november, 2016

thu3nov6:00 pm- 7:45 pmCafè Scientifique: “West Nile Virus Surveillance Program in Montana"Speaker, Sam Alvey, will be the featured speaker at the university’s upcoming Café Scientifique.6:00 pm - 7:45 pm


Event Details

Alvey will present “West Nile Virus in Montana: Facts and Reflections on Montana’s West Nile Virus Surveillance Program” at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 3, at the Baxter Hotel Ballroom in downtown Bozeman. The event is free and open to the public.

Alvey’s talk will begin with an overview of West Nile Virus and the role mosquitoes play as disease vectors. Alvey will also cite current evidence cataloging the virus’ prevalence in Montana and how detection rates change over time.

In addition to summarizing current data, Alvey will also describe his role in establishing Montana’s West Nile Surveillance Program and detail why he believes this statewide collaborative program enhances public health and research education across the state.

According to Alvey, undergraduate students from six institutions and tribal colleges across Montana trapped more than a million mosquitoes for West Nile Virus testing between 2009 and 2014. Alvey reports that out of approximately 1,500 mosquito groups sampled, 62 groups tested positive for West Nile Virus – a number confirmed by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Alvey says that, “this type of surveillance for infectious diseases is labor intensive and geographically challenging. It became obvious early on that we needed to collaborate with undergraduate institutions and tribal colleges across Montana in order to cover enough ground.” Alvey credits those undergraduate institutions, tribal colleges and students for maintaining trapping stations, collecting mosquitoes and performing tests. “The surveillance program wouldn’t exist without the efforts of student researchers across the state. I’m very grateful for all of their hard work,” said Alvey.

The remainder of Alvey’s talk will address his views on how sharing the surveillance program’s samples and results with health officials can impact public health. “My hope is that the surveillance program can provide early detection of potential outbreaks and lead to accurate application of mosquito controls, better public awareness and better allocation of medical resources,” said Alvey.

Sam Alvey is a professor of biology at Carroll College in Helena. He attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology from University of California, Riverside. Alvey’s chief interests are in soil microbiology and microbial ecology. He was key in the establishment of the Wiegand Undergraduate Research Center at Carroll College and previously served with the U.S. Peace Corp in Niger, West Africa.

Café Scientifique, co-sponsored by Montana’s INBRE and COBRE programs, provides a relaxed setting for people to learn about current scientific topics. The concept started in England in 1998 and has spread to a handful of locations in the United States. Following a short presentation by a scientific expert, the majority of time is reserved for lively conversation, thoughtful questions and respectful dialogue. Refreshments are provided free of charge.

Housed at MSU, Montana INBRE and COBRE are each an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant numbers P20GM103474 and GM103500, respectively.

Contact Bill Stadwiser with Montana INBRE at (406) 994-3360 or for more information about the Café Scientifique concept or check the Web at


(Thursday) 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm


The Baxter Ballroom

105 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715


Montana INBREBill Stadwiser, 406-994-3360