Flowers and mosquitoes and flies, oh my!

There is an assumption that flowers, at least those that use animals pollinators, evolve towards specialization. This, in turn, leads to the evolution of "pollination syndromes," in which the morphology of flowers coevolves with its pollinator, but retains some generalizability. Hence, we may have "bee syndrome" or a "hummingbird syndrome" flowers, with corresponding floral shapes, [...]

2016-02-03T21:48:06+00:00December 11th, 2015|News|

Pigs Against Malaria

Mosquito vector-borne diseases are serious global health threats. Malaria alone claims the lives of about 600,000 people annually. With such high death tolls, controlling vectors and the pathogens that they carry is of critical importance. This is evidenced by this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine going to researchers who developed medications that work to [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:24+00:00November 25th, 2015|News|

We’re on Instagram!

Next Tuesday, the entire Reiskind lab will be presenting at the North Carolina Mosquito & Vector Control Association conference. We'll be chatting about landscape ecology, population genetics, and dog heartworm disease. While we're gearing up for these presentations, I just wanted to pop in to say that we are officially on Instagram! You can find us @VectorEcology. Follow us for [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:24+00:00October 30th, 2015|News|

Dog Heartworm as a Case for Evolutionary Thinking

Last semester, I took a special topics seminar course about the value of implementing evolutionary theory, or, in less flashy terms, the benefits of paying attention to evolution. We discussed classic examples like antibiotic and pesticide resistance, as well as the value of evolutionary insight to fields like conservation biology. Although less of a classical [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:24+00:00October 1st, 2015|News|

Free Webinar on Sept 30th!

The American Mosquito Control Association Young Professionals group presents: A biorational pesticide is a pesticide of natural origin that has limited or no adverse effects on the environment or beneficial organisms. Biorational pesticides are derived from a variety of biological sources, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, as well as chemical analogues of naturally occurring [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:25+00:00September 22nd, 2015|News|

What’s in a Name?

Among the insects, it would be hard to say there is a single group of more importance to humans than the mosquitoes. Oh, to be fair bees (and all pollinators) are wonderful, necessary parts of our agroecosystems, and there are many herbivorous insects (and their predators) that impact agriculture. But for a single family, the [...]

2016-02-03T21:48:06+00:00September 12th, 2015|News, Uncategorized|

Mosquitoes bugging you? Blame your bacteria.

Mosquitoes use a variety of cues to orient toward and land on potential blood meal hosts. These host attraction mechanisms involve physical cues such as heat and moisture, visual cues for day-feeding mosquitoes, and chemical cues. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is widely acknowledged as an important general host attraction cue, but it is less important for [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:25+00:00August 30th, 2015|News|

Be a Lab Hero with Quartzy

Image source: "SUPERPOWERS: The Real Science Of Superheroes." Lab supply ordering and management, oh what fun. Our lab has experimented with Excel, emails, and handwritten notes to keep track of ordering, but as you might guess, each method has had its own pitfalls and subsequent headaches.  Enter I was recently invited to test the [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:25+00:00August 20th, 2015|News|

Sleeping in the Garden of Eden

I am actually on vacation at the end of this week in the Bay area, staying with close family friends of my wife near Palo Alto. We eat outside, sleep with screen-less windows open, and generally enjoy this soft climate. As a mosquito biologist, however, one always wonders what dangers lurk in the unseen containers [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:25+00:00August 11th, 2015|News, Uncategorized|

The Art of Parity Assessment

Last time, I posted about a typical day in the life of summer field work. The field mosquito trap processing includes parity analysis. Parity is defined as the number of times a female has given birth (or in the case of the mosquito, whether she has laid eggs). This gives us some idea as to the age of [...]

2018-11-07T21:44:25+00:00August 1st, 2015|News|