Jonathan Oliver, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

Jonathan Oliver

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-2487

Office Address:
1112 Mayo

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware St SE
MMC 807
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, Entomology, Iowa State University

BS, Anthropology, University of Oregon


I am a public health entomologist specializing in vector-borne diseases. My research expertise lies primarily in the relationship between ticks and emerging tick-borne pathogens relevant to human health. Understanding the relationship between ticks and their bacteria is essential to public health on a number of levels including accurate risk assessment and epidemiological modeling, as well as efforts to actively disrupt the continued transmission of these diseases. Some of my research themes include the effects of pathogen/vector/vertebrate reservoir interactions on disease transmission, environmental and microbiotic factors affecting vector range expansion and human exposure to disease, development of transgenic or paratransgenic ticks incapable of transmitting human pathogens, and the discovery of target proteins for limiting pathogen establishment in vectors and transmission to humans.


Infectious diseases, vector-borne diseases, ticks, mosquitoes, Lyme disease, BorreliaAnaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia

Awards & Recognition

  • Member, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health


Research Methods/Techniques

Active disease surveillance, molecular biology, proteomics and genomics, tick in vivo techniques, cell biology and microbiology, microscopy.

Research Funding Grants

  • NIH, "Dynamics of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection through tick development," Principal Investigator
  • NIH, "Tick-mammal interface of human granulocytic anaplasmosis," Co-investigator
  • NIH, " Ehrlichia genes required for tick colonization and virulence," Co-investigator


Selected Publications

  • Lynn GE, Oliver JD, Cornax I, O'Sullivan MG, Munderloh UG. "Experimental evaluation of Peromyscusleucopus as a reservoir host of the Ehrlichiamuris-like agent." Parasit Vectors. 2017 Jan 28;10(1):48. 
  • Oliver JD, Lynn GE, Burkhardt NY, Price LD, Nelson CM, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2015. "Infection of immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) by membrane feeding." Journal of Medical Entomology. Mar 2016
  • Kurtti TJ, Felsheim RF, Burkhardt NY, Oliver JD, Heu CC, Munderloh UG. "Rickettsiabuchnerisp. nov., a rickettsial endosymbiont of the blacklegged tick Ixodesscapularis." International Journal of Systematic Evolutionary Microbiology. 2015 Mar;65(Pt 3):965-70. 
  • Oliver JD, Burkhardt NY, Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. Motility characteristics are altered for Rickettsiabellii transformed to overexpress a heterologous rickA gene. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2014 Feb;80(3):1170-6. 

Community Engagement

Community education and outreach are critical for preventing vector-borne diseases. At Iowa State university, I ran the state-wide Lyme disease surveillance program and engaged in outreach and the production of extension publications relating to tick-borne diseases in Iowa.


In The News

SPH News

  • Oliver in New Lyme Disease Youtube Video (Read More)
  • Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks Rapidly Spreading Across Midwest (Read More)
  • Protecting Yourself from Lyme Disease (Read More)

In The Media

  • Cases of tick-related Disease on the rise (KSTP-TV)