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Brian Byrd - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Brian Byrd Brian Byrd

Professor | Western Carolina University


Brian Byrd's research focuses on domestic mosquito‐borne diseases, specifically La Crosse encephalitis.




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, Byrd teaches courses such as Principles of Epidemiology, Medical Entomology, First Year Studies: Virus Hunters (Learning Community), and Global Health. His research focuses on domestic mosquito‐borne diseases, specifically La Crosse encephalitis, the ecology of invasive mosquitoes and ticks, and the molecular identification of arthropod vectors. He also maintains an active undergraduate research program where his students have been nationally recognized. 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 Society for Vector Ecology and the American Mosquito Control Association. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Byrd is also a member of the American College of Epidemiology.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Global Health

Medical Entomology


Education (3)

Tulane University: Ph.D., Parasitology/Medical Entomology

Tulane University: MSPH, Tropical Medicine/Parasitology

University of North Carolina at Asheville: B.A., Biology

Affiliations (4)

  • American Mosquito Control Association
  • Society for Vector Ecology
  • Mid-Atlantic Mosquito Control Association
  • North Carolina Mosquito and Vector Control Association

Media Appearances (4)

Researchers Discuss How Climate Change Impacts Health in Rural Mountain Communities

The Appalachian Voice  online


Western Carolina University Environmental Health Professor Brian Byrd discussed the importance of preparing for an increase in vector-borne diseases in rural and mountain areas, especially diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks. “The challenge is not to overestimate risk and not to minimize risk,” Byrd says. “I’m not trying to fear-monger about this mosquito-borne disease. It’s very rare but it is something, if we can empower people to know a little more about it, there’s a good chance they can do something to reduce their own risk.”

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Stanford and Illinois researchers publish genomic evidence of ancient Muwekma Ohlone connection

Stanford News  online


The Tribe brought in the Far Western Anthropological Research Group, with archaeology principal investigator Brian F. Byrd, to direct the archaeological excavations, analysis and reporting as a collaborative endeavor with the Tribe, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign anthropology Professor Ripan Malhi to design a genomic project on any remains identified there. Researchers from Stanford University also joined the collaboration to analyze the genomic data.

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Telling the biters apart: WCU lab helps researcher with mosquito project

Smoky Mountain News  online


“We are happy to help Anders as he develops this important surveillance tool,” says Brian Byrd, an environmental health sciences professor at WCU and supervisor of WCU’s Mosquito and Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Facility. “We also understand the impacts of invasive mosquitoes, as there are two invasive Aedes species here in Western North Carolina that are known to transmit La Crosse virus — our most common mosquito-borne disease in North Carolina.”

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Western Carolina Zika expert Byrd says, 'I'd go to Rio'

Citizen Times  online


“The short answer is yes,” said Brian Byrd, an associate professor of environmental health who has been advising health officials from local agencies and all the way up to North Carolina’s top public health experts about the virus. “Infection with Zika is preventable, and travel, especially abroad, is always associated with risks,” he said. “Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of healthy U.S. citizens abroad.

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Event Appearances (1)


2022 Annual Conference of Virginia Mosquito Control Association  Newport News Marriott at City Center


Articles (1)

Before the Pandemic Ends: Making Sure This Never Happens Again

WCSA Journal


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