Jessica Quiñones

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Bio:

I am an undergraduate research assistant in the DeGennaro lab. I have an Associate’s degree from Miami Dade College and I’m currently studying for a B.S. with honors in Biology and a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. In the future, I plan to apply to medical school.

Project:

Mosquitoes are the major vectors of arthropod-transmitted infectious diseases. In Florida, local uses of insecticides are used to control mosquito populations depending on the density of mosquitoes detected in a specific area throughout mosquito surveillance and monitoring. Because Florida’s environment has been recorded to support around 80 species of mosquitoes, it is essential that we understand the impact of insecticide use as an essential form of evaluation on the vector potential of a mosquito fauna. Like other organisms which have circadian rhythms adapted for survival, mosquitoes may also have circadian rhythms efficiently adapted to increase their fitness. Insecticides like pyrethroids are the main component of mosquito control, however, with different areas using different patterns, timing, and frequency of insecticide spraying, it is possible that the mosquitos may have circadian rhythms that vary across the counties and areas of Florida. Circadian clocks are involved in feeding behavior, metabolism, hormone release and locomotion activity among other crucial life processes, and since other insects have been shown to have circadian clock influence on toxic agent susceptibility, mosquitoes undergoing insecticide exposure may also be subject to circadian regulation. Studying the relationship between resistance and the circadian clock of mosquitoes could therefore lead to building an effective strategy of mosquito control “chronotoxicology”.

Contact: jquin220@fiu.edu