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Charles Apperson

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Public Health Entomology and Vector Biology



  • Vector biology: basic and applied research on the ecology, behavior and/or control of arthropods of public health importance, such as mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Biology and ecology of the container-inhabiting mosquitoes Aedes albopictusAedes aegypti,and Ochlerotatus triseriatus.
  • Arthropod-host interactions: blood feeding habits and pathogen transmission.
  • Environmental and behavioral factors affecting mosquito oviposition: chemical ecology of mosquito oviposition attractants and stimulants.
  • Microbial ecology of mosquito habitats, focusing on the oviposition response of gravid Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to the species structure of bacterial communities.
  • Ecoepidemiology of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as La Crosse encephalitis.
  • Ecoepidemiology of tick-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.



  1. Chen, K., N. V. Travanty, R. Garshong, D. Crossley, G. Wasserberg, C. S. Apperson, R. M. Roe, and L. Ponnusamy. 2023.  First detection of Orientia spp. in field-collected free-living Eutrombicula chigger mites in North Carolina, USA.  Emerging Infectious Diseases 29 (8): 1676-1679.
  2. Luan, K., M. G. McCord, A. J. West, G. Cave, N. V. Travanty, C. S. Apperson, and R. M. Roe.  2023.  Mosquito blood feeding prevention using an extra-low DC voltage charged cloth.  Insects 14:405.
  3. Richardson, E. A., R. M. Roe, C. S. Apperson, and L. Ponnusamy.  2023.  Rickettsia amblyommatis in ticks: A review of distribution, pathogenicity, and diversity.  Microorganisms 11:493.
  4. Ponnusamy, L., R. Garshong, B.S. McLean, G. Wasserberg, L.A. Durden, D. Crossley, C.S. Apperson and, R.M. Roe. 2022. Rickettsia felis and other Rickettsia species in chigger mites collected from wild rodents in North Carolina, USA. Microorganisms 10:1342.
  5. Travanty, N.V., E.L. Vargo, C. Schal, C.S. Apperson, and L. Ponnusamy. 2022. Bacterial isolates derived from nest soil affect the attraction and digging behavior of workers of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Insects 13 (5): 444.
  6. Johnson, C.R., L. Ponnusamy, A.L. Richards, and C.S. Apperson. 2022. Analyses of blood meal hosts and prevalence of Rickettsia parkeri in the Gulf Coast tick Amblyomma maculatum (Acari:  Ixodidae) from a reconstructed Piedmont prairie ecosystem, North Carolina.  Journal of Medical Entomology  59: 1382-1393.
  7. Travanty, N.V., E.L. Vargo, C.S. Apperson and, L. Ponnusamy. 2022. Colonization by the red Imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, modifies soil bacterial communities. Microbial Ecology 84:240–256.
  8. Luan, K., A.J. West, M.G. McCord, E.A. DenHartog, Q. Shi, I. Bettermann, J. Li, N.V. Travanty, R.D. Mitchell III, G.L. Cave, J.B. Strider, Y. Wang, F. Neumann, T. Beck, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe.  2021.  Mosquito-textile physics: a mathematical roadmap to insecticide-free, bite-proof clothing for everyday life.  Insects: 12: 636.
  9. Ponnusamy, L., H. Sutton, R.D. Mitchell, III, D.E. Sonenshine, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe.  2021.  Tick ecdysteroid hormone, global microbiota/Rickettsia signaling in the ovary versus carcass during vitellogenesis in part-fed (virgin) American dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis.  Microorganisms  9:1232.
  10. Kakumanu, M.L., B.F. Marayati, A. Wada-Katsumata, G. Wasserberg, C. Schal, C.S. Apperson, and L. Ponnusamy. 2021. Sphingobacterium phlebotomi nov., a new member of family Sphingobacteriaceae isolated from sand fly rearing substrate.  International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 71: 004108.
  11. Kakumanu, M.L., B.F. Marayati, C. Schal, C.S. Apperson, G. Wasserberg,and L. Ponnusamy. 2021. Oviposition site selection of Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli (Diptera: Psychodidae) sand flies: attraction to bacterial isolates from an attractive rearing medium. Journal of Medical Entomology 58: 518-527.
  12. Deguenon, J.M., C.E. Riegel, E.R. Cloherty-Duvernay, K. Chen, D.A. Stewart, B. Wang, D. Gittins, L. Tihomirov, C.S. Apperson, M.G. McCord, and R.M. Roe. 2021. New mosquitocide derived from volcanic rock. Journal of Medical Entomology 58: 458-461.
  13. Mouhamadou, C.S., K. Luan, B.K. Fodjo, A.J. West, M.G. McCord, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe. 2020. Development of an insecticide-free trapping bednet to control mosquitoes and manage resistance in malaria vector control: A new way of thinking.  Insects 11: 732.
  14. Mitchell, C.L., F.-C. Lin, M. Vaughn, C.S. Apperson, S.R. Meshnick, and S.P. Commins. 2020. Association between lone star tick bites and increased alpha-gal sensitization: evidence from a prospective cohort of outdoor workers.  Parasites and Vectors 13:470.

