Strengthening REDI-NET Partnerships through Research and Training

Author: Marla Magaña Cansino

In late October, partners from the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) visited the University of Arkansas (UArk) to beta-test the REDI-NET Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for vertebrate field sampling. This involved UArk partners training NECE folks on conducting arthropod collections from vertebrate hosts, including manure collections, as part of the newly activated Phase III of the REDI-NET Program.

Ectoparasites, such as flies and ticks, were the main arthropods of focus for the training. Training included sample collection methods such as sweep-netting and methodological search of the animal’s body, construction of fly cartons, fly identification, manure collection from livestock vertebrates, and tick collections.

Collected ticks were sent back to NECE for processing, while manure and fly samples will be used to test new processing protocols for the REDI-NET pipeline at UArk.

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Left photo: Jessica Celano from NECE constructs a fly carton for the housing of flies captured from cows. Center photo: Flies on the back of a cow. Right photo: Flies collected from a cow and placed in a fly carton.

The consistent collaboration and strengthening between the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Labs through training, beta-testing, and capacity building is fundamental for ensuring

the quality, reliability, and integrity of REDI-NET data.

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Left photo: Jessica Celano (NECE) and Cierra Briggs (UADA) collecting manure from a cattle pasture. Center photo: NECE partner Jessica Celano, conducting a tick drag in a cattle pasture. Right photo: Jessica Celano from NECE disinfecting collection tools after tick collection.
Uark Visit
Dr. Emily McDermott and Cierra Briggs head back to the lab after a day of field collections.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA) is a new Gold Lab supporting the REDI-NET with the development of vertebrate sampling SOPs for collecting ticks, filth flies, and manure. Under the guidance of Dr. Emily McDermott, the UADA team is a critical partner in obtaining, analyzing, and integrating high-quality remote data, developing and improving SOPs for vertebrate sampling based on user feedback, and managing databases for the early and accurate detection of disease threats.

To learn more about Dr. McDermott’s work, visit her website: