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Dr. Amy Gilbert

Dr. Amy Turmelle Gilbert
Supervisory Research Biologist 
Rabies Project Leader 

Dr. Gilbert is a disease ecologist interested in the maintenance and spillover of wildlife diseases, with a focus on rabies. She earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee studying rabies virus ecology in North American bats. She was a guest researcher and postdoctoral fellow with the Rabies Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for seven years, where she conducted studies on rabies pathogenesis in bats and both led and participated in international field projects focused on enhanced lyssavirus surveillance and pathogen discovery in bats, as well as human-animal interface studies for modeling rabies risk. Her current research focuses on ecology and spillover of rabies infections in wildlife, as well as experimental studies of novel rabies biologics and technologies to improve oral rabies vaccination of target wildlife, in efforts to improve disease management.

NWRC Research ProjectMethods and Strategies for Controlling Rabies

Current Research

  • Ecology and spillover of rabies infections in wildlife
  • Application of novel rabies biologics and technologies to improve vaccination of target wildlife
  • Human-animal interface and zoonotic disease risk
  • Emerging pathogens of bats


Ph.D., University of Tennessee
B.A., Boston University

International Experience:

Pathogen surveillance in bats and human knowledge-attitude-practice surveys in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand

Contact Information:

  • Address: NWRC, 4101 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521
  • Telephone: 970-266-6054
  • Fax: 970-266-6138
  • Email:

Recent Publications


Berentsen, A., C. Ellis, S. Johnson, I. Leinbach, R. Sugihara, A. Gilbert. In Press. Immunogenicity of Ontario Rabies Vaccine for small Indian mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases

Berentsen, A.R., R.T. Sugihara, C.G. Payne, I. Leinbach, S.F. Volker, A. Vos, S. Ortmann, and A.T. Gilbert. 2019. Analysis of iophenoxic acid analogues in small Indian mongoose (Herpestes Auropunctatus) sera for use as an oral rabies vaccination biological marker. JoVe 147:e59373. doi: 10.3791/59373

Daniels, S.E., R.E. Fanelli, A.T. Gilbert, and S. Benson-Amram. 2019. Behavioural flexibility in a generalist carnivore. Animal Cognition 22(3):387-396. doi: 10.1007/s10071-019-01252-7

Davis, A., J. Kirby, R. Chipman, K. Nelson, T. Xifara, C. Webb, R. Wallace, A. Gilbert, K. Pepin. In Press. Not all surveillance data are created equal-prioritizing methods for estimation of rabies virus elimination from wildlife. Journal of Applied Ecology 

Fagre, A.C., J.S. Lee, R.M. Kityo, N.A. Bergren, E.C. Mossel, T. Nakayiki, B. Nalikka, L. Nayakarahuka, A.T. Gilbert, J.K. Peterhans, M.B. Crabtree, J.S. Towner, B.R. Amman, T.K. Sealy, A.J. Schuh, S.T. Nichol, J.J. Lutwama, B.R. Miller, and R.C. Kading. 2019. Discovery and characterization of Bukakata orbivirus (Reoviridae:Orbivirus), a novel virus from a Ugandan bat. Viruses 11(3):209. doi: 10.3390/v11030209

Jimenez, I., T. Spraker, J. Anderson, R. Bowen, and A.T. Gilbert. 2019. Isolation of rabies virus from the salivary glands of wild and domestic carnivores during a skunk rabies epizootic. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55(2):473-476. doi: 10.7589/2018-05-127

Pedersen, K., A.T. Gilbert, E.S. Wilhelm, K.M. Nelson, A.J. Davis, J.D. Kirby, K.C. VerCauteren, S.R. Johnson, and R.B. Chipman. 2019. The effect of high density oral rabies vaccine baiting on rabies virus neutralizing antibody response in raccoons (Procyon lotor). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55(2):399-409. doi: 10.7589/2018-05-138

