Dr. Steve O. Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced Dr. Christopher A. Binckley, Assistant Professor of Biology, as this year's recipient of the Ellington Beavers Faculty Award for Intellectual inquiry for his proposed study, Reproduction of Invasive Asian Tiger Mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) in Response to Biopesticides.
This award honors the legacy of Dr. Ellington Beavers, former Chair of the Board of Trustees, and is designed to encourage and recognize faculty inquiry in the scholarly and creative realms, thereby enhancing Arcadia’s educational programs and promoting the development of student researchers.
“The most abundant mosquito species in the Philadelphia metropolitan area were accidentally introduced within the last 15 years from Asia,” says Binckley. “Understanding their responses to methods used to control their populations is crucial given their health risk to humans and wildlife via the transmission of numerous viral diseases.
“This study examines how female Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus), Asian bush mosquitoes (Aedes japonicas), and native white dotted mosquitoes (Culex restuans) respond to breeding sites containing different types of biopesticides by measuring the number of eggs that they lay at each site. Biopesticides dominate current attempts to control mosquito populations globally, and consist of naturally occurring bacteria that kill mosquito larvae. However, these control programs are based on a critical assumption that female mosquitoes have no ability to detect biopesticides at breeding sites and thus freely lay their eggs in treated areas. If females avoid laying eggs in treatments containing biopesticides, this greatly decreases their ability to reduce mosquito populations.”