Fonseca Lab

News

Jim Occi lectures at the New Jersey Medical School

November 15 – Jim Occi will deliver a lecture titled “The New Jersey Tick Problem” to the Mini Med School at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. The lecture begins at 7 pm in the Medical Sciences Building. For more information visit the Mini Med School website.

EPA registered Aedes males with a modified Wolbachia for release in DC and 20 US states (including NJ)

7 November 2017 – On Nov. 3, EPA registered a new mosquito biopesticide – ZAP Males®. ZAP Males® are live male mosquitoes that are infected with a strain of the Wolbachia bacterium (named ZAP) that is incompatible with existing Aedes albopictus  Wolbachia strains. ZAPMales® can be used in sterile male technique (SIT) approaches. Tests of efficacy are still lacking but proof of principle, especially the ability of releasing males without changing the makeup of local Wolbachia infections has been accomplished (Mains et al 2016). And here’s a link to a Nature article on the subject:  https://www.nature.com/news/us-government-approves-killer-mosquitoes-to-fight-disease-1.22959

7 November 2017 – Rafael got first prize in the Plant-Insect Ecosystems (P-IE) graduate student competition. Congratulations Rafael!

Welcome Deblina!

Deblina Mukherjee

The Fonseca Lab would like to welcome Deblina Mukherjee as one of the newest members in the lab! Deblina will be developing strategies to detect highly degraded blood meals in mosquitoes and ticks. She is a senior at Rutgers University in the School of Arts and Sciences and is studying biological sciences. Deblina hopes to attend medical school after graduation.

At Rutgers, Deblina is the treasurer of RU Swara, which is an Indian classical music performing arts team. In addition, she is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Outside of the Fonseca Lab and Rutgers University, Deblina is an EMT at the Plainsboro Rescue Squad, a certified Nursing Assistant at the Elms of Cranbury, a founder of Tutor @ Advantage Tutoring and teaches Hindustani Classical Music after earning her Bachelor’s degree in that field. In addition, Deblina is multilingual and speaks five languages: Bengali, English, Hindi, Spanish, and Urdu.

Pesticide Applicator Re-certification Training Course – Jobbins Conference Room

Thursday, 26 October 2017 – This course meets the credit needs of pesticide applicators before their pesticide applicator license expires in October. Master Scott Crans from NJ DEP, Drs. Brian Johnson, Diana Carle and Dina Fonseca from the lab, as well as Dr. George Hamilton will give talks on issues relevant to mosquito control in NJ. Here is a PDF of the program: PestRecertAgenda. Organized by Diana Carle.

Welcome Melvin!

Melvin DelVillar

The Fonseca Lab would like to officially welcome Melvin DelVillar to our lab. He is an undergraduate student in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, and is pursuing a BS in both Entomology and Kinesiology & Health. Melvin hopes to become a MD specializing in infectious diseases and tackling the issue of vector-borne diseases.

At Rutgers University, Melvin is an executive board member of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) where he coordinates events and seminars that help prepare students for the rigors of medical school and the pre-medical track.

Melvin is interested in the relationship between arthropod transmitted vector-borne diseases and people, and how this relationship changes over time and space. As a lab technician in the Fonseca Lab, Melvin is currently researching the expansion of invasive species of potential vectors in northern parts of New Jersey.

Melvin is a running enthusiast and is a member of the Rutgers Running Club and the Garden State Track Club.

20 October 2017- Daniela spoke with Lisa today and she’s feeling like her normal self again. Lisa had an angioplasty and cardiac catheterization procedure this morning (serious stuff!) and everything went well. But she is still in the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. UPDATE (23 Oct): Lisa is home and recovering. Yay! She is an email away!

Our thoughts are with you Lisa. We are all looking forward to seeing you healthy again!

Global Health Institute

19 October 2017 – Dina attended a (almost) all day retreat to define the mission of the Rutgers Global Health Institute. She contributed to the inclusion of foci in vector-borne diseases and urban health as well as the importance of direct community engagement (will follow up with colleagues she met from the School of Public Health and Information & Communications). The Global health Institute is a new Rutgers venture, the Director, Dr. Richard Marlink joined a year ago.

A trip to stop them all

Rafael_Anne_DinaOctober 11, 2017 – Rafael, Anne Nielsen and Dina met up with Sven-Erik Spichiger (PA Department of Agriculture) and visited sites in Pennsylvania infested with the spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycormia denticulata. A beauty and a beast. SLF was first detected in eastern PA (Berks county) in 2014 and has since spread to five others (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh and Northampton). Arrival in NJ is imminent and we need to be pro-active. Rafael carefully collected samples of honeydew, soil, leaves covered in sap and black mold. Will there be detectable SLF DNA?? That is the question. For the answer, keep tuning in.

 

Dr. Brian Johnson’s departmental seminar is this Friday – be there or (boooo…)

Brian will give the Entomology Departmental Seminar this Friday, October 13 in Thompson Hall, Room 206 (11am-12noon). The title is “Advances in Vector Control Science: Rear and Release Strategies Show Promise…But Don’t Forget the Basics.”

Brian will provide an insider’s view of some of the newer strategies for area-wide control of invasive Aedes mosquitoes, which can vector dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. He will discuss Wolbachia driven population replacement and sterile male techniques. As well as how many students are needed to blood feed a mosquito factory. Not to be missed! Perfect for Halloween! (coffee and donuts provided)

Rafael’s research highlighted by SEBS

Rafael’s accomplishments are front page in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SBES)! Read all about it in SEBS Newsroom, SEBS Facebook, and SEBS Twitter. Congratulations Rafael!

Sammi Schwab, is in the house

Samantha Rose Schwab, a mathematical modeler finishing her PhD with Dr. Nina Fefferman at U. Tennessee, is sharing an office with Agnesa downstairs in McLean. Funded by a NSF Zika RAPID Sammi has been examining the effects of timing and scale of mosquito control on Zika transmission.  Go visit: they have an expresso making coffee machine (!) Sammi will give a presentation on her research at lab meeting on October 19.