|Ms. Eliza Little graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor's in environmental science in 2005. She worked as a field biologist for 3 years before returning to do a Joint Masters at Yale between the Schools of Epidemiology & Public Health and Forestry & Environmental Science. There she specialized in disease ecology taking classes in epidemiology, urban ecology, GIS, and remote sensing. For her thesis, in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control's Dengue Branch in Puerto Rico, she mapped the environmental determinants of dengue mosquitoes. She is particularly interested in integrating research into policy, specifically how research on vector borne disease ecology can inform urban planning.
Aedes aegypti is a mosquito of particular importance because it is implicated in urban dengue transmission. More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. With more people at risk for dengue, and no vaccine available, vector control is critical. Vector control depends on understanding the ecological drivers that determine Ae. aegypti distribution. Quantitative assessment of mosquito habitat is done using a landscape epidemiology approach using remote sensing and geospatial analytical tools to map the ecological risk of mosquitoes. Mapping ecological risk is then used to determine risk of dengue transmission, inform interventions, and guide urban planning.