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Cierra Briggs

Research Interest: Cierra Briggs joined the lab in the Fall of 2019 in pursuit of an MS in Vector-Borne Disease Biology. She is a native of Dallas, Texas, and graduated as a double major in Biomedical Sciences and Entomology from Texas A&M University in the Spring of 2019. While completing her Bachelor’s degree, Cierra worked as a student assistant in Dr. Gabriel Hamer’s infectious disease ecology laboratory. During this time, she became aware of issues related to arbovirus transmission along the Texas-Mexico border while setting mosquito traps in South Texas and conducting viral testing of collected mosquitoes. These experiences combined with work on soft tick blood meal analysis and the testing of DNA-based mosquito tracking techniques further developed her interest in how human and animal interactions affect disease transmission through vectors. Additionally, involvement on other projects lead to an interest in how disease transmission could be altered by coinfection of Insect Specific Viruses in Aedes aegypti. Currently, Cierra’s research interests are in vector surveillance and how One Health is affected by and influences vectors. When not studying or working, Cierra enjoys photography, exploring National and State Parks, two-stepping, and assisting with equine based therapy.