Applications for the VectorBiTE 2017 Open Session

We are now accepting applications for an Open Session of VectorBiTE 2017.

The Open Session is available for any RCN members who would like to participate, regardless of participation in the rest of the meeting. The Open Session will take place on:

Thursday 27 July 2017 from 8:45am to noon
in the Moore Auditorium at the Royal Holloway University. 

In person attendance to the session is capped (due to maximum occupancy of the room) so we will allocate places in the order requests are received.

We also intend to allow remote participation in the open session. If that would be your preference, please indicate this under the “special requests” section of the application.


We are now accepting applications for VectorBiTE 2017 new working groups!!

Hello VectorBiTE members,

We are preparing for VBite 2017 and are now accepting applications for new working groups. We have had an extremely strong response from the exiting groups and many of them have proposed Open meeting activities (meaning that if you apply to the meeting you could join one of these groups). We will therefore be accepting a very small number (1-2) of new working groups.  If you would like to propose a new working group please send a 1 page summary containing the following information.  We would like these by Feb 20th.

  • Proposed activities/objectives- Why do you need to meet? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Proposed group members- What composition of group members do you need to accomplish these objectives?  This may be only one or two people at this stage.
  • Funding requirements of the group- Accommodation is covered for all attendees automatically. In order to ensure we can maximize the number of folks who can attend we are asking that if funding for alternative travel is available that people use this. Some attendees last year mentioned they would be willing to draw on these alternative sources for travel funding if it meant others could attend. However, it will not count against an application if all attendees need travel funds.
  • What if you are not funded? Even if proposals are not chosen we are open to creating a virtual working group through the VectorBiTE website to help develop community ideas. Let us know if you would like us to arrange for this in the event that you are not funded and who the admin should be for your group.
  • Open or Closed Enrollment? All new working groups must be Open to new members

Some additional notes: We want to balance participation across early stage and late stage career researchers, theoretical and empirical focus, and geographic region.  We would be especially interested in increasing participation from early career UK scientists. We are also specifically interested in a group to look at the effect of vector age on transmission.

Please submit your 1 page summary by emailing

Vectorbite Board

VectorBiTE Ecoinfo Nerds Unite!

The Ecoinformatics working group has been set up. If you are a VectorBiTE member and interested in joining this group, please go ahead! We are currently working on a draft data sheet template for VecDyn, which we will then make available for VectorBiTE members to give feedback on. Then, after a revision or two, we should be ready to start assembling vector presence-absence and abundance data.

VecTrait will follow soon after.

‘Epidemics’ website looking for science blogs and forum content


Disseminating our work to the public is an important component of scientific research. Scientific findings in scientific journals have little impact until that information is shared through an accessible medium. One way to make our research more accessible is by publishing in open access journals and also by translating scientific jargon into language that can be understood by the public, either by teaching, blogging or doing outreach. Penn State’s newly launched website on infectious diseases is a venue where scientists can participate in all three. The website, Epidemics, is affiliated with Penn State’s massive online open course (MOOC) offered through Coursera. The MOOC has generated over 90,000 visitors in the past three years, from 190 countries. The success of the MOOC has motivated researchers at Penn State to create a website designed as a resource for the public to learn more about infectious disease research, either in conjunction with taking the online course or as a general online reference for infectious disease-related information. In order for the website to be successful, we are looking for scientists to contribute content. Content should be short and targeted to an audience of non-experts. We are looking for blog-style articles, videos and posts on the discussion forums. We can offer broad visibility and global reach for content generated and the benefit of having quantifiable impact for outreach (page views, downloads). If you are interested in writing for the Epidemics website, generating other forms of content or participating in the discussion forums, contact Matt Ferrari at Have a broad reach with outreach.

Experiment Zika Virus Grant

VectorBiTE has received an email from, for an opportunity for a grant on Zika Virus. We thought we would forward this email to the members and hopefully some of you can take advantage of this opportunity! The deadline, March 15th, is approaching fast and some of the slots are filled, so make sure you get your application in soon! For information we have attached the email that we received below.


This month, Experiment is hosting a $10,000 grant for Zika Virus research.
We’re reaching out because your own Experiment project is related to vector-borne disease, viruses, ecology, or global health, and we’re asking for your help in recommending great scientists for this opportunity.
For this grant, we’re especially interested in attracting scientists from all backgrounds and disciplines, including data science, geography, anthropology, hardware, etc. To outline our goals, we’ve put together this request for experiments.
We’re aiming for 15 projects to launch together as a batch. The project that ends with the most backers will receive the additional grant to their project. The deadline for first drafts is March 15th, and we already have 5 slots filled. We’d appreciate any help spreading the word about this grant (or if you have ideas yourself)!
Lastly, we’re putting together a scientific review panel for this grant. If you’re interested in getting involved, let us know by filling out this form:
Thank you!

Introduction to VectorBiTE: vectors, disease, and forming a network

Vector borne diseases (VBDs) are caused by pathogens that depend on a third party (typically an arthropod) for transmission between hosts. These elegantly tuned systems are built on intimate interactions between pathogens, hosts, and these vectors.  Continue reading “Introduction to VectorBiTE: vectors, disease, and forming a network”