Gecko Talks 26th of May: Dr Eloise Skinner on Mosquitoes
Is a warmer world a sicker world?
“Many people are surprised to learn that there are more than 300 species of mosquitoes in Australia, of which only a fraction transmit diseases, while the remaining species play an important role as pollinators and food source for vertebrates”, says Dr. Eloise Skinner who will be hosting Gecko Environment Council’s Speaker Night, to be held on 26th of May at Currumbin RSL.
Dr. Skinner is a disease ecologist and a post doctoral researcher at prestigious Stanford University in the USA. She is now based in the Gold Coast.
In her talk for the monthly event, organized by Gecko Environment Council for the Gold Coast, Dr. Skinner will focus on the relation between climate change, our environment and mosquito’s.
In Australia, many of our mosquito-borne diseases are zoonotic, which means a mosquito has to bite an infected animal before they bite a human. Yet, the interactions between mosquitoes-animals-humans remains relatively understudied.
Ross River virus is Australia’s most common mosquito-borne disease. It infects around 4,000 people a year and, despite being named after a river in North Queensland, is found in all states and territories, including Tasmania. It is not fatal, however there is no treatment or vaccine for Ross River virus; the only way to prevent is to avoid mosquito bites.
As our climates and environments change, we need to be prepared for the impacts it can have on mosquitoes and these interactions between animals and humans.
In general people assume that in a warmer world mosquito menace will increase. But according to the scientist that is not the case. “New research proves that there is a thermal optimum (around 25 degrees Celsius). Meaning that temperatures greater than this result in reduced burden of disease.”
During her talk Eloise Skinner will present mosquito-borne diseases through an ecological lens, and will discuss global and local shifts we may expect in disease ecology due to climate and land-use changes.
DATE: 26 May 2021
TIME 6.45 for 7pm start
WHERE: Currumbin RSL
NOTE: Why not arrive early to get a delicious meal before the talk