4th SR Annual Meeting in Notre Dame Campus: June 2018

Sr Annual Meeting

The partners of the Spatial Repellents program gathered on June 20 and 21st for the 4th annual meeting of the program, in the campus of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Each sites gave an update on their activities and exchanged ideas. To learn more about the Spatial Repellents Program, please click here.

5th Annual UB Biology-Chemistry Symposium: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5th Ub Biology

As one of the main sponsors of the UB Symposium, we attend this event yearly to embrace the work of local students in the different fields of Science. Every year, University of Notre Dame students also take part in the symposium to showcase the different projects they are working on in-country and to inspire the young Belizean scientific community to pursue research in the fields of medical entomology.

San Felipe Wellness Fair: Saturday, May 5, 2018

San Felipe

This activity focused on wellness and disease prevention. BVEC's role in this activity was to educate the community on types of mosquitoes and the disease that they transmit, with a focus on prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.

Lab Members Present at 2018 COS-JAM

Sarah Denning’19 and Robert (Bobby)Wozniak’ 19 from the Achee-Grieco lab were both presenting their research at the 12th annual College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS-JAM) on May 4, 2018 on Notre Dame campus.

Sarah presented her research on “Effects of Transfluthrin on Ae. Albopictus Attraction to Experimental Oviposition Sites” and Bobby’s poster was titled: “Investing the Effects of Ivermectin on the Mortality and Behavior of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes”.

Sarah Cos Jam 2018  Sarah Denning  

Bobby Cos Jam 2018Bobby Wozniak

Santa Cruz Wellness Activity: Friday, April 30, 2018

Santa Cruz

This activity was geared at educating Primary School students from the Infant and Upper Division at the Santa Cruz Government School. A total of 70 students were engaged in a very dynamic session about the primary vectors in Belize, the diseases that they transmit, and how to treat and prevent these diseases.

Lab Undergraduates Present Research at Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference

Two of the Achee-Grieco lab, Jugyeong (Esther) Lee ’18 and Alexis Green ’19 were presenting their research at the 13th annual Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Meeting of the Minds conference was held in April at Boston College.

Alexis presented her research entitled: "Data on Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Surrounding Malaria Intervention in Villages of Thailand" that was conducted in the summer of 2017. Her research was supported by the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and hosted by Dr. Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap of Kasetsart University in Bangkok.

Esther presented her research entitled: "Effect of the Topical Repellent para-Menthane-3, 8-diol on Blood Feeding Behavior and Fecundity of the Dengue Virus Vector Aedes aegypti", which was partially sponsored by an EIGH Undergraduate Research.

Alexis GreenAlexis Green   

Esther Lee Jugyeong (Esther) Lee

PAHO presentation in March 2018

Paho Presentation In March 2018

BVEC was presenting its work and research at a reginoal technical meeting of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

PAHO promotes technical cooperation between countries and works in partnership with ministries of health and other government agencies, civil society organizations, other international agencies, universities, social security agencies, community groups, and other partners. PAHO promotes the inclusion of health in all public policies and the engagement of all sectors in efforts to ensure that people live longer, healthier lives, with good health as their most valuable resource. To know more about PAHO, click here.

Presentation at Belmopan Comprehensive High School


On February 2, 2018 Donovan Leiva from BVEC was giving a presentation at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School to introduce the students to general mosquito knowledge, mosquito borne diseases (Dengue, Chikingunya, Zika and Malaria). He also demonstrates the use of BG sentinel and Ovitraps.

Muffles High School Science Fair Judging: Friday, January 26, 2018


In this event, BVEC senior staff serve as judges for Science Fair projects created/designed by High School Students. The main goal is to promote Science in young minds and embrace the bright minds of our young scientific community by providing guidance and mentorship.


Tablet Training2

In mid-December 2017, BVEC held its second part toward the tablet training sessions in which trainees learned and practiced how to create their own forms and all the processes involved in using them. This session was a follow-up session to the previous one in November and the same trainees participated throughout both sessions.


Environmental Day

BVEC was invited by Science teachers of Nazarene High School in Belize City in early December 2017 to be a part of their environmental awareness day. Here BVEC set up their booth amongst other local NGO’s and shared knowledge on Vectors and Vector Borne Diseases as well as education on identification of vectors and the importance of having a clean environment.


