under the Zika Response and Preparedness Appropriations Act of 2016.

“Zika continues to be a threat to pregnant women,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “States, territories, and communities need this CDC funding to fight Zika and protect the next generation of Americans.”

The University of Florida is looking for a new faculty member in the area of ‘Health and Social Change in Africa’. This preeminence position is for exceptional candidates at the Assistant level, or Associate or Full Professors. This position would be in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) which is home to many departments, including Geography, and will also link directly to the Center for African Studies.

A geographer would be an excellent fit given the topics of interest, which include, but are not limited to: health policy and institutions, demography, migration, environmental change, war and conflict, political and/or cultural change, economic development, political economy of health and healthcare, globalization, or other major aspects of social change and transition in Africa. If joining Geography, the faculty would join an exciting and engaged group of scholars already working in Africa (Drs. Brian Child, Jane Southworth, Peter Waylen, Sadie Ryan, Barbara McDade-Gordon, Michael Binford, Abe Goldman, Jason Blackburn and Greg Glass) and in Health and Disease (Drs. Sadie Ryan, Greg Glass, Jason Blackburn and Liang Mao).
Applications commence review on January 11th and if you wish to find the full job advertisement and to apply please see below:

Dr. Greg Glass


Focus Areas

Areas of Specialization

  • Medical Geography
  • Risk factor analysis
  • Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases

Educational Background

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University, 1986
  • PhD in Systematics & Ecology, University of Kansas, 1983
  • MPhil in Systematics & Ecology, University of Kansas, 1981
  • M.A. in Systematics & Ecology, University of Kansas, 1979
  • B.A. in Biology, Boston University, 1974

Recent Courses

  • Advanced Research Methods in Medical Geography & Spatial Epidemiology
  • Biology of Public Health
  • Public Health Ecology
  • GIS & Spatial Statistics


Current Graduate Students



  • Tyler Shapfer

Students Recently Graduated

  • Dr. Abolfazl Mollalo
  • Dr. Ubydul Haque – Research Associate, CDC
  • Dr. Barbara Ellis – Deputy Director Public Health Preparedness, CDC
  • Dr. Erik Hofmeister – Veterinary Medical Officer, USGS
  • Dr. Martin Sanders – Deputy Director Occupational Preparedness, CDC
  • Dr. William Nicholson – Branch Chief Viral & Rickettsial Zoonoses, CDC
  • Dr. Brian Bird – Res. Scientist, Special Pathogens Branch, CDC
  • Dr. Sabra Klein – Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Scott Shone – Director Newborn Screening, NJ Dept. Health
  • Dr. Mark DiMenna – Deputy Director Vector borne Diseases; Bernallio Co,NM
  • Dr. Julie Clennon – Research Associate, Emory University
  • Dr. Michael Johansson – Research Scientist, Dengue Branch CDC
  • Dr. Veronica Andreo –PDF, Univ Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina

In My Own Words


My lab focuses on understanding the bases of infectious disease systems; the agents, hosts, and environmental sources. We are especially interested in characterizing how changes in environmental conditions over space and time alter the patterns of disease that we see. These patterns often provide key clues to identify what triggers disease emergence/outbreaks and may give us clues for intervention and prevention. In a broader sense, we use this information to assess how well regional and national health care programs work to improve the health of people and animals. We combine data from numerous sources, including remotely sensed imagery with epidemiologic studies in statistical analyses. Our goal is to use geospatial science to find ways to anticipate and intervene to prevent large-scale disease outbreaks before they happen.

Recent Publications

2014 Wasif A. Khan; Sean R. Galagan; Chai Shwai Prue; Jacob Khyang; Sabeena Ahmed; Malathi Ram; Mohammad Shafiul Alam; M. Zahirul Haq; Jasmin Akter; Gregory Glass; Douglas E. Norris; Timothy Shields; David A. Sack; David J. Sullivan Jr.; Myaing M. Nyunt Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum malaria in pregnant women in the Chittagong Hill Districts of Bangladesh. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(5).

2014 Victor M Mukonka; Emmanuel Chanda; Ubydul Haque; Mulakwa Kamuliwo; Gabriel Mushinge; Jackson Chileshe; Kennedy A Chibwe; Douglas E Norris; Modest Mulenga; Mike Chaponda; Mbanga Muleba; Gregory E Glass; William J Moss High burden of malaria following scale-up of control interventions in Nchelenge District, Luapula Province, Zambia. Malaria Journal. 2014;13(1).

2014 Ubydul Haque; Hans J Overgaard; Archie C A Clements; Douglas E Norris; Nazrul Islam; Jahirul Karim; Shyamal Roy; Waziul Haque; Moktadir Kabir; David L Smith; Gregory E Glass Malaria burden and control in Bangladesh and prospects for elimination: An epidemiological and economic assessment. The Lancet Global Health. 2014;2(2):e98-e105.

Recent Research Grants

2010-2016 NIH 1U19AI089680-01

Malaria Transmission and the Impact of Control Efforts in Southern Africa

2011-2016 NIH    U54 HD070725-01

Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity

2012-2015 SRI     subcontract

Mapping especially dangerous pathogens in the Ukraine.

2010-2015       NIH     T32 AI007417

Training in Molecular and Cellular Bases of Infectious Disease

2010-2015 NSF 0955897

EcoHealthNet: Ecology, environmental science and health research network

2009-2014             Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health

Predicting dengue epidemics with entomological and virological surveillance by xenomonitoring