Healy to serve as AgCenter public health entomologist

News Release Distributed 09/27/13

BATON ROUGE, La – The threat of mosquitoes can keep people from enjoying the outdoors, but the LSU AgCenter has a public health entomologist whose work will help fight the bite.

Kristen Healy began working for the AgCenter in the spring and has been visiting mosquito districts across the state to see what research they think is necessary.

“A recurring theme is insecticide resistance,” Healy said. “We want to see if the adulticides they are using are losing efficacy.”

Healy is focusing on the dynamics of container mosquitoes – ones that lay eggs in standing water around homes and structures. She said she is particularly interested in the Asian tiger mosquito.

“It loves living close to where humans dwell, so it prefers to lay eggs in containers in our backyards,” she said. “It bites humans. It bites during the day, so that makes it one of the mosquitoes that we are very concerned about.”

The entomologist’s work also will include honey bees. She is interested in looking at how pesticides such as neonicotinoids may affect bees.

Healy received a B.S. in zoology and an M.S. in entomology both from the University of Rhode Island. She also holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She earned her Ph.D. in entomology from Rutgers University.

Prior to joining the LSU AgCenter, Healy did post-doctoral work on the Asian tiger mosquito at Rutgers and she worked as a county epidemiologist in New Jersey.

Tobie Blanchard

9/28/2013 2:09:12 AM
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