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Austin Butterfly Forum Meeting: Sand Flies in the Southern United States: Vectors of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
June 22, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
June 22, 2015, 7 PM Meeting: Sand Flies in the Southern United States: Vectors of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, presented by Stavana Strutz.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a newly emerging human disease in the southern United States, especially Texas. It has expanded its geographical range over 560 km in the last 4 decades. The vectors of this pathogen are sand flies – small insects that feed on a variety of animals, with 8 species found in Texas. This talk will review the known natural history of sand flies, their biodiversity, and their identification.
Stavana Strutz is a PhD candidate in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program in the Integrative Biology department at the University of Texas at Austin. She is studying the geographical emergence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the southern United States by implementing a variety of integrative methods and techniques. She employs morphological and molecular identification methods, and computational modeling techniques to understand the parasite in terms of its various hosts (humans, companion animals, rodents, other mammals, and sand flies). She conducts field work across the state of Texas from the Rio Grande to Caddo Lake. She has received numerous grants from the UT Integrative Biology department and Texas EcoLab program. She has been an organizer of Science Under the Stars, co-host of the student radio show “They Blinded Me with Science,” and a speaker at numerous outreach events and conferences. She is also a graduate student representative in student government at the University of Texas and represents more than 11,000 graduate students.
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