UCI News

Graduate student to study spread of malaria

With a $10,000 award from the UC Irvine Graduate Division, Thomas Gilbreath will study how land-use in Africa affects the…

April 29, 2009

With a $10,000 award from the UC Irvine Graduate Division, Thomas Gilbreath will study how land-use in Africa affects the mosquito population and spread of malaria. This fellowship supports students whose research could have significant public impact. Gilbreath, an ecology & evolutionary biology doctoral student, will take water samples from forested and deforested areas in western Kenya and analyze their microbial contents. He will look for those same microbes in larval mosquitoes to determine their food source. His theory is that deforestation allows more sunlight to reach the ground, warming standing water and creating a richer microbial environment for the larvae. Pictured: Children await blood sampling for malaria parasites at an elementary school in Iguhu, Kenya.