Tablet Training

In November 2017, BVEC held Part 1 of a two part Training Session on the Use and Creation of Digital Forms as they introduce the importance of Mobile Technology. BVEC’s Donovan Leiva and Alvaro Cruz led the tablet training initiative given to members of the MOH Northern Unit

The BVEC at the 4th Annual UB Science Expo

4th Ub Science Expo

BVEC participated again in another Science Expo at the University of Belize in November 2017. This year the team had to opportunity to share their knowledge with students from primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Notre Dame and NBC featured BVEC research in Belize as part of the "What would you fight for?" series
November 3, 2017

In 2016, the Zika Virus ravaged South America. When Zika was found in Belize, the Ministry of Health turned to researches from the Belize Vector Ecology Center for help tracking and slowing the outbreak.

For more information and watch the video, click here.

Nicole Achee will be at the VCAG
October 24- 26, 2017

As a member of the VCAG (Vector Control Advisory Group), Nicole Achee will guides innovators in data and documentation requirements, and advises WHO on the public health value of new tools, technologies and approaches. This advisory group was jointly established by the Global Malaria Program and the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.For more information about the VCAG, click here.

Santa Martha Flood Relief
October 2017

Santa Martha

This event was aimed at educating the Santa Martha community on mosquitoes and the disease that they transmit, particularly Aedes mosquitoes that transmit Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. This event was unique in the sense that it happened during a very vulnerable time for the people in the village as they were experiencing the impacts of heavy rainfall and flooding. Our goal was not only to educate but to provide support and assistance in a time of great need.

2017 Outreach Activities
May 24, 2017

BVEC is proud to continue sponsoring the Annual Biology & Chemistry Symposium at the University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan City. At this annual symposium, faculty and students present their research findings to peers and community members to raise awareness the sciences and facilitate scholarly engagement.

Each year, top posters are awarded prizes through the support and generosity of BVEC managing directors Drs. Nicole L. Achee and John P. Grieco. This year, the BVEC symposium awardees are:

1st place: Briean William (Poster Title: Historical Water Quality Data of the Belize River & watershed Extracted from Environmental Impact Assessments)

2nd place: Aspiro Urbina (Poster Title: Species Richness and Abundance of Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) of Saint Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Belize)

3rd place: Alexandra Fabro (Poster Title: The Isolation and Identification of Parasites and Culture Dependent Bacteria from the Internal and External body of Petenia splendida, Bay Snook, in the Crooked Tree Lagoon

Additionally, MSGH students from the University of Notre Dame engage in the UB Annual Biology & Chemistry Symposium, often presenting portions of their capstone projects.

Ub Symposia Awardees2017 UB Symposia awardees

Briean WillamBriean William (Right) with BVEC Research Staff Donovan Leiva and Marla Magaña

AspiroAspiro Urbina (Right) with BVEC Staff Marla Magaña and Donovan Leiva

AlexandraAlexandra Fabro (Right) with BVEC Staff Marla Magaña and Donovan Leiva

BVEC StaffLeft to right: BVEC Staff Donovan Leiva and Marla Magaña, Julianie Pasos (Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology), Karen Waight (Chair of the Biology Department) and 2017 MSGH students Emma Forrest and Chris Knaub

Lab Members Present at 2017 COS-JAM
May 8, 2017

Juniors Kenneth Elkin and Robert Wozniak presented their research at the annual College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS-JAM) in Jordan Hall on Friday, May 5th. COS-JAM is a way for Notre Dame undergraduates from all scientific disciplines to present on the research they have conducted through a poster session. Elkin’s poster was titled ‘Effect of Metabolic Stress on Chlorfenapyr Efficacy using a Novel Flight-Stress Apparatus’ while Wozniak’s poster was titled, ‘Investigating Odorant-Baited Traps and Miltefosine for Control and Treatment of Chagas Disease in Belize, Central America.’ Additionally, junior Esther Lee also participated in COS-JAM this year, giving an oral presentation on ‘The Effect of Topical Repellents on Dengue Vector Behaviors.’

The Achee/Grieco laboratory is excited that several of our undergraduates were able to disseminate their findings to fellow undergraduates and colleagues through COS-JAM. We look forward to having more undergraduates engage in this event in the future.

ElkinKenneth Elkin

WozniakRobert Wozniak

LeeEsther Lee

Junior Esther Lee Presents at Scientia
March 3, 2017

Esther ScientiaEsther Lee presenting her research at Scientia (2/28/17)

Esther Lee, a member of the Achee/Grieco laboratory presented her work ‘Analyzing the Effects of PMD on Aedes aegypti Fecundity and Blood Feeding Behavior’ at the Scientia ‘Talk Science’ event on February 28th. The work presented comprises of Esther’s independent research project, conducted from 2016-2017, with funding from the College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. To see the full talk, please click here. (Note: Title slide omitted from video due to technological difficulties)

Members of Achee/Grieco Lab Win Innovation Award
February 17, 2017

Innovation AwardMembers of the Winning Team and Laboratory (L to R) Kristin Andrejko, Delaney Lenaghan, Alexis Green

The Notre Dame Global Health Case Competition is a multidisciplinary opportunity for students to propose solutions to a case study focusing on 21st century global health issues. Kristin Andrejko, Alexis Green, and Delaney Lenaghan, all members of the Achee/Grieco Laboratory, were part of a team that won the Innovation Award for this case competition on February 3rd, 2017.

