Considered to be the deadliest animals on earth, mosquitos kill hundreds of thousands of people and make millions more sick every year. The diseases they transmit have long been most common in the warmest parts of the world. But with average temperatures rising everywhere due to climate change, does that mean that all of us may soon be facing a greater risk for these diseases? Stanford University biologist Erin Mordecai is attempting to answer this question in order to help people anticipate which mosquito-borne disease risks are likely to increase in a particular region and which are more likely to decrease.
Film Resources: Lesson Plan and Community Outreach Guide
Our partners, The Climate Initiative and the National Science Teaching Association, have created outstanding resources to accompany each of our films. Click on the buttons below to access the lesson plan and community outreach guide for Mosquito Menace. The classroom-ready lesson plan developed by the National Science Teaching Association highlights the science and engineering practices scientists use to explain the phenomenon of climate change. The Climate Initiative’s community outreach guide offers talking points and prompts to help foster viewer conversations about the film.
Meet the Scientist
Erin Mordecai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Biology
Erin Mordecai is an Associate Professor in Biology at Stanford University, where her research focuses on environmental drivers of infectious disease dynamics and their impacts on hosts. Mordecai’s work integrates empirical data with mathematical models, following two main themes: (i) the impact of the environment on vector-borne disease transmission in humans, and (ii) the impact of pathogens in plants and wildlife. The Mordecai Laboratory at Stanford University focuses on the consequences of environmental change for human and wildlife health. Her team uses diverse research approaches to understand impacts of climate and land use on vector-borne disease, including dengue, chikungunya, Zika, malaria, yellow fever, and leishmaniasis in the Americas, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Capitalizing on and contributing to the vibrant, interdisciplinary, and solutions-oriented research environment at Stanford, Mordecai is a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment, a Leading Interdisciplinary Collaborations (LInC) Fellow, an Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow, a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Innovation in Global Health and the King Center for Global Development, and a member of Bio-X, an interdisciplinary biosciences institute at Stanford.
Click here to read more about Dr. Mordecai’s work.
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