Phil Lounibos reviews the evolutionary history and competitive displacement between two mosquito species, Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever Mosquito) and Aedes albopictus, (Asian Tiger Mosquito), responsible for the spread of Dengue Fever and chikunguya, two of the world’s most problematic diseases. The final third of his talk looks at a recent field study in Rio de Janeiro to consider what the impact of the competition between species is on the transmission of Dengue.
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Kevin Lafferty is an ecologist with the US Geological Survey. He is also adjunct faculty at UC Santa Barbara where he helps run the ecological parasitology research group and mentors a half dozen PhD students. His research interests include how infectious diseases interact with food webs, conservation, marine ecology, human health, climate change, and biodiversity.
William Bradshaw presents his findings on adaptive behavior and distribution of mosquitos in response to warmer, longer winters. His talk was one of ten at last Spring’s YCEI-sponsored forum on the implications for infectious disease in an age of climate change.
Olaf Kahl discusses the first effort to map the spread of ticks in Europe. Founder of Tick Radar, Olaf Kahl regularly appears on news channels to give the daily tick forecast.
An excerpt from Matthew Thomas’s longer talk that lists a variety of basic things we ought to know about mosquitos in order to control mosquito populations and minimize transmission of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Joe Messina documents his work in East Africa where researchers look at the data like the tsetse would, selecting habitats based on desirable conditions of rainfall, temperature and soil moisture. The MSU team developed a model programmed to identify the most attractive habitats and predict the time when the pests could arrive in those places. This information creates a more effective eradication campaign, Messina says, attacking insects where they are in the present, rather than where they were a few years ago.
Matthew Thomas, from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, speaking at the YCEI Forum on Integration of Climate Science and Infectious Disease Research discusses critical information about mosquitos needed to predict and contain the diseases they spread.
Jeffrey Shaman, from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, discusses the “crossroads of scale” between climate change and infectious disease, and what it implies for malaria and cholera in a warming world.
Mercedes Pascual studies the population dynamics of infectious diseases, their response to changing environments, and their interplay with pathogen diversity with a special focus on malaria and cholera.
Jeffrey Shaman studies the intersection of climate, atmospheric science, hydrology and biology. His talk covers the environmental determinants of infectious disease transmission and in particular, how hydrologic variability affects mosquito ecology and mosquito-borne disease transmission, and how atmospheric conditions impact …
Daytime temperature fluctuations greatly alter the incubation period of malaria parasites in mosquitoes and alter transmission rates of the disease. Consideration of these fluctuations reveals a more accurate picture of climate change’s impact on malaria. Most studies use average monthly temperatures to study the …
Wladimir Alonso explains the scientific possibilities and challenges in the investigation of the seasonal patterns of diseases in general and respiratory infections in particular. A demonstration of how students can reveal original epidemiological patterns by exploring ancient and contemporary datasets is demonstrated with the help of a free analytical software developed by the author.
Dr. Gutowski’s research concentrates on the role of atmospheric dynamics in climate. Central focuses are the dynamics of the hydrologic cycle and regional climate.
Madeleine Thomson discusses how malaria control efforts have evolved from early efforts to eradicate the disease to a focus on treating the disease and most recently back to eradication. (Eradication by 2030 is now considered central to achieving all of the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals). She discusses research efforts including mapping and climate change projections as planning tools to help in support of that goal.
YCEI Director Mark Pagani welcomes participants to this forum, and introduces the first speaker, Noah Diffenbaugh, from Stanford University. Noah’s research interests are centered on the dynamics and impacts of climate variability and change, including the role of humans as a coupled component of the climate system. Much of his work has focused on the role of fine-scale processes in shaping climate change impacts, including studies of extreme weather, water resources, agriculture, human health, and poverty vulnerability.
Cecile Viboud, Fogarty International Center, NIH, focuses her research on the transmission dynamics and mortality burden of influenza. She is working at the interface between disease modeling, empirical data, evolutionary genetics, and public health. Her work has helped revisit historical pandemics in Europe, Asia, and the Americas; characterized the spatial and temporal transmission dynamics of epidemic and pandemic influenza; and quantified the benefits of various vaccination strategies in low- and high-income countries.
Uriel Kitron’s talk draws from a career in eco-epidemiology of infectious diseases that has spanned at least five systems: dengue, Chagas disease, malaria, schistosomiasis and West Nile virus in Atlanta and in Chicago. He studies the transmission dynamics and ecology of the insect vectors and the mammalian and avian reservoir hosts, incorporating a strong field component (trapping vertebrates, collecting insects, identifying environmental features), spatial analysis, and laboratory work.
William Bradshaw presents a synopsis of his primary research which is on Wyeomyia smithy, a small mosquito that develops only within the water-filled leaves of the purple pitcher plant. As described on his website: “The fact that this mosquito is capable of blood-feeding makes it tractable for studies of the molecular genetics and evolution of the blood-feeding phenotype and for investigating the shifting patterns of vector/host interactions in the face of rapid climate change.
Professor William Reisen is from UC Davis, Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology. He is an expert in mosquito and vectorborne disease ecology. His research focus is population ecology of mosquitoes and their vertebrate hosts in relation to the epidemiology, surveillance and control of mosquito-borne pathogens.