Dr. Kathleen Walker (The University of Arizona)
"Impacts of ULV applications on vectorial capacity of Aedes aegypti"
Dr. Kathleen Walker is an entomologist and associate professor at the University of Arizona (U of A). Walker studies the ecology of arthropod vectors of human diseases, particularly the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti, the primary worldwide vector of arboviruses such as dengue, Zika and yellow fever. She explores the environmental and human factors that affect this mosquito's abundance and longevity in an effort to understand why arbovirus transmission occurs in some communities and not in others. She is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maricopa County Environmental Services – Vector Control Division to assess and improve current integrated mosquito management methods. A new project in the Walker Lab involves the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, a vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) only in a few places, including Arizona and our neighbor state of Sonora, Mexico. The Walker Lab is studying the genetics of this tick to find out why it transmits the RMSF pathogen (Rickettsia rickettsii) here but not in other regions. They are also working with RMSF-affected rural communities to develop a sustainable tick surveillance tool. [Learn More].