Wilson Valbon

Wilson R. Valbon

My experience with entomology started in 2011 during college in Brazil. At that point, I developed projects aiming to control agricultural pests, mainly insect vectors of viruses in tomato (i.e., thrips, aphid, and whitefly) in Espírito Santo state and stored grain pests (e.g., Sitophilus zeamais). In 2015, I enrolled in the Master’s of Entomology Program in Brazil. During my master’s research at the Brazilian Invertebrate Neurobiology and Physiology Laboratory (under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Eugenio Oliveira), I focused on ecotoxicology and insect physiology areas. My main aim was to understand how the abiotic (e.g., pesticides and heavy metals) and biotic (e.g., predatory risk) stressors can affect the physiology and behavior of aquatic insects (e.g., Culicidae, Belostomatidae, and Notonectidae). As a Ph.D. student (2016 – 2020) in the same program and laboratory, I investigated the interactions between mosquitoes and their environment, using Aedes aegypti as a model organism and I had the opportunity to join the Ke Dong lab at Michigan State University (Department of Entomology) as a visiting scholar, where I developed part of my dissertation. My Ph.D. dissertation was “Interactions between mosquitoes and their environment: Biological control agents and physiological basis for insecticidal actions, resistance, and repellency”. I  achieved my Doctorate degree in Entomology in 2020 at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV – Brazil). My other academic degrees are Technician in Agriculture (2008) (IFES – Brazil), Bachelor in Agronomy (2015) (UFES Alegre Campus – Brazil), and Master’s of Science in Entomology (2016) (UFV – Brazil).

Currently, my research in the Ke Dong lab at Duke University focuses on elucidating the repellency mechanisms of insecticides (pyrethroids) and essential oils (plant-derived compounds) in mosquitoes (vector of human diseases, such as yellow fever, Dengue, Zika, and malaria). I am also investigating the role of voltage-gated ion channels in the biology and behavior of invertebrates using molecular and electrophysiological approaches.

“Insects are sometimes beneficial, sometimes harmful, but never useless.”

Email: wilson.valbon@duke.edu

ResearchGate: link

Google Scholar: link

LinkedIn: link