  15. Kowacich, D., E. Hatano, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C. S. Apperson, T. Shymanovich, and G. Wasserberg.  2020. The egg and larval pheromone dodecanoic acid mediates density‑dependent oviposition of Phlebotomus papatasi.  Parasites and Vectors 13:280.

  16. Deguenon, J. M., R. Azondekon, F. R. Agossa, G. G. Padonou, R. Anagonou, J. Ahoga, B. N’dombidje, B. Akinro, D. A. Stewart, B. Wang, D. Gittins, L. Tihomirov, C. S. Apperson, M. G. McCord, M. C. Akogbeto, and R. M. Roe.  2020.  ImergardTMWP: A Non-chemical alternative for an indoor residual spray, effective against pyrethroid-resistant Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) in Africa.  Insects 11:322.

  17. Travanty, N. J., L. Ponnusamy, M. L. Kakumanu, W. L. Nicholson and C. S. Apperson.  2019.  Diversity and structure of the bacterial microbiome of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is dominated by the endosymbiont Francisella.  Symbiosis. 79:239-250.
  18. Halbkat, L., K. Luan, G. Cave, M. McCord, M.R. Roe, E. DenHartog, N.J. Travanty, C.S. Apperson, and A.J. West. 2019. Fabric infused with a botanical repellent for protection against mosquitoes. Journal of the Textile Institute. 110: 1468-1474.
  19. Shymanovich, T., L. Faw, N. Hajhashemi, J. Teague, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, E. Hatano, and G. Wasserberg. 2019. Diel periodicity and visual cues guide oviposition behavior in Phlebotomus papatasi, vector of old-world cutaneous leishmaniasis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(3): e0007165.
  20. Bowman, N.M, K. Akialis, G. Cave, R. Barrera, C.S. Apperson, and Steven R. Meshnick. 2018. Pyrethroid insecticides maintain repellent effect on knock-down resistant populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196410.
  21. Travanty, N. V., C.S. Apperson, and L. Ponnusamy. 2018. A diverse microbial community supports larval development and survivorship of the Asian tiger mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 56: 632–640.
  22. Ponnusamy, L., A. C. Willcox, R.M. Roe, S.A. Davidson, P. Linsuwanon, A.L. Schuster, A.L. Richards, S.R. Meshnick, and C.S. Apperson. 2018. Bacterial microbiome of the chigger mite Leptotrombidium imphalum varies by life stage and infection with the scrub typhus pathogen Orientia tsutsugamushi. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0208327.
  23. Kakumanu, M.L., L. Ponnusamy, H. Sutton, S.R. Meshnick, W.L. Nicholson, and C.S. Apperson. 2018. Prevalence of Rickettsia species (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in Dermacentor variabilis ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in North Carolina. Journal of Medical Entomology 29: 1284-1291.
  24. Levine, J.F., C.S. Apperson, M. Levin, T. Kelly, M.L. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, H. Sutton, S. Salger, J. Caldwell, and A. Szempruch.  2017.  Stable transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Zoonoses and Public Health  64:337-354.
  25. Richards, S.L., R. Langley, C.S. Apperson, and E. Watson.  2017.  Do tick attachment times vary between different tick-pathogen systems?  Environments 4:37.
  26. Paz-Soldan, V.A., J. Yukich, A. Soonthorndahada, M. Giron, C.S. Apperson, L. Ponnusamy, C. Schal, A.C. Morrison, J. Keating, and D.M. Wesson.  2016.  Design and testing of novel lethal ovitrap to reduce populations of Aedes mosquitoes:  Community-based participatory research between industry, academia and communities in Peru and Thailand.  PLoS ONE 11(8):e0160386.
  27. Choi, D, J.P. Grieco, C.S. Apperson, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, D.M. Wesson, and N.L. Achee.  2016.  Effect of spatial repellent exposure on Aedes aegypti attraction to oviposition sites.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 10(7):e0004850.
  28. Wallace, J.W., W.L. Nicholson, J. Perniciaro, M.F. Vaughn, S. Funkhouser, J.J. Juliano, S. Lee, M.L. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2016.  Incident tick-borne infections in a cohort of North Carolina outdoor workers.  Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases  16:302-308.
