Dr. Janet Foley is a vector-borne disease ecologist at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. Dr. Foley is originally from a very small town in Maine and did her undergraduate studies at College of William and Mary and George Mason University in Virginia, as well as a Master’s degree in evolution at George Mason. She completed her DVM and PhD in disease ecology at UC Davis in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She is a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, runs a busy laboratory with undergraduate interns, PhD and Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine students, and post-doctoral researchers, and chairs both the MPVM graduate program and the Graduate Group in Ecology.
Her primary research interest is disease ecology in biologically complex communities, particularly focusing on tick-transmitted diseases. As part of the Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease (PacVec), Dr. Foley’s laboratory studies Lyme disease and anaplasmosis in California’s northern coast range mountains from Del Norte to Santa Cruz counties, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever at the US-Mexico border. Research trainees approach their research through fundamental ecological studies in the field focused on small mammal and tick sampling, laboratory molecular diagnostics, and data analysis and modeling. Particular areas of emphasis in 2020 include studying impacts of wildfire and climate change on ticks and tick-borne disease.