Announcement from Laura Lawson, executive dean, SEBS, and executive director, NJAES
Dear SEBS and NJAES community,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Dina Fonseca as chair of the Department of Entomology. She has been serving in this role since July 1, and now it is official. We are very fortunate to have Dina serve in this important leadership role.
Dina Fonseca is an active scholar. She was the first to develop the population genetic tools to demonstrate the occurrence and epidemiological consequences of multiple introductions of the same mosquito species. At Rutgers, she spearheaded the USDA-ARS funded Areawide management of the Asian tiger mosquito. The 30+ peer reviewed publications from that project have become the basis of best practices for controlling urban Aedes mosquitoes. Dina has also fostered urban mosquito control by residents through Citizen Action Through Science (Citizen AcTS), an approach that aims to provide communities with scientific support to develop projects that directly benefit them. She is a founding member of Innovative Strategies for Invasives using environmental DNA (eDNA) and risk analysis to detect and contain invasive species.
Dina joined Rutgers in 2007 as associate professor and became a full professor in 2014. In addition to her Rutgers role, she is a research associate in the Center for Conservation Genomics at the Smithsonian Institution. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Geology from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and a doctoral degree in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Pennsylvania.
She undertakes leadership of the Department of Entomology, which was established in 1888, and has a long history of studying a wide variety of important insects, including mosquitoes and the pathogens and parasites they transmit. Besides mosquitoes, current externally funded projects spearheaded by Entomology faculty focus on ticks and the Lyme disease bacterium, bedbugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, spotted lanternflies and spotted wing drosophila, all species that have tremendous impact on NJ’s economy and public health.
Thank you, Dina!