Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen

Second Advisor

John Callaway


Mosquitos, the most lethal species throughout human history, are the most prevalent source of vector-borne diseases and therefore a major global health burden. Mosquito-borne disease incidence is expected to shift with environmental change. These changes can be predicted using species distribution models. With the wide variety of methods used for models, consensus for improving accuracy and comparability is needed. A comparative analysis of three recent modeling approaches revealed that integrating modeling techniques compensates for trade-offs associated with a singular approach. An area that represents a critical gap in our ability to predict mosquito behavior in response to changing climate factors, such as temperature, is evolutionary adaptive potential. Evolutionary studies for mosquitos have documented rapid evolutionary change in photoperiodic traits. Further research on evolutionary adaptive potential for mosquito thermal tolerances using longitudinal studies in conjunction with genomic approaches will allow for more realistic parameterization of mosquito biological processes. One of the primary factors driving disease patterns is urbanization. Urban areas are already highly impacted by climate-related health issues and offer a wide variety of potential aquatic habitats for breeding, thereby presenting vulnerable targets for mosquito populations. Mosquito-borne diseases have been historically underrepresented in urban health planning, and with projected increases in habitat suitability for temperate areas such as the U.S., promoting awareness of this issue constitutes a major health priority for the future. Integrating mosquito control policies into urban planning and design, such as concomitant strategies for elimination in green space development, will be highly beneficial in mitigating adverse health outcomes.