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Entomology: Kathleen Walker
PhD, Entomology - University of California - Berkeley
A main component of my work is science outreach to support K-12 education. Insects are amazing tools to teach young students about the natural world and the process of scientific discovery. I direct the Insect Discovery Outreach Program, providing a variety of resources to help teachers make the most of their students' fascination with the amazing world of insects. The program is designed to stimulate children's scientific curiosity through hands-on activities using live and preserved insects. Program activities include classroom visits and field trips to the UA campus for elementary school classes, outreach events, teacher training and on-line resources. Every year, the program reaches over 3000 Tucson children. Insect Discovery is staffed by UA undergraduate and graduate students who receive course credit or teaching assistantships. For more information, go to www.cals.arizona.edu/insect_discovery
I'm interested in the ecology of mosquito vectors of human diseases, particularly Aedes aegypti, one of the main vectors of dengue fever around the world. Originally from Africa, this mosquito has established itself throughout the tropics and subtropics, using its close association with human to survive in otherwise unfavorable environments such as the arid southwestern United States. I'm exploring the environmental and human factors that affect this mosquito's abundance and longevity in an effort to understand why dengue transmission occurs in some communities and not in others. Mosquito vector control policy is also an important research area. I have been involved in assessments of the value of DDT for malaria control, and of the potential for environmentally sustainable larval control of anopheline vectors of malaria, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
K. Walker, T. Storch, C. Ellers-Kirk and F. Ramberg. 2011. Human and environmental factors affecting Aedes aegypti distribution in an arid urban environment. J. Amer. Mos. Control Assoc. :135-141.
Hayden MH, Uejio C, Walker K, Ramberg F, Moreno R, Mearns LO, Rosales C, Gameros M, Zielinski-Gutierrez E, Janes CR. 2010. Microclimate and human factors in the divergent ecology of Aedes aegypti along the Arizona U.S./ Sonora MX border. Ecohealth 7:64-77.
K. Walker and M. Lynch. 2007. A review of the potential for malaria suppression through larval control in Africa. Med. Vet. Entomol. 21:2-21.
K. Walker, M. Ricciardone, and J. Jensen. 2003. Developing an international consensus on DDT: a balance of environmental protection and disease control. Inter. J Hyg. Envir. Health 206:423-435.