2018-2019 TRAINING GRANT RECIPIENTS
“Pyrethroid resistance in Culex tarsalis”
Sumiko De La Vega is the assistant entomologist for San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District and is a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at University of the Pacific. Her current research is focused on insecticide resistance in Culex tarsalis, a vector of West Nile virus (WNV), but she also enjoys research related to many components of Integrated Vector Management (IVM) including methods of control for the invasive Aedes spp.
Our center offers training that is intended to provide career development opportunities for individuals interested in public-health-relevant research on vector-borne diseases and to enable additional research and training opportunities that will be sought from other sponsors.
“Assessment of risk and transmission cycle of the emerging tick-borne pathogen, Borrelia miyamotoi”
Samantha Sambado is currently pursuing an ecology, evolution, and marine biology Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara with Dr. Cherie Briggs and Dr. Andy MacDonald to better understand how vector-borne diseases spread using empirical and theoretical frameworks. She is also a Master of Arts student in statistics with emphasis on data science. She hopes to stay connected with other PacVec researchers to continue collaboration on vector-borne disease projects and exchange ideas of how to make basic science applicable to public health.
“Engaging community health workers for vector control and surveillance”
Joshua Arnbrister is currently pursuing a Master of Science in entomology at the University of Arizona and he plans to continue in a Ph.D. program. After completing his Ph.D., he hopes to pursue a career in vector control and surveillance.
“Genomic basis of mammal-biting in Culex pipiens, a primary vector of WNV”
Yuki Haba is a current Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, interested in the genomics and neurobiology of behavioral evolution. Haba completed his Master of Arts in ecology and evolutionary biology/genomics at Columbia University.
“Circulation of St. Louis encephalitis virus in the Southwestern United States”
Chase Ridenour is a Ph.D. student in bioinformatics at Northern Arizona University’s School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems. After graduation he plans to obtain a postdoctoral position to continue his work developing phylogenetic and statistical models of vector-borne diseases.
“Is adaptation mal-adaptation: an assessment of mosquitoes and water harvesting”
Valerie Madera Garcia is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology with a minor concentration in entomology and insect sciences at the University of Arizona. Garcia’s mission is to empower communities to develop sustainable and affordable vector control strategies to reduce the burden of painful and sometimes deathly mosquito-borne diseases around the world. She aspires to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an infectious diseases and environmental epidemiologist. She also wants to contribute to the advancement of the field of mosquito-borne diseases and ensure the safety of at-risk and underrepresented populations from infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
“Genetic variation and endosymbiont diversity of Rhipicephalus sanguineus populations across Arizona”
The Walker lab studies the ecology of arthropod vectors that inhabit the peri-domestic environment, focusing on the influence of climate and human behavior on vectorial capacity. The Walker Lab has focused on Aedes aegypti on the U.S./Mexico border, investigating the interactions between climates, mosquito longevity and dengue transmission. They are now broadening their focus to examine the ecology of Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick, and factors driving regional rickettsia outbreaks.