Ebel Lab

Greg Ebel is a Professor at CSU, and the Director of the CSU Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory (AIDL).

Infections transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks represent some of the most difficult and persistent problems facing public health and medicine. We are mainly interested in arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), such as West Nile, Dengue and Zika viruses.  We exist in order to help find ways to make these types of infections less burdensome. Our research addresses several areas, including arbovirus population biology and evolution, mechanisms that permit mosquitoes to transmit arboviruses, mosquito immunity and disease surveillance. Our currently funded projects focus on West Nile, Dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses, as well as the mosquitoes that transmit them. We are also involved in developing novel methods for detecting emerging viruses in resource-poor settings such as rural West Africa.

We take a multidisciplinary approach to science that combines classical virology, entomology, and molecular and computational biology. Central concepts that guide our work include the notion that arthropod-borne viruses, like other RNA viruses, form genetically complex populations within individual hosts, and that natural selection powerfully shapes which of these variants are most fit in a given environment. We are also active in local health initiatives that consist mainly of efforts to limit the impact of West Nile virus in Fort Collins and elsewhere on the great plains.

research project

Predicting genetic determinants of Zika virus emergence

The explosive epidemics of West Nile and Zika viruses were in part driven by virus adaptation to local mosquitoes. This new project seeks to determine whether Zika virus may similarly adapt to local mosquitoes. It also aims to define how environmental temperatures shape virus infections during incubation in mosquitoes. This project is sponsored by NIH.

research project

Role of cell tropism for Zika virus pathogenesis and transmission

This project seeks to define how specific cell types contribute to Zika virus pathogenesis and transmission. We are using a ZIKV infectious clone developed in our laboratory that has been modified with cell-type specific miRNA target sequences that specifically silence replication in a given type of cell. This project is sponsored by NIH and is a collaborative effort between our lab and that of Aa

research project

Investigating the Evolutionary Drivers of Codon Usage in Viral Genomes That Infect Both Arthropods and Vertebrates

Codon usage varies between viruses that infect different host species. Viruses that infect both arthropods and vertebrates evolve genomes that have to balance between the differential pressures of these two host systems. We are working to understand the specific pressures that drive differential codon usage between viruses that infect single hosts versus multiple hosts.

research project

Analysis of Zika virus emergence and functional evolution in the Americas

The unexpected scale and severity of the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic led several scientists to hypothesize that recent evolutionary events in the virus were to blame. The relative lack of Zika virus genetic data, however, has hindered efforts to test key evolutionary hypotheses of Zika virus emergence. As part of a collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute and Yale University, we have help

research project

West Nile virus surveillance

We conduct surveillance testing for Ft. Collins, Loveland, and Berthoud, CO. In addition to providing important data to the public, this project serves as an important training opportunity for students and fellows and provides us with potentially useful WNV strains from Colorado. Trap data reports, risk maps, and weekly vector indices are updated weekly and are available online through the City of


A longitudinal SARS-CoV-2 biorepository for COVID-19 survivors with and without post-acute sequelae.

LaVergne SM, Stromberg S, Baxter BA, Webb TL, Dutt TS, Berry K, Tipton M, Haberman J, Massey BR, McFann K, Alnachoukati O, Zier L, Heacock T, Ebel GD, Henao-Tamayo M, Dunn J, Ryan EP.
BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 13;21(1):677. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06359-2.PMID: 34256735

SARS-CoV-2 infection, neuropathogenesis and transmission among deer mice: Implications for spillback to New World rodents.

Fagre A, Lewis J, Eckley M, Zhan S, Rocha SM, Sexton NR, Burke B, Geiss B, Peersen O, Bass T, Kading R, Rovnak J, Ebel GD, Tjalkens RB, Aboellail T, Schountz T.
PLoS Pathog. 2021 May 19;17(5):e1009585. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009585. eCollection 2021 May.PMID: 34010360

Infection, dissemination, and transmission efficiencies of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti after serial passage in mosquito or mammalian cell lines or alternating passage in both cell types.

Talavera-Aguilar LG, Murrieta RA, Kiem S, Cetina-Trejo RC, Baak-Baak CM, Ebel GD, Blitvich BJ, Machain-Williams C.
Parasit Vectors. 2021 May 18;14(1):261. doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-04726-1.PMID: 34006306

Towards a method for cryopreservation of mosquito vectors of human pathogens.

Gallichotte EN, Dobos KM, Ebel GD, Hagedorn M, Rasgon JL, Richardson JH, Stedman TT, Barfield JP.
Cryobiology. 2021 Apr;99:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2021.02.001. Epub 2021 Feb 5.PMID: 33556359

Rapid evolution of enhanced Zika virus virulence during direct vertebrate transmission chains.

Riemersma KK, Jaeger AS, Crooks CM, Braun KM, Weger-Lucarelli J, Ebel GD, Friedrich TC, Aliota MT.
J Virol. 2021 Feb 3;95(8):e02218-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02218-20. Online ahead of print.PMID: 33536175

more publications


Emily Gallichotte

Postdoctoral Fellow

Bekah McMinn

Ph.D. Student

Kendra Quicke

Postdoctoral Fellow

Nicole Sexton

Postdoctoral Fellow

M. Cole Spangler

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Delaney Worthington headshot.
Delaney Worthington

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Michael Young

Research Assistant & Lab Manager

Landon Williams
Landon Williams

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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