Jameson Mori | 2024 PRI Early Career Investigator Award recipient

Amber Zilinger (left) and Jameson Mori (right) at the PRI award ceremony on May 14, 2024. 

Congratulations, Jameson, for receiving the 2024 Early Career Investigator Award from the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) for their outstanding contributions to environmental science and interdisciplinary research. Jameson Mori is a Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory member at the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Keep up the good work!!!

For the complete story, please visit the People of PRI news, here.

Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla | 2024 Distinguished Research Scientist Award recipient

Congratulations to Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, who received the Prairie Research Institute’s 2024 Distinguished Research Scientist Award for her exceptional contributions to research, the environment, and society.

Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla (back row, third from left) alongside members of the INHS Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory.

Dr. Mateus-Pinilla is the director of the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory at the Illinois Natural History Survey, a multi-disciplinary and multicultural laboratory whose research focuses on epidemiology, conservation, restoration, and preservation of Natural Resources while encouraging a responsible response to societal needs concerning disease impact on human, livestock, and wildlife health.

For the complete story, please visit the People of PRI news, here.

How Often Do Whitetails Give Birth to Triplet and Quadruplet Fawns, or More?

By LINDSAY THOMAS Jr. | NDA’s Chief Communications Officer.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is doe-pregnancy-rates_National-Deer-Assoc-1024x521.jpg

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Are you wondering about the fertility and pregnancy of white-tailed deer? A new article by The National Deer Association answers these questions and more, as it explains exciting facts about doe whitetails and their offspring.

For the complete story, please visit the The National Deer Association, here.

New study finds Extension offices have vital role in fight against growing number of tick bites

By EMILY STEELE | Media Communications Manager

Once uncommon in the Midwest, deer ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks, and others are now found across Illinois, and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are on the rise. Cases of alpha-gal syndrome, a red meat allergy, have also increased. Those who spend a lot of time outdoors, either for work or recreation, have a higher risk of being bitten.
Lyme disease tick at different stages. Photo credit: Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory – INHS
URBANA, Ill. — A call, email, or visit to the local University of Illinois Extension office can help provide some peace of mind. New research from a multi-department team of university scientists explored the role Illinois Extension has in educating communities about ticks and preventing risky encounters.

Read the whole story by Illinois Extension | UIUC here.

2023 International Freezer Challenge

Congratulations, team, for winning first place in the academic sector for medium-sized laboratories in the 2023 freezer challenge.

Amber Zilinger accepted the I2SL Sustainable Laboratories Award on behalf of the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory at the 2023 Annual Conference and Technology Fair, October 22 - 25 | Anaheim, CA

This year, My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories recognized your team efforts internationally. Well done!!!

To learn more about the Freezer Challenge at UIUC, please visit the Freezer Challenge-University of Illinois website here.

Lessons Learned from Illinois’ River Otters

By Nelda A. Rivera and Nohra Mateus-Pinilla

A river otter brings lunch to the latrine site. Image credit: Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory©

CHAMPAIGN, IL – From river otters’ environment to their behavior- this article covers a decade of research in Illinois and the exciting findings.

For the complete story, please visit the Illinois Outdoor Journal, here.

COVID-19 and wildlife: an interdisciplinary effort to disease surveillance in deer.

By Joey He | Undergraduate majoring in integrative biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

COVID sampling team — we were cold but happy and thankful for the experience and the learning opportunity from hunters, IDNR and USDA biologists, and colleagues.

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – Joey He, an undergrad student member of the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory (WVEL) at the Illinois Natural History Survey, narrates her experience participating in the collaborative effort of the WVEL along with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and USDA-WS to collect COVID samples from hunter-harvested white-tailed deer.

For the complete story, please visit the Illinois Outdoor Journal, here.

Are Illinois farmers aware of the risk of tick-borne diseases?

By DIANA YATES | Life Sciences Editor

Ph.D. candidate Sulagna Chakraborty, center, led a study of farmer awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases with U. of I. pathobiology professor Rebecca Smith, left, and Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife veterinary epidemiologist Nohra Mateus-Pinilla.
Photo by Fred Zwicky

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – Tick-borne illnesses like ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are on the rise in Illinois, and outdoor workers like farmers are at higher risk than those who spend more time indoors. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Ph.D. candidate Sulagna Chakraborty and her colleagues at Illinois led a new study on the subject that surveyed 50 Illinois farmers to learn about their awareness of the problem and engagement in tick-prevention efforts. Chakraborty spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about what they found.

Read the whole story by the University of Illinois News Bureau here.

Impact of CWD on Fetal Growth and Pregnancy Rates in Illinois White-tailed Deer

By Jameson Mori, Nelda A. Rivera, Jan Novakofski and Nohra E. Mateus-Pinilla

Deer behavior that may impact indirect transmission and exposure to CWD from an infected habitat (Tian et al., 2022). Photos: Key Deer by W. Tipton; Fawn with Mother by USFWS Midwest region.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Understanding the role of diseases on reproduction is essential for safeguarding the reproductive health of wildlife populations. Furthermore, it enables informed decision-making, effective interventions, and targeted approaches to support reproductive healthIn the article Impact of CWD on Fetal Growth and Pregnancy Rates in Illinois White-tailed Deer, Mori et al. summarize the latest research and their results related to the effect of CWD on Illinois white-tailed deer reproductive health.

For the complete story, please visit the Illinois Outdoor Journal, here.

Deer protected from deadly disease by newly discovered genetic differences.

By LAUREN QUINN | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, lL. – It was the height of summer 2022 when the calls started coming in. Scores of dead deer suddenly littered rural properties and park preserves, alarming the public and inconveniencing landowners. According to officials at the Urbana Park District, it was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a midge-borne viral illness that pops up in white-tailed deer populations around the state every few years. And when susceptible deer are infected, they die within days.


Now, University of Illinois scientists have found gene variants in deer associated with the animals’ susceptibility to EHD.

Read the whole story by Phys.org here.