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We are committed to increasing and promoting diversity, inclusion and equity in our research and teaching activities. We are dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for all lab members including those from under-served and under-represented communities. We reject discrimination, bullying and harassment and value support, encouragement and respect of others. 

Chloé Lahondère    (Principal Investigator)

I am a biologist interested in blood-sucking insects' thermal biology, physiology and neuro-ethology. I obtained my Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Tours (France) and pursued a PhD at the same university under the supervision of Prof. Claudio Lazzari. I then moved to Seattle to join the lab of Prof. Jeff Riffell in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. I joined the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech as a Research Assistant Professor in October 2017. 

I am affiliated with the Fralin Life Science Institute, the Global Change Center, the BIOTRANS program, the CeZAP program and the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech.

Link to my CV


Shajaesza Diggs     (Lab tech)

Shajaesza joined the lab in Summer 2021. 

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Sydney Fogleman    (Undergraduate researcher)

Sydney is a senior at Virginia Tech and is pursuing a dual degree in Biological Sciences and Psychology. She is from Yorktown, Virginia and is currently serving as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Principles of Biology 1105 and 1106. After graduation, she plans to go to graduate school to continue her education and research in Neurobiology. She is a part of various organizations on campus including The Environmental Coalition at Virginia Tech and Lambda Iota Mu, a service-based fraternity. She is very interested in climate-based research.

Sydney joined the lab in May 2021 and is primarely mentored by Anaïs. 


Lauren Fryzlewicz, MS      (Summer lab technician)

Lauren is a Summer lab technician who just obtained her MS degree at Virginia Tech, working in the lab. She graduated with a bachelor's degree double majoring in Biochemistry and Biology with a minor in Chemistry and integrated the BS/MS program during her senior year. She began undergraduate research under the supervision of Dr. Vinauger, working on aversive behavior in response to visual stimuli. She is interested in the impacts of changing environmental factors due to Global Warming on vectors of disease. Early 2020, Lauren received a Global Change Center undergraduate research award to support her research. In the future, she hopes to continue research in an Industry setting working with disease vectors. Outside of the lab, Lauren enjoys being outdoors and plays many intramural sports.

Lauren joined the lab in Fall 2019 and graduated with her MS in Spring 2021. 

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Joanna Reinhold      (PhD student)

Joanna is a third year Biochemistry Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2014 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Joanna did undergraduate research in parasitology, surveying parasite load in centrarchid fishes under the supervision of Dr. Esch. She is interested in host-seeking behavior and potential pathogen transmission in certain species of mosquitoes that feed on ectothermic animals. Joanna is from Charleston, SC and moved to Virginia a few years ago.

Joanna volunteered in the lab during Summer 2018 before joining the PhD program in August 2018. 

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Anaïs Tallon, PhD      (Post-doctoral researcher)

Anaïs graduated from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a PhD in Biology, and a specialization in Chemical Ecology. Under the supervision of Dr. Rickard Ignell from the Disease Vector group, Anaïs was interested in the alteration of host seeking in Aedes aegypti by the virus of dengue and at the onset of host seeking, in correlation with changes in the expression of antennal chemosensory-related genes. She also functionally characterized target odorant receptors in Ae. aegypti, and investigated the correlation between individual human odor profiles, genotype, blood group status and relative attractiveness to mosquitoes. Anaïs obtained her Master's degree in Biology, Evolution and Ecology from both the University of Poitiers, France, and the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 2015. She developed a strong interest in Chemical Ecology and Pest management while working at the Institute of Food and Plant Research at Lincoln, New Zealand, with Dr. Flore Mas and Dr.Max Suckling. She was looking at the modulation of electrophysiological responses of the pest Queensland fruit fly to the microbial volatiles emitted by their bacterial symbionts.

Anaïs is from France and moved to Virginia at the beginning of 2021. She is interested in the modulation of odor-mediated behavior in mosquitoes in the context of Global Changes, as well as the induced-changes in their vectorial capacity. Outside of the lab, she is a musician who can’t stay inside more than 24 h!


