Michigan State University




Dr. Mike Kaufman

Michigan State University

Department of Entomology

Mike Kaufman’s research focuses on larval and invasive mosquitoes, particularly those species found in small container habitats that are often associated with humans. The ability of mosquitoes to transmit disease as adults is greatly impacted by processes that take place in their larval environments (breeding sites), and it is the nutritional and competitive constraints in those environments that Mike and his collaborators try to understand. Mike is currently the president of the national/international Society for Vector Ecology, and teaches courses in medical entomology and field ecology of disease vectors at MSU. He is part of Michigan’s monitoring system for vector-borne diseases through testing of mosquitoes for arboviruses such as West Nile.   

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Dr. Jean Tsao

Michigan State University

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Jean Tsao has over 20 years of experience studying Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (LD), and its vector, the blacklegged tick.  Her research includes both basic science (what are the ecological factors that affect how Borrelia and ticks are distributed across the landscape?) and practical public health (where are areas that are the most risky for ticks that might be carrying Borrelia?).  Jean and her students have documented the invasion of blacklegged ticks and Borrelia across Michigan and they continue to monitor both species around the state.  Jean helped develop a program at Michigan State for the study of conservation medicine and she teaches courses in medical entomology and field ecology of disease vectors like ticks and mosquitoes.  She also trains veterinary students to investigate diseases in wildlife and diseases that move from wild animals to humans, companion animals, and livestock.  

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Dr. Ned Walker

Michigan State University

Department of Entomology

Dr. Edward D. “Ned” Walker is a professor of entomology and microbiology at Michigan State University.  He serves as the PI of the Michigan State University contribution to the MCE-VBD.  His interests include surveillance for vector-borne diseases, analysis of landscape and environment associations with risk of establishment and perpetuation of disease foci, and generally biology and control of mosquitoes and ticks.  Some of his work has to do with questions related to the surveillance, or monitoring, of pest populations: how do we adequately capture diversity of mosquitoes and ticks in nature, and quantify changes in their distribution and abundance in space and time?  If ticks or mosquitoes are present in locales, what pathogens are associated with them and do these pathogens pose risk of infection in people?  For his work with MCE-VBD, Ned will focus on evaluating current control methods and testing new methods.  He will also contribute to surveillance programs and to training and capacity-building.

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