Dr. Shannon LaDeau of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to speak November 4th

Dr. LaDeau’s research explores how environmental conditions shape populations of disease-carrying animals such as mosquitoes and ticks, to reduce human exposure to Zika, West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Lyme disease, and other infections.

Coming from Millbrook, New York, she will speak at 1:10pm Friday, November 4th in TBL 112 about “Legacies of Disinvestment Shape Vector-borne Disease Risk in Temperate Cities”.

Vector-borne disease (VBD) is a growing concern in urban communities across the globe. In recent decades, the emergence and spread of mosquito-borne viruses in temperate cities has highlighted critical gaps in capacity to identify and manage arthropod vectors and associated risk in complex urban landscapes. While predictions are generally at regional scales, variation in mosquito density and human disease often reflects neighborhood boundaries and most control/management tactics are inherently retrospective. Our team employs ecological and environmental justice tools to evaluate mechanisms of mosquito ecology and human exposure in Baltimore City, MD. Our work demonstrates that legacies of race-based investment policies continue to influence variability in mosquito population growth and a suite of phenotypic traits that inform vector competence, as well as specific human behaviors and risk perceptions that influence exposure. We further evaluate how ongoing urban greening processes further refine the heterogeneous riskscape of VBD in temperate cities.