Elizabeth (Liz) VanWormer

Elizabeth (Liz) VanWormer

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Grants
  • Advising

Contact Information

TitleVeterinary Epidemiologist | One Health Coordinator
Faculty RankAssistant Professor
Address406 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
  • office: 402-480-6018
  • fax: 402-472-2946


My Story

In the United States and East Africa, my research, teaching, and outreach address diverse health issues at the interface of humans, animals (both domestic and wild), and the environment. As an epidemiologist, I integrate animal and human disease surveillance, molecular epidemiology, and spatial disease modeling methods to investigate zoonotic disease transmission. Using a One Health approach, I work with students, multi-disciplinary researchers, and non-academic stakeholders, linking diverse tools and perspectives to address complex health challenges.

Selected Publications

Alonso Aguirre, A., Longcore, T., Barbieri, M., Dabritz, H., Hill, D., Klein, P. N., Lepczyk, C., Lilly, E. L., McLeod, R., Milcarsky, J., Murphy, C. E., Su, C., VanWormer, E., Yolken, R., Sizemore, G. C. 2019. The One Health Approach to Toxoplasmosis: EpOnline
de Wit, L. A., Kilpatrick, M., VanWormer, E., Croll, D. A., Tershy, B., Kim, M., Shapiro, K. 2019. Seasonal and spatial patterns of Toxoplasma gondii in soil in urban public spaces. Zoonoses and Public Health. 67: 70-78.Online
Ndayambaje, B., Amuguni, H., Coffin, J. L., Sibo, N., VanWormer, E., Ntawubizi, M. 2019. Pesticide Application Practices And Knowledge Among Small-Scale Local Rice Growers And Communities in Rwanda: A Cross- Sectional Study. International Journal of EnvirOnline
Shapiro, K., Bahia-Oliveira, L., Dixon, B., Dumetre, A., de Wit, L.A., VanWormer, E., Villena, I. 2019. Environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii: Oocysts in water, soil and food. Food and Waterborne Parasitology. 15, e00049.Online
Shapiro, K., VanWormer, E., Packham, A., Dodd, E., Conrad, P. A., Miller, M. 2019. Type X strains of Toxoplasma gondii are virulent for southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and present in felids from nearby watersheds. Proceeding of the Royal SocieOnline
VanWormer, E., Mazet, J., Hall, A., Gill, V., Boveng, P., London, J., Gelatt, T., Fadely, B., Lander, M., Sterling, J., Burkanov, V., Ream, R., Brock, P., Rea, L., Smith, B., Jeffers, A., Henstock, M., Rehberg, M., Burek, K., Cosby, S., Hammond, J., GoldsOnline
VanWormer, E., Mlawa, J., Komba, E., Gustafson, C., Mrema, H., Dauer, J. (2018). Using art and story to explore how primary school students in rural Tanzania understand planetary health: a qualitative analysis. Lancet: Planetary Health, 2.
VanWormer, E., Carpernter, T., Singh, P., Shapiro, K., Wallender, W., Conrad, P., Largier, J., Mazet, J. 2016. Coastal development and precipitation drive pathogen flow from land to sea: evidence from a Toxoplasma gondii and felid host system. Scientific Online
Gustafson, C., VanWormer, E., Kazwala, R., Makweta, A., Paul, G., Smith, W. A., Mazet, J. K. (2015). Educating pastoralists and extension officers on diverse livestock diseases in a changing environment in Tanzania. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Pract
Shapiro, K., Miller, M. A., Packham, A. E., Aguilar, B., Conrad, P. A., Vanwormer, E., Murray, M. J. (2015). Dual congenital transmission of Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona in a late-term aborted pup from a chronically infected southern sea otte
Shapiro, K., VanWormer, E., Aguilar, B., Conrad, P. A. 2015. Surveillance for Toxoplasma gondii in California mussels (Mytilus californianus) reveals transmission of atypical genotypes from land to sea. Environmental microbiology. 17(11): 4177-4188.Online
Gitungwa, H., Gustafson, C. R., Yakes-Jiminez, E., Peterson, E. W., Mwanzalila, M., Makweta, A., Komba, E., Kazwala, R. R., Mazet, J. A., VanWormer, E. 2021. Female and male-controlled livestock holdings impact pastoralist food security and women’s dietary diversity. One Health Outlook. 3, Article Number:3. Online



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyEpidemilologyUniveresity of California-Davis2012
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineVeterinary MedicineMichigan State University2005
Bachelor of ScienceZoologyMichigan State University2001





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
FellowNational Strategic Research Institute at University of Nebraska2021
Parents Recognition AwardUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln Teaching Council and Parents Association2018


SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Ecology


Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitleInfluenza and Zoonoses Education among Youth in Agriculture Programs
Starting Date01/08/2021


Ending Date08/09/2021
Funding Level$79,981.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Department of Health and Human Services


Grant TitleVidal Sharing in Tanzania (Additional Funding)
Starting Date03/14/2018


Ending Date05/31/2018
Funding Level$11,959.00
Funding AgencyUC-Davis


Grant TitleEvaluating Zoonotic Viral Sharing among Bats, Primates, and People at a High Risk Transmission Interface in Southern Tanzania (Additional Funding)
Starting Date12/21/2016


Ending Date07/31/2017
Funding Level$51,901.00
Funding AgencyUniversity of California-Davis


Grant TitleEvaluating Zoonotic Viral Sharing among Bats, Primates, and People at a High Risk Transmission Interface in Southern Tanzania
Starting Date04/01/2016


Ending Date09/30/2016
Funding Level$36,566.00
Funding AgencyUniversity of California-Davis


Grant TitleViral Sharing in Tanzania
Starting Date11/01/2015


Ending Date03/31/2016
Funding Level$30,472.00
Funding AgencyUniversity of California-Davis



Graduate Programs

Master of Applied Science

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Applied Ecology

Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in