Pedersen, K., A.T. Gilbert, K.M. Nelson, D.P. Morgan, A.J. Davis, K.C. VerCauteren, D. Slate, and R.B. Chipman. 2019. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) response to ontario rabies vaccine baits (ONRAB) in St. Lawrence County, New York, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55(3):645-653. doi: 10.7589/2018-09-216

Pieracci, E., J. Brown, D. Bergman, A. Gilbert, R. Wallace, J. Blanton, A. Velasco-Villa, C. Morgan, S. Lindquist, R. Chipman. In Press. Monitoring bat rabies cases in the United States: Considerations for improved species identification and virus characterization. JAVMA

Schneider, A.L., A.T. Gilbert, W.D. Walter, G.S. Vandeberg, and J.R. Boulanger. 2019. Spatial ecology of urban striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in the Northern Great Plains: a framework for future oral rabies vaccination programs. Urban Ecosystems 22(3):539-552. doi: 10.1007/s11252-019-00844-y


Becker, D.J., G.A. Czirjak, D.V. Volokhov, A.B. Bentz, J.E. Carrera, M.S. Camus, K.J. Navara, V.E. Chizhikov, M.B. Fenton, N.B. Simmons, S.E. Recuenco, A.T. Gilbert, S. Altizer, and D.G. Streicker. 2018. Livestock abundance predicts vampire bat demography, immune profiles and bacterial infection risk. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B 373:20170089. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0089

Costa, G.B., A. Gilbert, B. Monore, J. Blanton, S. Ngam Ngam, S. Recuenco, and R. Wallace. 2018. The influence of poverty and rabies knowledge on healthcare seeking behaviors and dog ownership, Cameroon. PLoS ONE 13(6):e0197330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197330

Gilbert, A. 2018. Rabies virus vectors and reservoir species. OIE Scientific and Technical Review 37(2): 371-384

Gilbert, A., S. Johnson, N. Walker, A. Beath, and K. VerCauteren. 2018. Flavor preference and efficacy of variable dose Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) delivery in striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 54(1):122-132. doi: 10.7589/2017-04-073

Gilbert, A., S. Johnson, N. Walker, C. Wickham, A. Beath, and K. VerCauteren. 2018. Efficacy of Ontario Rabies Vaccine Baits (ONRAB) against rabies infection in raccoons. Vaccine 36(32B):4919-4926. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.06.052

Gilbert, A.T., S.R. Johnson, K.M. Nelson, R.B. Chipman, K.C. VerCauteren, T.P. Algeo, C.E. Rupprecht, and D. Slate. 2018. Field trials of Ontario rabies vaccine bait in the Northeastern USA, 2012-14. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 54(4):790-801. doi: 10.7589/2017-09-242

Kading, R.C., R.M. Kityo, E.C. Mossel, E.M. Borland, T. Nakayiki, B. Nalikka, L. Nyakarahuka, J.P. Ledermann, N.A. Panella, A.T. Gilbert, M.B. Crabtree, J.K. Peterhans, J.S. Towner, B.R. Amman, T.K. Sealy, S.T. Nichol, A.M. Powers, J.J. Lutwama, and B.R. Miller. 2018. Neutralizing antibodies against flaviviruses, Babanki virus, and Rift Valley fever virus in Ugandan bats. Infection Ecology & Epidemiology 8(1):1439215. doi: 10.1080/20008686.2018.1439215

Pedersen, K., B.S. Schmit, T.J. DeLiberto, J.R. Suckow, A.J. Davis, D. Slate, R.B. Chipman, R.L. Hale, and A.T. Gilbert. 2018. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) biomarker and rabies antibody response to varying oral rabies vaccine bait densities in northwestern Pennsylvania. Heliyon 4(9):e00754. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00754

Wostenberg, D.J., N. Walker, K.A. Fox, T.R. Spraker, A.J. Piaggio, and A. Gilbert. 2018. Evidence of two cocirculating canine distemper virus strains in mesocarnivores from Northern Colorado, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 54(3):534-543. doi: 10.7589/2017-09-238 


Elmore, S.A., R.B. Chipman, D. Slate, K.P. Huyvaert, K.C. VerCauteren, and A.T. Gilbert. 2017. Management and modeling approaches for controlling raccoon rabies: The road to elimination. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(3): e0005249. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005249

