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Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory

Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory

Dr. Lawrence Reeves

Larry Reeves

Lawrence Reeves

Research Assistant Professor

Molecular Ecologist
lereeves@ufl.edu

I am an entomologist and Research Assistant Scientist at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. I use molecular techniques to investigate applied questions related to the biology and control of mosquito species in Florida and the pathogens that they transmit. The focus of my program is the development of new tools for vector and pathogen surveillance, detection, and identification through the current molecular technologies, and understanding the biology of Florida’s mosquito species for the benefit of mosquito control. 

Mosquitoes occupy a unique ecological position. They interact directly with a broad subset of the biodiversity within the ecosystems they inhabit: most notably, their host animals and diverse pathogens, but also organisms that are predators of mosquito larvae and adults, and plants that provide larval habitats or adult nectar sources. Understanding how mosquitoes interact with other species and with the environment provides guidance critical to developing effective strategies and priorities for controlling mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit.

I am interested in mosquito diversity. More than 80 mosquito species occur in Florida, and new introductions of non-native species are increasingly common. The biological and ecological details of mosquitoes vary from species to species. My research program uses DNA sequences to characterize interactions between mosquitoes and other organisms, and the environment in Florida with the goal of translating these details of mosquito biology to improved strategies of mosquito control in the state. Current molecular techniques, such as DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, can be directly applied to mosquito surveillance objectives to, for example, rapidly assess the species diversity of mosquitoes and non-target insects in bulk trap samples, detect the presence and identify mosquito DNA in environmental samples, or taxonomically identify non-native mosquitoes, among others. Similarly, such techniques can be employed to measure interactions between mosquitoes and their predators. A primary goal of my research is the development and application of environmental DNA and metabarcoding approaches to mosquito and pathogen surveillance that take advantage of current molecular technologies and novel methods of biodiversity assessment.

Larry Reeves

Lawrence Reeves

Research Assistant Professor

Molecular Ecologist
lereeves@ufl.edu

  • Ph.D., University of Florida, 2017
  • M.S., University of Florida, 2013
  • B.S., Conservation Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2006
Larry Reeves

Lawrence Reeves

Research Assistant Professor

Molecular Ecologist
lereeves@ufl.edu

  • Burkett-Cadena ND, Hoyer I, Blosser E, Reeves LE. 2018. Human-powered pop-up resting shelter for sampling cavity-resting mosquitoes. Acta Tropica 190: 288-292.
  • Reeves LE, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE. 2018.Barcoding blood meals: New vertebrate-specific primer sets for assigning taxonomic identities to host DNA from mosquito blood meals. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12: e0006767.
  • Reeves LE, Holderman CJ, Blosser EM, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2018. Identification of Uranotaenia sapphirina as a specialist of annelids broadens known mosquito host use patterns. Communications Biology 1: 92.
  • Reeves LE, Avery ML, Krysko KL, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE. 2018. Interactions between exotic Burmese pythons, Python bivittatus, and native mosquito communities in Florida. PLOS ONE 13: e0190633.
  • Hoyer IJ, Blosser EM, Acevedo C, Thompson AC, Reeves LE, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2017. Mammal decline, linked to invasive Burmese python, shifts host use of vector mosquito towards reservoir hosts of a zoonotic disease. Biology Letters 13: 20170353.
  • Blosser EM, Lord CC, Stenn T, Acevedo C, Hassan HK, Reeves LE, Unnasch TR, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2017.Environmental drivers of seasonal patterns of host utilization by Culiseta melanura in Florida. Journal of Medical Entomology 54: 1365-1374.
  • Reeves LE, Bremer JS, Hoyer IJ. 2017. New county records for a tropical fruit-piercing moth, Eudocima apta (Walker, 1858), in Florida: A potential agricultural pest (Lepidoptera: Calpinae). Tropical Lepidoptera Research 27: 21-25.
  • St. Laurent RA, Wagner DL, Reeves LE, Kawahara AY. 2017.Notes on the larva and natural history of Lacosoma arizonicum Dyar (Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with new host and parasitoid records. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 71: 177-181.
  • Reeves LE, Holderman CJ, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE. 2016. Maintenance of host DNA integrity in field-preserved mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) blood meals for identification by DNA barcoding. Parasites and Vectors 9: 503. doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1791-z.
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Barry Alto

Associate Professor

Mosquito Ecology - Disdease Transmission
bwalto@ufl.edu
Appointments, Awards, and Professional Service:
  • 2016-present, Editorial Board, Entomological Society of America (Environmental Entomology).
  • 2015-present, Board of Directors (Member-at-Large), Florida Mosquito Control Association.
  • 2014, Richard Jones Outstanding New Faculty Research Award, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
  • 2011-2014, Editorial Board (served as chair in 2014), Entomological Society of America (Journal of Medical Entomology).
  • 2011-2014, Faculty Assembly representative, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
  • 2014-present, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Faculty Research Advisory Group, University of Florida.