Ephantus J. Muturi
Phone: (309) 681-6194
1815 N. University St.
Peoria, IL. 61604
2007 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL. USA PhD., Entomology
2004 Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, M.S., Parasitology
2001 Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, B.ed (Science), Biology
Mosquitoes transmit some of the most devastating infectious diseases of humans, domestic animals and wildlife. Due to globalization, climate change, and other human-mediated factors, a number of mosquito-borne diseases that were once thought to be controlled or unimportant have expanded their geographic range causing major epidemics. The most obvious examples of mosquito-borne diseases that have caused major epidemics beyond their native range include dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, and West Nile viruses. Because these viruses lack effective drugs or vaccines for clinical use, their prevention and management is heavily reliant on vector control primarily with chemical insecticides. However, these chemicals are harmful to humans and the environment and there is a renewed effort to develop safe alternatives to these chemicals. My research focuses on developing a better understanding of the complex interactions between mosquitoes, plants, and microbes and how these interactions could be harnessed to develop safe and effective biological control agents for mosquitoes. The overall goal of my research is to discover and develop novel microbial and plant-based arsenals that are effective against different stages of a wide range of mosquito species. These arsenals could be included as an integral component of integrated vector management programs.