  29. Kakumanu, M.L., L. Ponnusamy, H.T. Sutton, S.R. Meshnick, W.L. Nicholson, and C.S. Apperson.  2016.  Development and validation of an improved PCR method using 23S-5S intergenic spacer for detection of rickettsiae in Dermacentor variabilis ticks and tissue samples from humans and laboratory animals.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology  54:972-979.
  30. Marayati, B.F., C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, T. Rowland, and G. Wasserberg.  2015.  Attraction and oviposition preferences of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), vector of Old-World cutaneous leishmaniasis, to larval-rearing media.  Parasites and Vectors  8:663.
  31. Ponnusamy, L., C. Schal, C. Arellano, D.M. Wesson, and C.S. Apperson.  2015.  Oviposition responses of Aedes mosquitoes to bacterial isolates from attractive bamboo infusions.  Parasites and Vectors  8:486.
  32. Van Turen, W, L. Ponnusamy, R. Brinkerhoff, A. Gonzalez, C. Parobek, J. Juliano, T. Andreadis, R. Falco, L. Beati-Zeigler, N. Hathaway, C. Keeler, M. Emch, J. Bailey, R.M. Roe, C.S. Apperson, R. Knight, and S.R. Meshnick.  2015.   Variations in the microbiota of Ixodes ticks with geography, species and sex.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  81:6200-6209.
  33. Londono-Renteria, B., J. Patel, M. Vaughan, S. Funkhouser, L. Ponnusamy, C. Grippin, S. B. Jameson, C.S. Apperson, C. N. Mores, D.M. Wesson, T.M. Colpitts, S.R. Meshnick.  2015.  Long-lasting permethrin-impregnated clothing protects against mosquito bites in outdoor workers.  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 92:869-874.
  34. Chitwood, M.C., M. Swingen, M. Lashley, J. Flowers, M. Palamar, C.S. Apperson, C. Olfenbuttel, C. Moorman, and C. DePerno. 2015. Parasitology and serology of free-ranging coyotes (Canis latrans) in North Carolina.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51:664-669.
  35. Lee, S., M. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, M. Vaughn, S. Funkhouser, H. Thornton, S.R. Meshnick, and C.S. Apperson.  2014.  Prevalence of Rickettsiales in ticks removed from the skin of outdoor workers.  Parasites and Vectors  7:607.
  36. Vaughn, M.F., S.W. Funkhouser, F.-C. Lin, J. Fine, J.J. Juliano, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2014.  Long-lasting permethrin impregnated uniforms: A randomized-controlled trial for tick bite prevention.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine 46:473-480.
  37. Ponnusamy, L., A. Gonzalez, W. Van Treuren, S. Weiss, C. Parobek, J.J. Juliano, R. Knight, R.M. Roe, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2014.  Diversity of Rickettsiales in the microbiome of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology  80:354-359.
  38. Stell, F.M., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Innovative sugar-insecticide feeding bioassay for adult female Anopheles gambiae(Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 50:804-815.
  39. Stell, F.M., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, L. Kennedy, H. Thorton, K. Saavendr-Rodriguez, D.M. Wesson, W.C. Black, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Proof of concept for a novel insecticide bioassay based on sugar feeding by adult Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 27:284-297.
  40. Carr, A.L., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, D.E. Sonenshine, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Responses of Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis to odorants that attract haematophagous insects. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 27:86–95.
  41. Walsh, R.K., C. Bradley, C.S. Apperson, and F. Gould. 2012. An experimental field study of delayed density dependence in natural populations of Aedes albopictus. PLoS ONE 7(4):35959.
  42. Ponnusamy, L., K. Böröczky, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2011. Bacteria stimulate hatching of yellow fever mosquito eggs. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24409.
