Elizabeth Gleim

Elizabeth Gleim

Associate Professor and Chair; Janet W. Spear Chair in Biology

Elizabeth Gleim Elizabeth Gleim

In my classes at Hollins I make every effort to provide opportunities for hands-on, inquiry-based learning. From collaborating with an award-winning architect to design a sustainable community to spending days in the field learning to identify common native and invasive woody plants, it’s always an adventure! While students get the required foundational knowledge for success, we also work on developing critical thinking skills and the ability to apply your knowledge. In lab, we focus on performing authentic research projects and developing technical skill sets that will serve students within their chosen career path.

As a researcher, I am a wildlife disease ecologist and my particular area of expertise is in tick-borne disease ecology. I especially enjoy examining the ways in which humans affect disease and wildlife dynamics with much of my past work centering around the effects of prescribed fire on tick population dynamics and disease risk.

Professor Gleim’s research on tick-borne diseases is well known and those familiar with her work know her as the “Tick Lady.”

Her story 

[10.2.23] Sierra Magazine reports that “A small group of pioneering researchers are studying how controlled (prescribed) burns could be used to slow the spread of ticks and their pathogens.” One of those researchers is Associate Professor of Biology Elizabeth Gleim, and you can read more about her studies that explore the long-term impact of fire on tick populations.

[8.23.22] Ciera Morris ’19, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Elizabeth Gleim ’06, and Professor of Biology C. Morgan Wilson, along with colleagues from Old Dominion University and the University of Georgia, have written an article that has been published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, a peer-reviewed journal. Morris is the lead author for the piece, which is entitled “Tick Species Composition, Collection Rates, and Phenology Provide Insights into Tick-Borne Disease Ecology in Virginia.”

Areas of Expertise

  • Wildlife and zoonotic disease ecology
  • Ticks and tick-borne diseases
  • Wildlife ecology and management

Courses Taught

  • Plant Biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecology
  • Sophomore Seminar
  • Senior Seminar
  • Biology of the Horse
  • Wildlife Disease
  • One Health: Linking Human, Animal, and Environmental Health


  • Ph.D., Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia
  • B.A., Hollins University

Publications & Articles

  • Morris, C.N., Gaff, H.D., Berghaus, R.D., Wilson, C.M., & E.R. Gleim. 2022. Tick species composition, collection rates, and phenology provide insights into tick-borne disease ecology in Virginia. Journal of Medical Entomology. 59(6): 1993-2005.
  • Gleim, E.R., G.E. Zemtsova, R.D. Berghaus, M.L. Levin, L.M. Conner, & M.J. Yabsley. 2019. Frequent Prescribed Fires Can Reduce Risk of Tick-borne Diseases. Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 1-10.
  • Gleim, E.R., L.M. Conner, G.E. Zemtsova, M.L. Levin, P. Wong, M.A. Pfaff, & M.J. Yabsley. 2019 Rickettsiales in Ticks Removed from Outdoor Workers, Southwest Georgia and Northwest Florida, USA. Emerging Infection Diseases. 25 (5): 1019.
  • Gleim, E.R., L.E. Garrison, D. Cole, M. Vello, M.J. Yabsley, M.Y. Savage, G. Lopez, and R. Berghaus. 2016. Factors associated with tick bites and pathogen prevalence in ticks parasitizing humans in Georgia, USA. Parasites and Vectors. 9 (1): 125.
  • Loftis, A.D., P.J. Kelly, C.D. Paddock, K. Blount, J.W. Johnson, E.R. Gleim, M.J. Yabsley, L.M. Conner, M.L. Levin, and L. Beati. 2016. Panola Mountain Ehrlichia in Amblyomma maculatum from the United States and Amblyomma variegatum from the Caribbean and Africa. Journal of Medical Entomology. 53 (3): 696–698.
  • Gleim, E.R., L.M. Conner, R.D. Berghaus, M.L. Levin, G.E. Zemtsova, and M.J. Yabsley. 2014. The effects of long-term prescribed burning on tick population dynamics in southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida. PLoS ONE. 9 (11) e112174. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112174
  • Gleim, E.R, L.M. Conner, and M.J. Yabsley. 2013. Surviving in a burned habitat: The effects of Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant) and habitat type on the survival of Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick) and Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf coast tick). Journal of Medical Entomology. 50 (2): 270-276.
  • E.R. Gleim*, Zemtsova G.E.*, M.J. Yabsley, T. Mann, M.D. Brown, L. Wendland, and M. L. Levin. 2012. Detection of a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia in the gopher tortoise tick – Amblyomma tuberculatum (USA). Journal of Medical Entomology. 49 (3): 783-786. *Both authors contributed to the work equally.