Entomology Research at NCSU

Information about Entomology research programs at NCSU.

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Entomology Graduate Program

Find out what you need to become a graduate student in the Entomology department.

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Entomology Undergrad Minor

The department offers an undergraduate minor in Entomology intended for students who are interested in insects, their management, and their role in natural and agricultural ecosystems.

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Entomology Graduate Student Association

The EGSA provides students with opportunities to organize seminars, meetings, field trips and other functions concerned with common interests of the members of the association.

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Linking vectors, humans, and environment to understand the spatial dimension of vector-borne disease transmission

Gonzalo Vazquez Prokopec

3:00PM,  3503 Thomas Hall

05/17/2011

 

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) rank among the world’s most common and devastating maladies. Regardless of the vector species and mode of transmission, VBD control relies on the simple assumption that, by eliminating the link between humans and vectors, transmission can be halted. Although studied and applied for more than a century, our success in accomplishing such goal has been limited and mostly short-lived, particularly for neglected and zoonotic VBDs. Unsuccessful programs are often blamed of lack of resources, lack of political will, or ineffective implementation. Even more important is our limited understanding of the relationships between available control interventions, vector biology, human behavior, and pathogen transmission dynamics. I base my research program on the notion that epidemiological outcomes (i.e., the occurrence of human or animal disease) are the result of intricate and complex interactions between vectors, hosts, parasites, and the environment; and that by accounting for such complexity current efforts geared to control VBDs can be significantly improved. In this talk, I will introduce examples of my research dealing with three VBDs of global health significance: Chagas’ disease, dengue and West Nile virus. Specifically, I will talk about my efforts to understand how vector biology and ecology modulate their occurrence and local spatial spread, how human behavior and environmental variability impact their dynamics of transmission and, particularly, in how to take advantage of such knowledge to improve current vector control interventions.