Fonseca Lab

News

New Undergraduate Students in the Fonseca Lab!

The Fonseca Lab would like to welcome three new undergraduate students, Courtney Guinard, Kathleen Kyle, and Christian Susu!

Courtney Guinard

Courtney Guinard is an undergraduate student majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Equine Science. She will studying blood meals from mosquitoes that fed on rats in Baltimore, MD as bio-surveillance for Bartonella. The project will allow Courtney to record which species are active in Baltimore, MD. After graduation Courtney would like to attend veterinary school and focus primarily on horses. Courtney is a member of The Seeing Eye at Rutgers University where she raises and trains service dogs.

Kathleen Kyle

Kathleen Kyle is an undergraduate student studying Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. She will be graduating this semester with a Bachelor of Sciences degree. Kathleen is currently working with Rafael on his eDNA research and assists him on the brown marmorated stink bug and spotted latternfly projects. Kathleen has always been interested in invasive species and hopes to continue learning about invasion ecology and its management and detection.

Christian Susu

Christian Susu is an undergraduate student studying Animal Science: Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Research. He hopes to attend veterinary school after graduation. Christian is currently assisting Jim, Andrea, and Dina in the research of invasive ticks for a NJMCA Poster. Christian’s research focuses on tick borne disease risks in dogs in urban settings and will conduct surveillance to analyze the effects of urban and non-urban ticks.

Andrea Egizi in NPR!

February 27, 2018 – Andrea is featured in the NPR series “Goats and Soda” by Courtney Columbus. The blog includes interviews of two main actors (Tadhgh Rainey and Andrea) about the finding of a multistage infestation of Haemaphysalis longirostris in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, last summer.

If you would like to learn more, the NPR article contains a link to the research article that Andrea and Jim Occi (and collaborators) published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

First talk on Exoticks

22 February 2018 – Dina is giving a talk on invasive ticks (aka Exoticks) at the 2018 Tick Summit (VII) at the National Wildlife Visitor Center at Patuxent Research Refuge (10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708). She’ll give an overview of invasive ticks in the US (and also worldwide) and summarize the detection last summer of Haemaphysalis longicornis by Rainey, Occi, Robbins and Egizi in Hunterdon, NJ. 

Andrea is giving the Entomology Department Seminar!

9 February 2018 It’s not just Lyme disease: lessons from 10 years of tick surveillance in Monmouth County, NJ”

Seminar starts at 11am (come earlier for coffee and donuts!) in the 2nd floor classroom in Thompson Hall, Cook Campus (SEBS).

Rafael is giving the Entomology Department Seminar!

2 February 2018“Application of environmental DNA to survey for agricultural pests”

Seminar starts at 11am (come earlier for coffee and donuts!) in the 2nd floor classroom in Thompson Hall, Cook Campus (SEBS).

Welcome Florence!

Florence Pierre

Welcome to the Fonseca Lab Florence Pierre! Florence is an undergraduate student studying Biological Sciences and hopes to attend medical school and become a osteopathic doctor. Her research interests are how animal species affect agriculture and vice-versa. Florence is currently working with Rafael on early detection of invasive insects in terrestrial systems. In her spare time, Florence likes to volunteer for various organizations and to dance.

Welcome Sydney!

Sydney Gable

The Fonseca Lab would like to welcome Sydney Gable as one of our newest members in the lab! Sydney is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. She hopes to continue her studies and pursue a graduate degree in ecology and evolution. Her research focus is on the rapid evolution in mosquito larvae osmoregulation in varying levels of salinity in their environment. Sydney is currently assisting Brian on the salt marsh mosquito project.

Sydney works as a simulated patient for the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is also a DJ and hosts karaoke night throughout New Brunswick.

Jim Occi at the Long Beach Island Foundation

Jim Occi will be delivered a lecture on New Jersey ticks at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts on January 13th at 12pm. For more information, please click here.

Congrats Dana Price, Brian Johnson, and Andrea Egizi on the acceptance of their grant proposal!

Brian Johnson, Andrea Egizi and Dana Price submitted a grant proposal to the American Mosquito Control Association Research Fund.  Their project will develop a novel shotgun sequencing approach to analyze metagenomic material (genetic material sampled directly from environmental samples) collected from sentinel nucleic acid preservation cards to improve our knowledge of arboviral transmission dynamics across landscapes. The approach, shotgun sequencing, is a method of obtaining long sequences of DNA and RNA by breaking up genetic material randomly into small segments, which are sequenced resulting in the production of many overlapping reads (sequences) of each individual segment. Once complete, the overlapping ends of the multiple sequences allow for the assemblage of a single, large continuous sequence.  This technology will be used to analyze metagenomic material sampled remotely using nucleic acid preservation cards to sample DNA and RNA from direct vector contact, either through feeding (collection of saliva) or excreta sampling. This method will allow researchers to analyze vector and pathogen diversity as well as the microbiome content of collected vector species in the absence of the logistical constraints of traditional surveillance and sample preservation. These data will further our knowledge of arboviral transmission across landscapes and investigate the potential functions of the microbiome on virus transmission. The hope is that through this pilot project, the researchers will be able to provide trapping and workflow protocols to enable other researchers to adopt this tool to improve upon existing arbovirus surveillance methodologies.

Sammi’s ms accepted in “Epidemics”!

13 December 2017 – Sammi’s ms entitled The importance of being urgent: the impact of surveillance target and scale on mosquito-borne disease control” by Sammi Schwab, Chris Stone, Dina Fonseca and Nina Fefferman was accepted in “Epidemics”! This a modeling analysis of the pros and cons of using different threshold targets on arboviral control outcomes and starts to put together a mathematical framework for decision making in mosquito control. Congratulations Sammi!

Andrea’s ms accepted in “Tick & Tick-borne Diseases”!

11 December 2017 – Andrea ms entitled “A historical snapshot of Ixodes scapularis-borne pathogens in New Jersey ticks reflects a changing disease landscape” by Egizi, Rogner, Faraji, Healy and Jordan was officially accepted in Tick & Tick Borne Diseases. Andrea is now officially an “insider” in the world of tick research! Congratulations Andrea!

Dina is going to China next year!

Dina Fonseca will give an invited talk at the International Conference on Malaria and Related Haemosporidian Parasites of Wildlife in Beijing, China in November 2018! The conference is hosted by the Beijing Normal University and Beijing Zoo. The objective of the conference is to exchange research and knowledge, and promote international collaborations in the field of wildlife malaria.