Jan E. Conn
BSc Biology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
MSc Entomology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
PhD Systematics and Population Genetics, University of Toronto
Post-Doc, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
Post-Doc, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, Florida
My research in population genomics, entomology and ecology aims to broaden and deepen the field of vector biology by combining and integrating these disciplines to move the field of malaria eradication forward. This integrated approach has advanced our understanding of 1) effects of landscape modification on malaria transmission; 2) mosquito population structure; 3) mosquito species boundaries; and 4) roles in pathogen transmission of anopheline species. Specifically, outcomes from my extensive fieldwork in the Neotropics demonstrate the need for an increased focus on the quantification of entomological and ecological parameters locally, and on the underlying broad-scale ecological processes, that influence malaria transmission. This is especially urgent because the primary Neotropical malaria vector, Nyssorhynchus darlingi), is extremely plastic for life history traits that influence vectorial capacity and impact human-mosquito interactions. My 110+ publications provide essential baseline data in support of malaria control operations by understanding genetic, ecological and environmental processes that facilitate local and regional malaria transmission. I have built an extensive network of national and international collaborators, focused in the US and Latin America. I supervise mainly PhD and MPH students in the US. Additionally, I have trained 12 Latin American graduate students and three Fulbright scholars (from Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Venezuela) for periods of 3-9 months in my laboratory. 70 of my publications have included at least one trainee as a first or co-author.
- Vector Biology (mainly Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites (Plasmodium)
- Population Genetics and Genomics
- Mosquito and Landscape Ecology
- Infection & Immunity
Current major activities
- Laboratory investigations to determine infectivity of malaria vectors, molecular identification and phylogenetics of anopheline mosquito species, mosquito bloodmeal analysis.
- Field and laboratory studies in Iquitos, Peru to investigate molecular ecology and epidemiology of malaria vectors and mitigate malaria transmission.
- Field studies in Brazil and Venezuela to elucidate spatiotemporal malaria transmission in a range of landscape hot spots: gold mining areas, riverine communities and rural-urban transects.
- The Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany
- Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany
Sample of recently completed studies
- Chu V, Sallum MAM, Moore TE, Lainhart W, Schlichting CD, Conn JE. 2019. Regional variation in life history traits and plastic responses to temperature of the major malaria vector Nyssorhynchus darlingi in Brazil. Sci Rep. 9:5356.
- Grillet ME….Conn, JE…2019. Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, resurgence of vector-borne diseases, and implications for spillover in the region. Lancet Infect Dis. S1473-3099(18)30757-6.
- Prussing C, Saavedra MP, Bickersmith SA, Alava F, Guzman M, Manrigue E, Carrasco-Escober G, Moreno M, Gamboa D, Vinetz JM, Conn JE. 2019. Malaria vector species in Amazonian Peru co-occur in larval habitats but have distinctive larval microbial communities. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 13(5):e0007412.
- Chaves L, Conn JE, López RVM, Sallum MAM. 2018. Abundance of impacted forest patches less than 5 km² is a key driver of the incidence of malaria in Amazonian Brazil. Sci Rep. 8(1):7077.
- Tackling Malaria Hotspots in the Amazon
- Google Scholar
- Scopus profile
- Dr. Conn has published 9 books of poetry, most recently Tomorrow’s Bright White Light (Tightrope Press, 2016). She is a member of the collaborative writing group, Yoko’s Dogs, whose latest book of poetry is Rhinoceros (Gaspereau Press, 2016). She is also a visual artist.