Teams of students participating in this event spent a week developing and creating an original solution. To see more information on this innovative presentation, click the link below.

Global Health Case Competition

End Malaria For Good
February 6, 2017

Malaria remains both a major cause and a consequence of global poverty and inequity: its burden is greatest in the least developed areas and among the poorest members of society. Many of those most vulnerable – especially young children and pregnant women – are still not able to access the life-saving prevention, diagnosis and treatment they so urgently need.

According to the World Malaria Report 2016, in 2015, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths. One child dies from malaria every two minutes.

We can be the generation that ends malaria – one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in human history.

World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria. Each year onApril 25, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partner organizations unite around a common World Malaria Day theme.

It is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.

Lego League Team Wins Innovative Solution Award for Skeeter Tracker
January 5, 2017

Lego LeagueFront Left to Right: Acy Brown, Donaven Gordon, Kenna Cooley, Sarah Oliva, Sean Lidy, Sam Letcher Back – Left to Right Coach Steve Lidy, Emma Thilman, Isabella Listello, Coach Mark Listello, Coach Gina Hite

FIRST LEGO League Team 18067, the Holy Legos from the Queen of Peace Catholic School in Granger, Indiana has won the top award for Project Presentation and Innovation Solution Award for the Skeeter Feeder – a potential strategy to assist in the effort to control mosquitoes around the world. The Holy Lego team received guidance from Dr. Nicole Achee on the Skeeter Feeder. The First Lego League is a world-wide organization based on programming and robotics using solely legos.

3rd Annual UB Science Fair
November 2016

3rd Annual Ub Science Fair

BVEC was invited to be a part of the 3rd Annual UB Science Fair in November 2016 which was bigger than the previous year. There was a bigger turnout of students who were are actively engaged and asking questions. Students from all levels came around to learn about the different vectors and to gain knowledge on threats such as the Zika virus and preventative methods.

Let’s Have a Moment of Science at the Shamrock Series Game
October 27, 2016

Come join us at the Let’s Have a Moment of Science STEM Presentations at the Notre Dame Shamrock Series football game in San Antonio, Texas. Drs. Achee and Grieco will both be presenting on tropical diseases in the US.

See the flyer for additional information!

International workshop on “Insecticide resistance in vectors of emerging arboviruses: challenge and prospects for vector control”
September 22, 2016

The Worldwide Insecticide resistance Network (WIN) is holding an international workshop will serve as a forum for addressing the challenges and priorities for the management of insecticide resistance and the control of vectors of emerging arboviruses worldwide. It will promote exchanges of ideas among scientist, stakeholder, industry, donor agencies and international institutions to provide national authorities with recommendations for the improvement of insecticide resistance surveillance and deployment of alternative vector control tools. This workshop is supported by the WHO Research & Training program on Tropical Diseases (TDR) and the Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) through the Worldwide Insecticide resistance Network (WIN). Click here for further information!

See the flyer for additional information!

Notre Dame mosquito lab provides valuable research
August 31, 2016

ABC 57 News got an inside look at the Achee/Grieco mosquito research lab at Notre Dame. Click here to see the interview with Nicole L. Achee, PhD!

UB 3rd Annual Bio/Chem Symposium
May 2016

Ub 3rd Annual Bio Chem Symposium

In May of 2016, BVEC participated in the University of Belize’s Biology and Chemistry Symposium. Each year the University highlights research projects that students and lecturers are undertaking. In this event, BVEC was represented by our fellow Notre Dame MSGH students: Olivia Ahearn and Victoria Wadman as they presented on their Capstone projects that they were engaged in for the summer.

New Hope High School Science Fair
March 2016

New Hope High School Science Fair

On March 2016, BVEC was invited to the New Hope High School Science Fair to share our knowledge of vectors and vector borne diseases with the students and attendees. Students from both primary and secondary level institutions were present at the event.

2nd Annual UB Science Expo
November 2015

Ub Science Expo

BVEC is a proud participant of the University of Belize Science Expo held yearly in the month of November. BVEC made its first appearance in the expo on November 2015 and have since continued to participate. Being the National University, UB invited schools from primary, secondary and even tertiary level institutions to be a part of the event and visit the different booths so they can gain insight to the field of science.