Program in Public Health, University of Califonia, Irvine
I am broadly trained in ecology, vector biology, ecological epidemiology and vector control, with over 20 years of research experience in vector biology, epidemiology, and vector-borne disease control. I have co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.
My research in vector biology focuses on mosquito larval ecology, insecticide resistance and population spatial distribution of Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes. By integrating field ecology, remote sensing, GIS and modeling, my research has gathered critical data for larval control to be effective. Based on the analysis of larval and adult distribution, we have designed targeted vector intervention trials with indoor spray in high transmission areas in western Kenya highlands in 2005, which proved to be effective. We have also designed integrated vector intervention trials by combine microbial larvicide Bti/Bs with indoor pyrethroid residual sprays in western Kenya in 2010-2011, which shows modest effectiveness in reducing malaria transmission, likely due to mosquito resistance to insecticides.
My research in epidemiology focuses on how climate, environmental changes, topography, human migration, and insecticide resistance impacts malaria epidemiology. Our findings were cited in WHO’s world malaria report and were used as evidence in the formulation of national guidelines for malaria control in Africa and Asia.
The third line of my research focuses on anthropogenic environmental changes, such as land use change in Africa and urbanization in Asia, and vector-borne disease transmission. My research demonstrated that deforestation significantly increased the vectorial capacity of malaria in African highlands. Urbanization in Asia, particularly southern China, has also led to increased vectorial capacity for dengue vectors. These studies increased our understanding of the transmission of vector-borne diseases under the context of rapidly changing ecosystems.