Forde Upshur, MS      (PhD student)

Forde Upshur obtained his Master's degree in Biochemistry at Virginia Tech. He graduated from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry. He did his undergraduate research at UVa under the supervision of Dr. Brown, working to develop a promoter database for the entire human genome. Forde is looking to gain a diverse array of experience and knowledge during his time as a graduate student, particularly in the fields of biochemistry, chemistry, and behavioral ecology. He also plays guitar and sings and is currently in the process of starting a band. 

Forde joined the program in August 2018, rotated in the lab and officially joined in November 2018 as a Master's student. He graduated in may 2020 and is pursuing his PhD in the lab. 

Christopher Logan     (Undergraduate researcher)

Chris is a rising senior undergraduate biological sciences student with minors in chemistry and entomology. He is interested in how a changing environment will affect human’s interactions with natural ecosystems, especially insect vectors and agricultural pests. In the future, he is looking to pursue a graduate career in chemical ecology. In his free time I play the ukulele and spend time outside birding or hiking.

Chris joined the lab in May 2021 and is primarely mentored by Anaïs. 

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Helen Oker     (Summer lab / field assistant - BS/MS student)

Helen is currently pursuing a degree in Biochemistry with minors in Entomology and Chemistry. She has been involved in undergraduate research throughout her education at Virginia Tech, working with Dr. Carla Finkielstein in the Biological Sciences department and Dr. Samantha Harden in the HNFE department. In the future, she hopes to further her education and continue to work in disease vector and invasive species research. Outside of the lab, Helen enjoys getting outside, doing yoga, and baking.

Helen joined the lab in Spring 2021.

Lab Alumni

Zach Baker, Summer Lab and Field Assistant - 2020

Elizabeth Bose    (undergraduate researcher - 2018-2019)

Darren Dougharty     (Lab tech - 2020-2021)

Darren recently received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech. Darren did undergraduate research in purification and studying aggregation of human tau proteins that relate to Alzheimer’s. He now maintain our mosquito colonies. Darren enjoys hiking and cooking in his free time and loves to relax with his dog when at home.

Darren joined the lab in Fall 2020. 

Cameron Hart    (undergraduate researcher - 2018-2019)

Cameron is a freshman here at Virginia Tech and is planning on majoring in Biochemistry. He also plans on triple minoring in Chemistry, Medicine and Society, and Spanish. He was born and raised in Souderton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Souderton Area High School being in the top 5% of his high school class of 760. Cameron also is involved in many clubs on campus as well, ranging from the VT chapter of AMSA, to many intramural sports such as soccer, basketball, football, and volleyball. Cameron is involved with a band on campus and plays the piano and sings. He plans on being actively involved in research projects for the remainder of his college career and wants to go to med school in the future.

Cameron joined the Lahondère Lab in January 2018.

Aley Savory      (undergraduate researcher - 2019-2020)

Aley is a sophomore at Virginia Tech and is pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. Before coming to Virginia Tech, she attended Avon Grove High School in West Grove Pennsylvania. During her high school career, she was on the varsity women’s swim team, a National Honor Society member, and a teacher’s assistant for her chemistry teacher. She plans on being involved in research for the remainder of her college career along with getting more involved on campus. After college she is looking to go into pharmaceutical field.

Aley joined the lab in Fall 2019 and worked with Forde on GCMS analyses. She will be joining Thermo-Fisher Scientific in Fall 2020.

Ryan Shaw   (undergraduate researcher - 2019-2020)

Ryan is a senior at Virginia Tech and is majoring in biology.  He is from Virginia Beach, Virginia and went to Floyd E. Kellam High School.  Ryan is currently an undergraduate teaching assistant for Microbiology.  After graduation, he hopes to go to pharmacy school. Ryan works primarily with Joanna, looking at viruses and other pathogens that are transmitted to the local herpeto-fauna by mosquitoes. Ryan received a Global Change Center undergraduate research award in 2020. 

Ryan joined the lab in Fall 2019 and graduated in Spring 2020. 

Sarah Tartabini   (undergraduate researcher - 2018-2020)

Sarah is a rising junior at Virginia Tech, and is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry. She is from Yorktown, Virginia and graduated from Tabb High School in 2016 with honors. Sarah began participating in undergraduate research spring semester her sophomore year and plans to continue doing undergraduate research for the remainder of her college career. Her previous undergraduate research experience is with Dr. Bevan and Dr. Brown in the Department of Biochemistry focused on G-Protein Coupled Receptors and their role in drug discovery using computational and simulation methods. Sarah is very active in the Virginia Tech and participates in many clubs such as Make a Wish-Virginia Tech, VT Engage, predental club, and is involved in Alpha Chi Sigma (a professional chemistry fraternity). In the future Sarah would like to pursue a career in the health-related field as a Physician Assistant.

Sarah joined the Lahondère Lab in April 2018 to work as a Summer Lab and Field Assistant. She returned to the lab as a undergraduate researcher in Fall 2019 and graduated in Spring 2020.

Morgen VanderGiessen      (MSc student -  co-mentored with Clément Vinauger - 2018-2021)

Morgen recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Minors in Chemistry and Medicine in Society. She performs field work and has maintained the mosquito colony for both the Vinauger and Lahondère Labs since May 2018. She participated in undergraduate research throughout her education under Dr. Joseph Bassaganya-Riera at BioTherapeutics Inc. as well as under Dr. John Phillips in the Department of Biological Sciences and Dr. Vinauger in the Biochemistry Department at Virginia Tech. During her undergraduate career she was also involved in Alpha Chi Sigma (a co-ed professional chemistry fraternity) and the VT Biochemistry Club. In the future she would like to pursue a PhD in chemical biology with focus in zoonotic disease. 

Morgen joined lab in May 2018 as a mosquito colony technician and started as a Lab and Field Assistant in May 2019. She started her Master’s degree in Fall 2019 and graduated in Spring 2021.  

Ashlynn VanWinkle      (Undergraduate researcher - 2020-2021) 

Ash is a junior at Virginia Tech, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry. Originally from the midwest, she moved to Virginia three years ago and now lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ash works with Lauren, researching how our changing climate is impacting disease vectors. After graduation, she hopes to go into a career in environmental science. 

Ash joined lab in January 2020. 

Ash received a Fralin Undergraduate Fellowship (2020) and a Global Change Center Undergraduate Research grant (2021). She also received the Policy award at the Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research symposium in 2021. Ash joins the Biochemistry MS program in Fall 2021.

Previous mentees (IRBI and UW)


I have had the opportunity to mentor and work with fantastic undergraduate and graduate (both MSc and PhD) students during my PhD and my post-doc









Maurane Buradino

University of Tours, France

B.Sc. level: Licence 3rd year

M.Sc. level: Master 1st year,

July 2010 and April-May 2011   

Now an Research Engineer at INRA, France

Jillian M. Joiner

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


September 2014 - September 2015

Now a PhD student at the University of Greenwich, UK

Cindy Laurence  

University of Tours, France

B.Sc. level: Licence 3rd year 

June 2012  

Jessica E. Liaw                                             

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


September 2014 - June 2017 

Now a student at the Berkeley Optometry school

Jessica is a co-author on our paper "Modulation of host learning in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes" published in 2018 in Current Biology!

Lauren T. Locke

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


August 2014 - June 2016

Now a medical school student in NY

Lauren is a co-author on our paper "Modulation of host learning in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes" published in 2018 in Current Biology!

Korosh Moosavi

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


 August 2015 – June 2017

Assel Shardarbekova  

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


November 2015 - March 2017

Kennedy Tobin

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


March 2016 - August 2017 

Now a post-bac in the Seder lab at the NIH

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