Kalemba, L., M. Niezgoda, A. Gilbert, J. Doty, R. Wallace, J. Malekani and D. Carroll. 2017. Exposure to lyssaviruses in bats of DR Congo. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53:408-410

McKee, C.D., M.Y. Kosoy, Y. Bai, L.M. Osikowicz, R. Franka, A.T. Gilbert, S. Boonmar, C.E. Rupprecht, and L.F. Peruski. 2017. Diversity and phylogenetic relationships among Bartonella strains from Thai bats.PLoS One 12(7):E0181696. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181696

Moore, S.M., A. Gilbert, A. Vos, C.M. Freuling, C. Ellis, J. Kliemt, and T. Muller. 2017. Rabies virus antibodies from oral vaccination as a correlate of protection against lethal infection in wildlife. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 2(31). doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed2030031

Pepin, K.M., A.J. Davis, D.G. Strecker, J.W. Fischer, K.C. VerCauteren, and A.T. Gilbert. 2017. Predicting spatial spread of rabies in skunk populations using surveillance data reported by the public. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(7): e0005822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005822

Pepin, K.M., S.L. Kay, B.D. Golas, S.S. Shriner, A.T. Gilbert, R.S. Miller, A.L. Graham, S. Riley, P.C. Cross, M.D. Samuel, M.B. Hooten, J.A. Hoeting, J.O. Lloyd-Smith, C.T. Webb, and M.G. Buhnerkempe. 2017.Inferring infection hazard in wildlife populations by linking data across individual and population scales. Ecology Letters.  doi: 10.1111/ele.12732

Smith, T.G. and A.T. Gilbert. 2017. Comparison of a micro-neutralization test with the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test for measuring rabies virus neutralizing antibodies. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. Online. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed2030024

Stanton, L., E. Davis, S. Johnson, A. Gilbert, and S. Benson-Amram. 2017. Adaptation of the Aesop's Fable paradigm for use with raccoons (Procyon lotor): considerations for future application in non-avian and non-primate species. Animal Cognition 20(6):1147-1152. doi: 10.1007/s10071-017-1129-z

Theimer, T.C., A.C. Dyer, B.W. Keeley, A.T. Gilbert, and D.L. Bergman. 2017. Ecological potential for rabies virus transmission via scavenging of dead bats by mesocarnivores.Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53(2):382-385.  doi:  10.7589/2016-09-203

Theimer, T.C., C.t. Williams, S.R. Johnson, a.t. Gilbert, D.L. Bergman, and C.L. Buck. 2017. Den use and heterothermy during winter in free-living, suburban, striped skunks. Journal of Mammology 98(3):867-373.  doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx009

Wallace, R.M., J. Mehal. Y. Nakazawa, S. Recuenco, B. Bakamutumaho, M. Osinubi, V. Tugumizemu, J.D. Blanton, A. Gilbert, and J. Wamala. 2017. The impact of poverty on dog ownership and access to canine rabies vaccination: results from a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey, Uganda 2013. Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 6(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s40249-017-0306-2


Bai, Y., A. Gilbert, K. Fox, L. Osikowicz, and M. Kosoy. 2016. Bartonella rochalimae and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in wild carnivores from Colorado, USA.Journal of Wildlife  Diseases 52(4):844-849.  doi: 10.7589/2016-01-015   

Berentsen, A.R., S. Bender, P. Bender, D. Bergman, A.T. Gilbert, H.M. Rowland, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2016. Bait flavor preference and immunogenicity of ONRAB® baits in domestic dogs on the Navajo Nation, Arizona. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research 15:20-24.  doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2016.08.007

Plowright, R.K., A.J. Peel, D.G. Streicker, A.T. Gilbert, H. McCallum, J. Wood, M.L. Baker, and O. Restif. 2016. Transmission or within-host dynamics driving pulses of zoonotic viruses in reservoir-host populations.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 10(8): e0004796.  doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004796   


