Faculty Advisor

Philip K. Stoddard

Author Biographical Statement

Maria Parente graduated from Florida International University with a B.S. in Biology. Maria has been working under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Philip K. Stoddard through independent research in his mosquito lab since the Summer 2019 term, and presented a poster of her research at the FIU Undergraduate Research Symposium. She served as the student facilitator of the Honors Dean’s Scholars program, and was the leader of the HEARTS Writing Club from Spring 2020 to Spring 2022. She aspires to continue research in a doctoral program in Epigenetics and simultaneously a career as an artist and fiction author.


Mosquitoes have evolved increased resistance to pyrethroid insecticides including permethrin, and studying their metabolic mechanisms of resistance is the window to human counteraction. If early exposure to insecticides can upregulate certain detoxification genes, this creates lower rates of mortality in a single mosquito’s lifetime. Yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) were exposed to a sublethal dosage of permethrin and mortality rates at a later LC50 dose exposure were recorded. Mortality rates of induced mosquitoes were not lower than the mortality rates of unexposed (control) mosquito groups. If early exposure did not increase mortality, either evidence for inducible same-generational resistance remains to be seen in Aedes aegypti, or other factors were responsible for under-stimulating inducible resistance that were not acknowledged in the experimental design. The experiment may be replicated with adjusted test intervals to find the exact interval at which the upregulated proteins are still active and can confer resistance.



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