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Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria are responsible for more than 700,000 deaths per year. Despite this pressing public health need, critical gaps exist in our knowledge of how environmental and anthropogenic factors influence key facets of mosquito biology that ultimately determine human and non-human disease risk. Here, I will discuss our work using genomic methods to understand the determinants of the size and connectivity of natural mosquito populations in Africa. I will also discuss our group’s efforts to capitalize on knowledge of this natural variation to genetically modify mosquitoes to limit their ability to spread human pathogens. A major goal of our research is to build scientific capacity in the countries most impacted by mosquito-borne diseases and facilitate knowledge sharing between countries, so I will describe genomic data generation in-country using portable sequencing technology, a keystone of our current work. Given the threat of emerging and expanding mosquito-borne diseases to both tropical and temperate locations, I hope the talk will convey that the need for knowledge of mosquito eco-epidemiology is an urgent global health prerogative.
The GGA Seminar Series is held In-Person and on Zoom: https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/99571426936?pwd=L2tqQjRUOWMzK1BkSFZSQXprYnRVQT09