Jan E. Conn

Jan E. Conn, Ph.D.

Vector Biology and Population Genetics
Professor, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1987
Postdoctoral training: Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1988-1990
Postdoctoral training: Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, 1990-1994
(518) 869-4575
Fax: (518) 869-6487

Research Interests

Dr. Conn has had formal training in systematics, entomology and population genetics, and informal training in mosquito ecology. Her research aims to broaden and deepen the field of vector biology by combining and integrating these disciplines to be of practical value in moving the field of malaria eradication forward.

This integrated approach has advanced our understanding about the relative roles in pathogen transmission of anopheline species complex members, species boundaries, population structure and replacement, and the increasing effects of landscape modification on malaria transmission in the Neotropics. Specifically, outcomes from her extensive fieldwork in Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Panama, and Colombia demonstrate the need for an increased focus on the quantification of entomological parameters locally, and on the underlying broad-scale ecological processes, together with local adaptation, that influence malaria transmission.

This is especially urgent because the primary Neotropical malaria vector, Nyssorhynchus (AKA Anopheles) darlingi, is extremely plastic with regard to feeding location, blood meal host, and biting time that could influence vectorial capacity and impact human-mosquito interactions. She and collaborators have demonstrated that LLINs and IRS alone are insufficient to eliminate malaria in this region.

Her 100+ publications provide essential baseline data in support of malaria control operations by understanding the genetic, ecological and environmental processes that facilitate local and regional malaria transmission.

Select Publications
Chaves L, Conn JE, López RVM, Sallum MAM. Abundance of impacted forest patches less than 5 km2 is a key driver of the incidence of malaria in Amazonian Brazil. Sci Rep. 2018; 8 (7077):
Foster P, de Oliveira T, Bergo, ES, Conn JE, Sant'Ana D, Nagaki, S, Nihei S, Lamas C, González C, Moreira C, Sallum MAM. Phylogeny of Anophelinae using mitochondrial protein coding genes. R Soc Open Sci. 2017; 4 (11): 170758.
Moreno M, Saavedra MP, Bickersmith SA, Prussing C, Michalski A, Tong Rios C, Vinetz JM, Conn JE. Intensive trapping of blood-fed Anopheles darlingi in Amazonian Peru reveals unexpectedly high proportions of avian blood-meals. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017; 11 (2): e0005337.
Lainhart W, Dutari LC, Rovira JR, Sucupira IMC, Povoa MMP, Conn JE, Loaiza JR. Epidemic and non-epidemic hot spots of malaria transmission occur in indigenous comarcas of Panama. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016; 10 (5): e0004718.
Lainhart W, Bickersmith SA, Nadler KJ, Moreno M, Saavedra MP, Chu VM, Ribolla PE, Vinetz JM, Conn JE. Evidence for temporal population replacement and the signature of ecological adaptation in a major Neotropical malaria vector in Amazonian Peru. Malar J. 2015; 14 (375):
Full publication listing