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Laura Harrington

Laura Harrington


3138 Comstock Hall
(607) 255-4475

Dr. Harrington is currently Professor of Entomology at Cornell University. She earned a PhD in Entomology in 1999 from the University of Massachusetts and completed Postdoctoral training at the University of California at Davis. Professor Harrington became interested in global health issues and vector-borne diseases after living and working for several years in rural Thailand. She contracted both dengue and malaria while living abroad and realized the impact these infections have on children and adults in resource poor nations. Her research focuses on the biology, ecology and behavior of mosquitoes that transmit human diseases. Current research projects in her laboratory address the blood feeding and mating behavior of mosquito vectors of dengue fever, Zika, Chikungunya, West Nile virus and malaria. She also studies human and animal-mosquito interactions and the role of climate change and globalization on emerging vector borne diseases. Dr. Harrington studies mosquito biology in the field locally as well as abroad, with past or present field sites in Thailand, Tanzania, and Mexico. Dr. Harrington has no formal extension appointment, but she is active in extension and outreach activities in New York and the Northeastern United States. She offers courses in Medical and Veterinary Entomology (ENTOM 3520), a non-majors course, Plagues and People (BIO&SOC/ENTOM 2100), she teaches the malaria module of Introduction to Global Health (NS 2060), and she has offered seminars with international service learning formats (ENTOM 4100: Malaria Interventions in Ghana and ENTOM 4110: Health Care in Honduras). Harrington mentors undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of entomology, ecology and evolutionary biology, comparative biomedical sciences, biomathematics, general biology, animal science, and biology and society. Professor Harrington has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and 3 scientific book chapters; many of these have focused on the biology and behavior of Aedes disease vectors. Her research has been supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, Gates foundation, USDA and Centers for Disease Control. More information is available on her website .

Research Focus

Vector biology, behavior and ecology of mosquitoes and ticks, vector borne disease epidemiology

Outreach and Extension Focus

Although Harrington has no formal extension appointment, she is active in extension and outreach activities in New York and the Northeastern United States. She regularly provides information to media and the public about mosquitoes and vector borne diseases. In addition, Harrington identifies insects for hospitals and the general public. Since 2017, the NEVBD provides outreach and extension efforts in NY State and across the Northeast related to tick and mosquito vectors and vector borne diseases.

Teaching Focus

Harrington offers courses in Medical and Veterinary Entomology (ENTOM 3520), a non-majors course, Plagues and People (BIO&SOC/ENTOM 2100). Harrington also teaches several courses related to the Center for Excellence including ENTOM 4520 Introduction to Disease Vectors, ENTOM 6530 Control of Disease Vectors and ENTOM 6520: Malaria Biology and Control.

Awards and Honors

  • Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow (2016) Cornell University
  • Outstanding Alumna Award (2015) North Carolina State University
  • Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (2012) Eastern Branch Entomological Society of America
  • Provosts Award for Distinguished Scholarship, Cornell University 2010 (2010) Cornell University

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Vector behavior essential for genetic control. Tropical Infectious Diseases. February 2013. Gordon Conference. Galveston, TX.
  • Mosquito-borne Threats in a Changing World. Public Health Preparedness Conference. January 2013. University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security (CHHS) . Maryland.
  • Movement of Aedes mosquito vectors: considerations and research goals. Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics (RAPIDD). September 2012. Fogerty Center. California.
  • Vector Competence of US strains of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus, for Chikungunya Epidemic Virus (CHIKV 226OYP). American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2011. ASTMH. Philadelphia, PA.