Congratulations to our PhD student, Pallavi Kache!
Pallavi received a 2019–2020 U.S. Fulbright Student Award to Colombia to pursue her dissertation research on the ecology and epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases in urban environments. Urbanization has contributed to the dramatic rise of diseases such as dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya in recent years. However, the quantification of urban transformation on the risk of such diseases remains understudied, particularly the effects of neighborhood composition/configuration, population density, and human social behavior on mosquito populations. To address these gaps in knowledge, Pallavi will integrate household surveys, entomological fieldwork, and satellite/drone imagery with mathematical models to understand urban mosquito ecology and its link with disease transmission. This work will be conducted in Ibagué, Colombia in collaboration with the Universidad de los Andes.
As rapid urbanization continues in Latin America and across the globe, it is imperative that policymakers understand the human health impacts. With continued research at the intersection of landscape ecology, urban planning, and infectious disease epidemiology, Pallavi’s PhD work aims to contribute to increasing urban resilience to mosquito-borne epidemics.