B.A. (1976); Miami University
M.S. (1981); Miami University
Ph.D. (1987); University of Notre Dame
My area is medical and veterinary entomology and my 9-month appointment is 100% teaching. I teach Medical and Veterinary Entomology (lecture and lab) and Virology for upper level undergraduates. I also supervise 2 to 3 undergraduates in research projects each year. My graduate teaching responsibilities include teaching Urban and Public Health Entomology (50%), Field and Laboratory Methods in Vector-borne Disease Research (20%) directing M.S. and Ph.D. student research, and serving on graduate student committees. In addition, I teach Animal and Plant Biosafety and Biosecurity (50%) as part of the on-line Master's of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The most significant role played by mosquitoes in public health is as vectors of various pathogenic organisms. Understanding the biology of the vector is crucial to understanding the epidemiology of the diseases transmitted by these insects. A major focus of my lab research is La Crosse (LAC) encephalitis virus, the most common and important endemic mosquito-borne disease of children in the USA. LAC encephalitis virus has been on the move, expanding its range from the traditional upper Midwest distribution into the Southeast. To investigate the apparent emergence of LAC virus into areas of southwestern Virginia we are looking at various factors such as the role of newly introduced mosquito species in the transmission of disease and developing better methods to measure the rate of virus transmission in a location. Another research area is the development of novel insecticides. Insecticides are a major tool for controlling vector populations and reducing the transmission of pathogens. However, the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases is increasing globally in part due to the development of resistance in the vector to the insecticides being used. I am part of a research group that is using a state-of-the-art experimental approach called "in situ click chemistry" to develop a selective insecticide with low toxicity to humans. The resulting product(s) would then be tools in the antimosquito arsenal, providing viable alternatives to existing insecticides as part of a resistance management scheme.
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