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Maritime Mosquito Monitoring: Tracking range expansion and mosquito populations in Nova Scotia
Climate change is inviting the range expansion of mosquitoes and our first line of defence against a changing mosquito-borne disease landscape in Canada is early detection of invasive species. Thus, to help us predict the future of mosquito-borne diseases in Canada, we must implement regular monitoring programs. We are using traditional monitoring strategies to update our decades-old surveillance data in Nova Scotia, combined with eDNA analysis to create an efficient, cost- and labour-effective surveillance tool to track mosquito populations as climate change progresses. This talk will focus on our key findings as we enter into our second surveillance season and the future for monitoring mosquito populations in the maritime provinces.


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Laura Ferguson
Adjunct Professor @Acadia University
Dr. Ferguson’s research is centered around understanding how changing environments alter the outcome of host-microbe interactions, with a focus on arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks. Dr. Ferguson completed her MSc at Acadia University studying the effects of blood parasites on mosquito physiology and behaviour, her PhD at Western University studying the impact of winter and low temperatures on insect immune systems and infection, and a Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University studying the overwintering biology of black-legged ticks infected with the causative agent of Lyme disease. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and the lead of a mosquito surveillance project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Taylor Swanburg (she/her/hers)
MSc Candidate, Technician, INSECTA (Insect NeuroScience and Ecology CenTre at Acadia) @Biology Department, Acadia University
"My name is Taylor Swanburg and I am currently a master’s student at Acadia University. My research focuses on detecting the spread of invasive mosquitoes and determining the disease potential of mosquito-borne pathogens in Nova Scotia. I am particularly interested in investigating if molecular techniques of species identification from water samples (environmental DNA) can be used as an early detection method for invasive mosquito species within the province. I completed my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Biology in 2016 and since then I have worked on both entomology and genetic research projects. I especially enjoy field work, travelling abroad, and volunteering for conservation projects."