Gilbert, A.T., G.F. McCracken, L.L. Sheeler, L.I. Muller, D. O'Rourke, W.J. Kelch, and J.C. New, Jr. 2015. Rabies surveillance among bats in Tennessee, USA, 1996-2010. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51(4):821-832.  doi: 10.7589/2014-12-277

Berentsen, A.R., S.R. Johnson, A.T. Gilbert, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2015. Exposure to rabies in small Indian mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus) from two regions in Puerto Rico. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51(4):896-900.  doi:10.7589/2015-01-016

Luis, A.D., T.J. O'Shea, D.T.S. Hayman, J.L.N. Wood, A.A. Cunningham, A.T Gilbert, J.N. Mills, and C.T. Webb. 2015. Network analysis of host-virus communities in bats and rodents reveals determinants of cross-species transmission. Ecology Letters 18:1153-1162.  doi: 10.1111/ele.12491

Mortlock, M., I.V. Kuzmin, J. Weyer, A.T. Gilbert, B. Agwanda, C.E. Rupprecht, L.H. Nel, T. Kearney, J.M. Malekani, and W. Markotter. 2015. Novel Paramyxoviruses in bats from Sub-Saharan Africa, 2007-2012. Emerging Infectious Diseases 21(10):1840-1843.  doi: 10.3201/eid2110.140368

Moran, D., P. Juliao, D. Alvarez, K.A. Lindblade, J.A. Ellison, A.T. Gilbert, B. Petersen, C.Rupprecht, and S. Recuenco. 2015. Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding rabies and exposure to bats in two rural communities in Guatemala. BMC Research Notes 8:955.  doi: 10.1186/s13104-014-0955-1

Gilbert, A., L. Greenberg, D. Moran, D. Alvarez, M. Alvarado, D.L. Garcia, and L. Peruski. 2015. Antibody response of cattle to vaccination with commercial modified live rabies vaccines in Guatemala.  Preventive Veterinary Medicine 118:36-44.  doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.10.011.


Gilbert, A., D. Kohler, T. Rigg, J. Fischer, T. Spraker, K. Fox, and K. VerCauteren. 2014. A recent epizootic of skunk rabies and associated spillover in northern Colorado, USA. Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference 26:323-327.  

Wallace, R.M., A. Gilbert, D. Slate, R. Chipman, A. Singh, C. Wedd, and J.D. Blanton. 2014. Right place, wrong species: A 20-year review of rabies virus cross species transmission among terrestrial mammals in the United States. PLoS One 9(10):e107539.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107539.

Ellison, J.A., A.T. Gilbert, S.Recuenco, D. Moran, D.A. Alvarez, N.Kuzmina, D.L. Garcia, L.F. Peruski, M.T. Mendonca, K.A. Lindblade, and C.E. Rupprecht. 2014. Bat Rabies in Guatemala. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 8(7):e3070. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003070.

Kim, B.I., J.D. Blanton, A. Gilbert, L. Castrodale, K. Hueffer, D. Slate, and C.E. Rupprecht. 2014. A conceptual model for the impact of climate change on fox rabies in Alaska, 1980-2010. Zoonoses and Public Health 61:72-80. doi:10.1111/zph.12044.


Gilbert, A.T., A.R. Fooks, D.T.S. Hayman, D.L. Horton, T. Muller, R. Plowright, A.J. Peel, R. Bowen, J.L.N. Wood, J. Mills, A.A. Cunningham, and C.E. Rupprecht. 2013. Deciphering serology to understand the ecology of infectious diseases in wildlife. EcoHealth 10(3): 298-313. doi: 10.1007/s10393-013-0856-0.

Hayman, D.T.S., R.A. Bowen, P.M. Cryan, G.F. McCracken, TJ.. O’Shea, A.J. Peel, A.Gilbert, C.T. Webb, J.L.N. Wood. 2013. Ecology of zoonotic infectious diseases in bats: Current knowledge and future directions. Zoonoses and Public Health 60(1):2-21. doi: 10.1111/zph.12000.

