CAREER: Exploring the windows of selection for insecticide resistance evolution: May the selective force be with us

Project: Research project

Project Details


The PIs career goal is to understand the role of positive and negative selective forces on insecticide evolution and expand the framework that allows its investigation from agriculture to medicine. By integrating across disciplines such as herbicide-, insecticide- and antibiotic-resistance evolution, there is an opportunity to consider the similarities and dissimilarities of the ecological context in which resistance evolves in each discipline.
Resistance evolution is driven by exposure to concentrations that have an increased survival for resistant organisms compared to susceptible ones. The range of concentrations at which differential mortality occurs is termed the window of selection. Absent from this framework is the role of interspecific competition at concentrations for which both strains have non-zero survivability. Using insecticide resistance in mosquitoes as a model system, the proposed research goal is to test the hypothesis that the window of selection contains one or more sub-windows of competition, followed by a window of negative selection. The specific aims are to: 1) Quantify the selection coefficient of insecticide resistance alleles against three classes of insecticide within the window of selection; 2) Determine the magnitude of the fitness costs associated with insecticide resistance alleles in the absence of insecticides; and 3) Quantify allele frequency changes following various insecticide resistance management strategies using in vivo and in silico experimentation. The anticipated outcome of these aims is an innovation of the current resistance evolution framework to include multiple sub-windows of competition within the overall window of selection (aim 1); a window of negative selection at low insecticide concentrations (aim 2); and empirical and mathematical evidence for optimal resistance management strategies (aim 3).
The proposed education goal is to recruit and retain underrepresented minority students (URM) into STEM disciplines. The specific educational aims are to 1) Develop a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE), linked to research aim 2, focusing to recruit URM; 2) Design an inquiry-based course experience (ICE) as a module in a mandatory course for all school of life sciences majors; 3) Develop K-12 lesson plans in collaboration with teachers -containing an ICE module for high-school students- in low-income community serving schools. An additional outreach aim is to, 4) Develop an Augmented Reality (AR) game The mosquito hunt to engage the general public in the solution they play in vector control and resistance management.
Effective start/end date8/1/217/31/26


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $803,596.00


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