June 18, 2007
Reimer is researching insecticide resistance of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, while Wong is studying oviposition site selection in Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue. Reimer will work in the west African nation of Mali for the second consecutive summer, while Wong will do research in Iquitos, Peru this summer and next summer.
“Resistance to pyrethroids, the insecticides used to control the major sub-Saharan malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, is rapidly spreading,” Reimer said. “This is of concern because current malaria control programs rely heavily on indoor residual spraying with insecticides, and insecticide-treated bed nets.”
The World Health Organization cites resistance to insecticides as one of the primary factors impeding malaria control efforts.
Malaria kills more than a million people a year, and 90 percent of the global incidence of malaria occurs in Africa.
Reimer’s interest in malaria sprang from her work as a science teacher with the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa from 2000-2002.
Wong said she plans “to examine whether females select oviposition sites that maximize their reproductive success and whether they can alter their egg laying strategies in response to changes in oviposition site availability.”
“This information will be useful for predicting how Aedes aegypti will respond to targeted vector control measures that modify oviposition sites,” Wong said.
Globally, some 2.5 million people are at risk for dengue. World Health Organization statistics show 50 million annual cases of dengue fever. The most severe form, dengue haemorrhagic fever, afflicts 100,000 people a year and is potentially lethal.
Wong, from San Luis Obispo, received her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley in 2001 and her master’s degree in epidemiology from UC Davis in 2006. She enrolled in the UC Davis entomology doctorate program in the fall of 2004.
Hazeltine (1926-1994) managed the Butte County Mosquito Abatement District, Oroville, from 1966 to 1992. He was an ardent supporter of the judicious use of public health pesticides to protect public health, according to colleague Robert Washino, emeritus professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Hazeltine studied entomology in the UC Berkeley graduate program from 1950 to 1953, receiving his doctorate in 1962 from Purdue University. He managed the Lake County Mosquito Abatement District from 1961-64 and the Butte County Mosquito Abatement District from 1966-1992. He continued work on related projects until his death in 1994.
Medical entomologist Bruce Eldridge of UC Davis eulogized him at the 2005 American Mosquito Control Association conference. His talk was later published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. (See PDF)
Previous recipients include:
2006: Christopher Barker and Tania Morgan, $1,000 each
2005: Nicole Mans, $1,300
2004: Sharon Minnick, $1,000
2003: Hannah Burrack, $1,000
2002: Holly Ganz and Andradi Villalobos, $500 each
2001: Laura Goddard and Linda Styer, $1,000 each
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology