Undergraduate students

If you are interested in getting some lab and/or field experience contact Dina Fonseca, dina.fonseca at rutgers dot edu. We have paid tech jobs and unpaid internships available.

Graduate students

If you are serious about a career in Medical and/or Veterinary Entomology or want to use molecular tools to develop enhanced IPM or Public Health contact Dina Fonseca, dina.fonseca at rutgers dot edu. You should also contact current and former members of the lab.

Postdoctoral fellowship [THIS POSITION IS CLOSED]

(3 years) integrated into the NSF funded “EEID: Predicting the evolution of vector-borne disease dynamics in a changing world” [PI: Dina M. Fonseca]

Instructions on how to apply: Postdoc_FonsecaLab.

One of the major challenges in predicting disease risk in dynamic infectious disease systems is understanding how the system can change over evolutionary time based on the adaptive potential of the hosts, vectors, and parasite, and on external forces such as climate change. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are a group of closely related but spectacularly divergent passerine birds that have been decimated by the introduction of avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, and the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. We propose to generate one of the first comprehensive datasets detailing the evolutionary potential of the major players in a complex multi-host disease system. We will integrate this unprecedented understanding of the hidden evolutionary aspects underpinning avian malaria dynamics into a modeling framework that addresses how the system can change over space and time. In doing so we will provide an original abstract mathematical tool for predicting long-term co-evolutionary dynamics in a host-vector-parasite/pathogen system.

The Hawaiian avian malaria system is an exceptional model for studying co-evolutionary dynamics of parasite, hosts and vectors because they are all strongly affected by a steep environmental gradient of decreasing temperature with increasing elevation. Although American strains of Cx. quinquefasciatus arrived first, preliminary analyses suggest an Australasian strain introduced later enabled transmission of Plasmodium relictum in Hawaii. Importantly, hosts and vectors can exert selection on the parasite for changes in virulence.

The full proposal: NSF EEID_FonsecaD_111616.