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Brian Byrd

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Name:  Brian Byrd
Department: Health Sciences
Program: Environmental Health Sciences
Rank: Professor
Title: Supervisor, Mosquito and Vector-borne Disease Laboratory (
Work Phone: 828-227-2607
Work Email:
Office address: HHSB 416

Doctorate (PhD, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Parasitology/Medical Entomology)
Masters (MSPH, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tropical Medicine)
Bachelors (BA, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Biology)

Experience:  Dr. Byrd has more than 15 years’ experience in public health entomology and vector-borne disease investigations, including active participation in multiple organized mosquito-borne disease outbreak/cluster investigations.  As a tenured faculty member in the Environmental Health Sciences Program at WCU, he has annually taught ENVH-430 (Medical Entomology) and ENVH-470 (Principles of Epidemiology) for more than 10 years.

Area of Expertise: Public Health Entomology, Vector-borne Disease Epidemiology, La Crosse Encephalitis

Primary Teaching Responsibilities:
ENVH 190: First Year Seminar (From Black Death to Bioterrorism)
ENVH 430: Medical Entomology
ENVH 431: Medical Entomology Laboratory
ENVH 470: Principles of Epidemiology
Scholarly Interests: Domestic Mosquito-borne Diseases, La Crosse Encephalitis, Vector-borne Disease Epidemiology

Recent Publications and Presentations:
*Undergraduate Co-Authors

  •          Byrd, B.D., Sither, C.*, Goggins, A.*, Kunze, S.*, Pesko, K., Bustamante, D., Vonesh, J. O’Meara G.  Aquatic Thermal Conditions Predict the Presence of Native and Invasive Rock Pool Aedes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the southern Appalachians, USA. (2019) Journal of Vector Ecology 44(1): 30-39.
  •          Richards, S., White, A., Byrd, B. D., Reiskind, M., Doyle, M. Evaluation of Insecticide Resistance in Aedes albopictus in North Carolina (2017). (2018) Journal of Medical Entomology (2019) Apr 16;56(3):761-773. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjy216
  •          Reed, E.M.X., Byrd, B. D., Richards, S., Eckardt, M., Williams, C, Reiskind, M. A Statewide Survey of Container Aedes Mosquitoes in North Carolina, 2016: A Multi-Agency Response to Zika Using Ovitraps. (2018) Journal of Medical Entomology. (2019) Feb 25;56(2):483-490. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjy190.
  •          Lozano-Fuentes S., Kenney, J. L., Varnado, W., Byrd, B. D., Burkhalter, K. L., Savage, H. M. Susceptibility and Vectorial Capacity of American Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) to American Zika Virus Strains. 2019 Jan 8;56(1):233-240. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjy114.
  •          Byrd, B. D., Williams, C., Staples, J. E., Burkhalter, K. L., Savage, H. M., Doyle, M. Spatially Associated Coincident and Asynchronous La Crosse Encephalitis-- North Carolina. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (CDC). Oct. 5th, 2018. PMID: 30286057
  •          Richards, S. L., Balanay, J. A. G., White, A., Hope, J., Vandock, K., Byrd, B. D., & Reiskind, M. Insecticide Susceptibility Screening against Culex and Aedes (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes in the United States. Journal of Medical Entomology. (2018) 55(2):398-407. PMID: 29186579
  •          Riles, M. T., Smith, J. P., Burkett-Cadena, N., Connelly, R. C., Morse, G. W., & Byrd, B. D. First record of Aedes japonicus in Florida. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. (2017) 33(4):340-344. PMID: 29369021
  •          Kothera, L., Byrd, B. D., Savage, H. Duplex real-time PCR assay distinguishes Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) using DNA from sonicated first instar larvae. Journal of Medical Entomology. (2017) 54(6):1567-1572. PMID: 28981691.
  •          Byrd B. D., La Crosse Encephalitis: A Persistent Arboviral Threat in North Carolina. The North Carolina Medical Journal. (2016) 77(5):330-333. PMID: 27621342.

Service Interest:  Dr. Byrd currently serves as the Chairperson of the WCU Institutional Biosafety Committee.  Previously, he was a member and Vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects research.  He serves as a reviewer for a number of discipline related journals and as a member of the AMCA Board of Directors.

2019 Western Carolina University Scholar Award
2019 Presidential Citation (American Mosquito Control Association)
2018 Hamilton Stevens Award (North Carolina Mosquito and Vector Control Association)
2018-2019 WCU Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award
2015-2016 WCU College of Health and Human Sciences Service Award
2011-2012 WCU Board of Governors Innovation in Teaching Award (CHHS)
2010-2011 WCU College of Health and Humans Sciences Faculty Student Engagement Award
UNC-Asheville “Order of Pisgah” Alumni Award
Ernest Carroll Faust Award for Outstanding MSPH Student (Tropical Medicine), Tulane University

 Bio: Dr. Brian Byrd is a Professor in the Environmental Health Sciences program, College of Health and Human Sciences, Western Carolina University. He received a Bachelor’s degree (Biology) from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, a Master’s of Science in Public Health Parasitology, and his Doctorate (PhD) from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. During his studies at Tulane he was a pre‐doctoral fellow in a CDC funded training program in vector‐borne infectious diseases. Currently, Dr. Byrd teaches courses such as Medical Entomology, Principles of Epidemiology, and other Environmental Health Science courses. His research focuses on native and invasive domestic mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne diseases, with a specific focus on La Crosse encephalitis.   He also maintains an active undergraduate research program where his students have been nationally recognized (  He actively explores the use of project-based and service learning as effective teaching pedagogies.  He has authored or co‐authored peer reviewed manuscripts in discipline related journals and is an active member of a number of professional organizations including the North Carolina Mosquito and Vector Control Association, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), and the Society for Vector Ecology.  Dr. Byrd currently serves on the board of directors for AMCA and is supported by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to serve as public health entomology subject matter expert.  Current research projects include: Aedes bionomics and La Crosse Encephalitis in western NC, rock pool mosquito ecology in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, rapid mosquito identification techniques, and studies of the mosquito fauna in the United States Virgin Islands.

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