CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 4/18/18: University of Illinois doctoral student Allison Parker has received the 2018 William H. Luckmann Award from the Illinois Natural History Survey for her research on mosquito production in containers in residential neighborhoods. The $1,000 award will cover travel costs to present her findings at professional conferences.
Starting in 2016, Parker choose nine neighborhoods in Champaign and Urbana for her study on the relationship between the abundance of containers on properties and residents’ knowledge of mosquito ecology, attitudes toward mosquito control, and control practices.
She found that in general, mosquitos particularly favored rain barrels and garbage cans, followed by flower pots and buckets for egg laying. Aedes albopictus, the invasive species capable of carrying a range of diseases including the Zika virus, was the primary species collected and was found in all types of outdoor containers.
Parker’s research also found a link between low socioeconomic status neighborhoods and a lack of knowledge about mosquito habitats and control strategies. Residents in these neighborhoods are most likely to benefit from educational programs about mosquito control.
“This research provides critical insights into how socioeconomic status and habitat suitability affect the abundance and species richness of mosquito populations in residential areas, as well as a better understanding of how different mosquito species interact in container habitats in urban areas,” Parker said. (More about Parker’s research is available at http://sustainability.illinois.edu/meet-allison-parker/.)
The first William H. Luckmann Award was provided in 1994 to cover travel-related expenses as a way to reward applied research in entomology.
Parker plans to present at the 2018 Entomological Society of America (ESA), ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting in November in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Parker’s doctoral advisor is Brian Allan, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology.
The Luckmann Award, also known as the Illinois Natural History Survey Entomology for the Ages Fund, is seeking donations to help promote research in entomology while enhancing students’ academic experiences. To donate, visit https://portal.uif.uillinois.edu/UIF-billing-form.
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