Allison Neal

Allison Neal

  • Associate Professor


Dr. Neal specializes in the ecology of parasites. Much of her research focuses on trematode (flatworm) parasites. Trematodes are a group of parasites with complex life cycles that infect vertebrate animals like humans, but must also complete development in a snail intermediate host (and often a second intermediate host) before being transmitted to a new vertebrate host. Dr. Neal studies how trematodes interact with each other and with other species within their snail intermediate host. Dr. Neal teaches classes in parasitology and microbiology. She also rotates with other faculty in the department to offer classes in general biology, genetics, and evolution.


B.A. University of Vermont

Ph.D. University of Vermont

Courses Taught

BI 220 Introductory Microbiology
BI 426 Ecological Parasitology


"Neal, A, J Sassi and A Vardo-Zalik. 2023. Drought correlates with reduced infection complexity and possibly prevalence in a decades-long study of the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.  PeerJ 11:e14809

Neal, A.T. (2021) Distribution of clones among hosts for the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum. PeerJ 9: e12448

Neal, A. T., Ross, M. S., Schall, J. J. and Vardo-Zalik, A. M. (2016) Genetic differentiation over a small spatial scale of the sand fly Lutzomyia vexator (Diptera: Psychodidae). Parasites and Vectors 9: 550.


Neal’s research on the evolution and ecology of parasites currently focuses trematodes in Vermont, though she also works with lizard malaria parasites in California (this was the focus of her Ph.D. work). This research combines fieldwork, microscopy, and population genetics. Neal and her students collect snails and catch lizards, examine amazing parasites with a microscope, and analyze the genetics of parasites and their hosts.

Neal teaches a variety of classes at Norwich, including parasitology, ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, and introductory biology. She also co-directs the Vermont Science Fair and loves getting students of all ages involved in science.