bio - Stephen Dobson
Professor, Medical and Veterinary Entomology
University of Kentucky
Dr. Dobson received his B.Sc. degree in Entomology from Clemson University, Clemson, SC and his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, New Haven, CT. Today he is a Professor of Entomology in the College of Agriculture, Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on Livestock and Medical Entomology, which includes insects that affect animal and human health.
Self-Delivering Green Biopesticide Against Invasive Mosquitoes
The Incompatible Insect Technique (IIT) being developed differs from existing mosquito control measures in that it consists of self-delivering, species specific, biological control with a novel mode of action, with no known resistance and without genetic modification. In brief, IIT consists of breeding mosquitoes with naturally occurring strains of Wolbachia bacteria. Inundative releases of incompatible males (which do not blood feed or transmit disease) that mate with indigenous females and produce embryos unable to hatch, thereby dramatically reducing the mosquito population. Male mosquitoes are relatively inexpensive to produce, and the released males are efficient at finding females, which addresses existing problems of finding and treating cryptic and inaccessible breeding sites. The approach being developed is compatible with, and can be used simultaneously with, existing insecticidal tools. Moreover, the approach will be broadly applicable to additional mosquito vector species beyond Ae. albopictus (e.g., Ae. aegypti, Culex pipiens, etc.). Commercial applications could include the release for IIT male mosquitoes for local (e.g. homeowners), corporate (e.g. hotels, theme parks), governmental (e.g. DoD warfighter protection), or area wide control (e.g. county, state or international government abatement programs). In May 2012, this microbial biopesticide technology was described in the Federal Register, under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency as the regulatory authority.