  43. Nojima, S., D.J. Kiemle, F.X. Webster, C.S. Apperson, and C. Schal. 2011. Nanogram-scale preparation and NMR analysis for mass-limited small volatile compounds. PLoS ONE 6(3):e18178.
  44. Bissinger, B.W., C.S. Apperson, D. W. Watson, C. Arellano, D.E. Sonenshine and R. M. Roe. 2010. Novel field assays and comparative repellency of BioUD, DEET and permethrin against Amblyomma americanum. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 25:217–226.
  45. Kimps, NW., B. W. Bissinger, C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, and R.M. Roe. 2010. First report of repellency of 2-tridecanone to ticks. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 25:202–208.
  46. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, K. Böröczky, D.M. Wesson, L. Abu Ayyash, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Oviposition responses of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to experimental plant infusions in laboratory bioassays. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36:709–719.
  47. Smith, M.P., L. Ponnusamy, J. Jiang, L. Abu Ayyash, A.L. Richards, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Bacterial pathogens in ixodid ticks from a Piedmont county in North Carolina: Prevalence of rickettsial organisms. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 10:939–952.
  48. Ponnusamy, L., D.M. Wesson, C. Arellano, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Species composition of bacterial communities influences attraction of mosquitoes to experimental plant infusions. Microbial Ecology 59:158–173.
  49. Ocampo, C.B., C. González, C.A. Morales, M. Perez, D.M. Wesson, and C.S. Apperson. 2009. Evaluation of community base strategies for Aedes aegypti control in houses in Cali, Colombia. Biomedica 29:282–297.
  50. Bissinger, B.E., C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, D.W. Watson, and R.M. Roe. 2009. Efficacy of the new repellent BioUD® against three species of ixodid ticks. Experimental and Applied Acarology 48:239–250.
  51. Bissinger, B.W., J. Zhu, C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, D.W. Watson, and R.M. Roe. 2009. Comparative efficacy of BioUD to other commercially available arthropod repellents against the ticks Amblyomma amercanum and Dermacentor variabilis on cotton cloth. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81:685–690.
  52. Apperson, C.S., B. Engber, W.L. Nicholson, D.G. Meade, J. Engel, K. Dail, J. Johnson, and D.W. Watson. 2008. Tick-borne diseases in North Carolina: Is “Rickettsia amblyommii” the cause of rickettsiosis identified as Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 8:597–606.
  53. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Identification of bacteria and bacteria-associated chemical cues that mediate oviposition site preferences by Aedes aegypti. PNAS 105:9262–9267.
  54. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, G. Stav, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Diversity of bacterial communities in the container habitats of mosquitoes. Microbial Ecology 56:593–603.
  55. Richards, S.L., S.K. Ghosh, B.C. Zeichner, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Impact of source reduction on the spatial distribution of larvae and pupae of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in suburban neighborhoods of a piedmont community in North Carolina. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:617–628.
  56. Nojima, S., C.S. Apperson, and C. Schal. 2008. A simple, convenient, and efficient preparative GC system that uses a short megabore capillary column as a trap. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:418–428.
  57. Witting-Bissinger, B.E., C. F. Stumpf, K. Donohue, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe. 2008. Novel arthropod repellent, BioUD, is an efficacious alternative to DEET. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:891–898.


B.A., Humboldt State College
M.S., University of California, Riverside
Ph.D, University of California, Riverside