Biological sciences graduate student Ryan Hemme will give a talk at the Fifth International Society for Vector Ecology (SOVE) Conference in Antalya, Turkey, from Oct. 11-16, 2009. Hemme, who works with David Severson, director of the Eck Institute for Global Health, will present “Environmental characteristics of water storage drums and influences on Aedes aegypti larvae.” A report of the study was published in the journal Acta Tropica this year.
The project resulted from an observation in Trinidad that different water storage drums host vastly different numbers of mosquito larvae, even when the drums are close to each other. Research, including analysis of nutrients in the water, revealed that temperature is an important factor in the difference, with water at temperatures below 32º Celcius hosting more larvae.
“The environmental conditions have implications for dengue transmission down the line,” says Hemme, a sixth-year graduate student who earned his undergraduate degree at Luther College in Iowa and has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota. “It’s a really interesting time to be involved in infectious disease research.”
Collaborators in the research were Dave Chadee of the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Jennifer Tank, an aquatic ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences who helped with the chemical analysis of the water. Hemme is among 25 international researchers chosen to give oral presentations at the “Vectors without Borders” conference.