Fiona Hunter

 Professor, Biological Sciences

Fiona Hunter

Office: Mackenzie Chown F 227
905 688 5550 x3394

There are currently four major Research Foci in the lab:

Behavioural ecology of biting flies

We look at a broad range of biting fly behaviours including blood-feeding preferences and sugar-feeding preferences. Recent emphasis has been on the effects of honeydew vs. nectar as sugar meals with regards to longevity, fecundity, parasite transmission and flight performance.

Molecular systematics of biting flies

We examine both intra- and inter-specific relationships using DNA sequence analyses. Recent projects include the mosquitoes of Canada, of Ecuador and of Costa Rica, the tabanids (deer flies and horse flies) of Canada, ceratopogonids (no-see-ums) of Ontario, and the psychodids of Ontario. Genes used routinely in our lab include ITS1, ITS2, COI, and EF-1alpha.

Arthropod-borne disease surveillance

Our lab works on: mosquito surveillance for West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Zika virus; tick surveillance for Lyme disease and Babesiosis; and ceratopogonid surveillance for Bluetongue virus and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease virus.

Arbovirus transmission studies

We are able to study live, infected, mosquitoes in Brock’s Containment Level 3 laboratory. We are studying the vector competence of various mosquito species to determine if they are able to transmit West Nile virus and Zika virus by bite.

1990 Ph.D. (Biology) Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

1987 M.Sc. (Botany) University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

1985 Special Student (Tropical Medicine) University of Tübingen, Germany.

1983 B.Sc. Hon. (Zoology) University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.