Jenna Coalson Assistant Professor of the Practice

Epidemiology of Vector-borne Diseases
Jenna Coalson

Research Interests:

A complex web of relationships drives the shifting global distribution of infectious diseases. Traditional medical perspectives have focused on clinical cases, but effective control and elimination are often complicated by the presence of environmental, zoonotic, and asymptomatic human reservoirs. Unraveling transmission dynamics to facilitate prevention demands a more interdisciplinary approach. Our epidemiologic research unites clinical perspectives on disease burden with field surveillance on humans and vectors, laboratory testing, geospatial/ecological techniques, mathematical simulation models, and surveys on human knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Specifically we aim to (1) define how pathogens take advantage of human social interactions and human relationships with their surrounding environments, and (2) identify modifiable components of these dynamics to support public health efforts at reducing disease burden. Our work currently involves two major projects, one investigating the human transmission reservoir for malaria in southern Malawi and one evaluating how the built environment in desert cities influences vectorial capacity for Aedes-borne diseases.



  • Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 2019-Present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Insect Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 2016-2019
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2015-2016
  • Epidemiologist, EpidStat Institute, Ann Arbor, MI 2013-2016
  • Scientist, Exponent, Inc., Menlo Park, CA 2007-2009
  • PhD Epidemiologic Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2011-2015
  • MPH International Health Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2009-2011
  • BA Human Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 2003-2007 


Recent Papers:

  • Coalson JE, Cohee LM, Walldorf JA, Bauleni A, Mathanga DP, Taylor TE, Wilson ML, Laufer MK. Challenges in Treatment for Fever among School-Age Children and Adults in Malawi. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Feb; 100(2):287-295. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0687. PMID: 30526747; PMCID: PMC6367621.
  • Coalson JE, Cohee LM, Buchwald AG, Nyambalo A, Kubale J, Seydel KB, Mathanga D, Taylor TE, Laufer MK, Wilson ML. Simulation models predict that school-age children are responsible for most human-to-mosquito Plasmodium falciparum transmission in southern Malawi. Malar J. 2018 Apr 3; 17(1):147. doi: 10.1186/s12936-018-2295-4. PMID: 29615044; PMCID: PMC5883608.
  • Buchwald AG, Coalson JE, Cohee LM, Walldorf JA, Chimbiya N, Bauleni A, Nkanaunena K, Ngwira A, Sorkin JD, Mathanga DP, Taylor TE, Laufer MK. Insecticide-treated net effectiveness at preventing Plasmodium falciparum infection varies by age and season. Malar J. 2017 Jan 17; 16(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s12936-017-1686-2. PMID: 28095916; PMCID: PMC5240228.
  • Coalson JE, Walldorf JA, Cohee LM, Ismail MD, Mathanga D, Cordy RJ, Marti M, Taylor TE, Seydel KB, Laufer MK, Wilson ML. High prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte infections in school-age children using molecular detection: patterns and predictors of risk from a cross-sectional study in southern Malawi. Malar J. 2016 Nov 4; 15(1):527. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1587-9. PMID: 27809907; PMCID: PMC5096312.
  • Buchwald AG, Walldorf JA, Cohee LM, Coalson JE, Chimbiya N, Bauleni A, Nkanaunena K, Ngwira A, Kapito-Tembo A, Mathanga DP, Taylor TE, Laufer MK. Bed net use among school-aged children after a universal bed net campaign in Malawi. Malar J. 2016 Feb 29; 15:127. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1178-9. PMID: 26928321; PMCID: PMC4770676.
  • Walldorf JA, Cohee LM, Coalson JE, Bauleni A, Nkanaunena K, Kapito-Tembo A, Seydel KB, Ali D, Mathanga D, Taylor TE, Valim C, Laufer MK. School-Age Children Are a Reservoir of Malaria Infection in Malawi. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0134061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134061. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26207758; PMCID: PMC4514805.