Ellison, J.A., S. Johnson, N. Kuzmina, A. Gilbert, W. Carson, K. VerCauteren, C. Rupprecht.2013. Multidisciplinary approach to epizootiology and pathogenesis of bat rabies viruses in the United States. Zoonoses and Public Health 60:46-57. doi: 10.1111/zph.12019.

Kading, R.C., A.T. Gilbert, E.C. Mossel, M.B. Crabtree, I.V.Kuzmin, M. Niezgoda, B. Agwanda, W. Markotter, M.R. Weil, J.M. Montgomery, C.E. Rupprecht, and B.R. Miller. 2013. Isolation and molecular characterization of Fikirini rhabdovirus, a novel virus from a Kenyan bat. Journal of General Virology 94: 2393-2398. doi 10.1099/vir.0.053983-0.

Luis, A.D., D.T.S. Hayman, T.J O’Shea, P.M. Cryan, A.T. Gilbert, J.R.C. Pulliam, J.N. Mills, M.E.Timonin, C.K.R. Willis, A.A. Cunningham, A.R. Fooks, C.E. Rupprecht, J.L.N. Wood, and C.T. Webb. 2013. A comparison of bats and rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic viruses: Are bats special? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. Biological Sciences 280: 20122753. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2753

Quan, P., C. Firth, J.M. Conte, S.H. Williams, C.M. Zambrana-Torrelio, S.J. Anthony, J.A. Ellison, A.T. Gilbert, I.V. Kuzmin, M. Niezgoda, M.O.V. Osinubi, S. Recuenco, W. Markotter, R.F. Breiman, L. Kalemba, J. Malekani, K.A. Lindblade, M.K. Rostal, R. Ojeda-Flores, G. Suzan, L.B. Davis, D.M. Blau, A.B. Ogunkoya, D.A. Alvarez Castillo, D. Moran, S. Ngam, D. Akaibe, B. Agwanda, T. Briese, J.H. Epstein, P. Daszak, C.E. Rupprecht, E.C. Holmes, and W.I. Lipkin. 2013. Bats are a major natural reservoir for hepaciviruses and pegiviruses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(20):8194-8199. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1303037110

Tao, Y., M. Shi, C. Conrardy, I.V. Kuzmin, S. Recuenco, B. Agwanda, D. A. Alvarez, J.A. Ellison, A.T. Gilbert, D. Moran, M. Niezgoda, K.A. Lindblade, E. C. Holmes, R.F. Breiman, C.E. Rupprecht, and S. Tong. 2013. Discovery of diverse polyomaviruses in bats and the evolutionary history of the Polyomaviridae. Journal of General Virology 94(4):738-748.  doi: 10.1099/vir.0.047928-0            

Tong, S., X. Zhu, Y.Li, M. Shi, J. Zhang, M. Bourgeois, H. Yang, X. Chen, S. Recuenco, J. Gomez, L. Chen, A. Johnson, Y. Tao, C.Dreyfus, W.Yu, R. McBride, P.J. Carney, A.T. Gilbert, J. Chang, Z. Guo, C.T. Davis, J.C. Paulson, J. Stevens, C.E. Rupprecht, E.C. Holmes, I.A. Wilson, and R.O. Donis. 2013. New world bats harbor diverse influenza A viruses. PLOS Pathogens 9(10): e1003657.


Bai, Y., S. Recuenco, A.T. Gilbert, L.M. Osikowicz, J. Gomez, C. Rupprecht, and M.Y. Kosey. 2012. Prevalence and diversity of Bartonella spp. In bats in Peru. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 87(3):518-523.  doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0097

Tong, S., Y. Li, P. Rivailler, C. Conrardy, et al. 2012. A distinct lineage of influenza A virus from bats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:4269-74

Gilbert, A.T., B.W. Petersen, S. Recuenco, M. Niezgoda, J. Gomez, V.A. Laguna-Torres, and C. Rupprecht. 2012. Evidence of rabies virus exposure among humans in the Peruvian Amazon. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 87(2):206-215.  doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0689 

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