When I spoke to Cameron about signing up, he told me that he would be wandering around NSW and the ACT looking for mosquitos this week, did I think anyone would want to hear about it? So of course we had to hear from him live from the swamps, giving us an insight into how he uses his research to further public health policies and goals.
Here’s some background on Dr Webb:
Dr Cameron Webb has worked in the field of Medical Entomology for over 15 years and currently works in the Department of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital (Pathology West) with a teaching role with the University of Sydney. His major research interest is understanding the public health risks of mosquito populations associated with constructed and rehabilitated wetlands. This information has been used to develop regionally specific mosquito-borne disease awareness and management strategies for the Hunter, Central Coast and Far North Coast regions of NSW.
Cameron’s PhD research focused on the management of the pest mosquitoes associated with the wetlands surrounding Sydney Olympic Park. The findings of his work assisted in the rehabilitation of many degraded mangrove areas where mosquitoes were identified as symptomatic of degraded environments. Restoring tidal flushing to these areas has assisted in reducing mosquito populations while also improving overall wetland health.
Another area of interest is improvement in public health communication, particularly focusing on the personal protection strategies against nuisance-biting mosquitoes. Cameron has undertaken considerable field and laboratory investigations of insect repellents and takes an active role in the dissemination of their appropriate use to the general public. In this role, Cameron is regularly called upon to communicate current scientific research findings, and often in response to public health warnings issued by NSW Health, with print, radio, television and online media outlets.
Cameron continues to publish the findings of research in international peer reviewed scientific journals as well as books, book chapters, non-peer reviewed journals, magazines and trade bulletins as well as workshop notes and other teaching materials. He also provides professional advice on a consultancy basis to local, state and federal governments, wetland management authorities, engineers, developers and private industry regarding mosquito management strategies. He has also supervised a range of post-graduate research students with the University of Sydney, Australian Catholic University and University of Western Sydney.
Cameron tweets about medical entomology and wetland rehabilitation at @mozziebites and at his blog: http://cameronwebb.wordpress.com/