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Aerial photograph of Hanalei Bay on the Island of Kauai

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center Staff

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center Lead Scientists

Dennis A. LaPointe, Ph.D.

Dennis A. LaPointe Ph.D.

Title  Research Ecologist
Phone  (808) 967-7396 Ext. 6413
Mailing address  Kilauea Field Station
P.O. Box 44
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

B.S. 1978University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Entomology
M.S. 1982University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Entomology
Non-degree 1991University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Education
Ph.D 2000University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI. Entomology

Expertise / Specialty: Wildlife Disease, Vector-Borne Avian Disease, Mosquito Ecology, Avian Ectoparasites, Hawaiian Passerines, Aquatic Invertebrates, Field Investigations, Diagnostics, Identification

Research Interests: Wildlife disease and conservation biology. Ecology of arthropod vectors of disease and ectoparasites. Evolution of host-vector-pathogen interactions. Parasite mediated sexual selection in birds..Climate change and vectored disease. West Nile virus. Invasive biology of mosquitoes. Wolbachia pipiens in vector and disease control. Aquatic invertebrate ecology. Native insect conservation.

Featured Studies:

  • Biocomplexity of Introduced Avian Disease: Vector Subproject
  • Control of Mosquito-Borne Avian Disease
  • West Nile virus Risk to Hawaiian Birds
  • Knemidokoptic Mange in Hawaii Amakihi
  • Avian Pathogens and Vectors in the Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Avian Disease Assessment at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Select Publications :

Farias, M.E.M , D.A. LaPointe, C.T. Atkinson, C.Czerwonka, R. Shrestha and S.I. Jarvi. 2010. Taqman Real-Time PCR detects Avipoxvirus DNA in blood of Hawaii Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). PLosONE 5(5): e10745.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010745.

LaPointe, D.A., M.L. Goff and C.T. Atkinson. 2010 Thermal constraints to extrinsic parasite development and the altitudinal distribution of avian malaria , Plasmodium relictum, in Hawaii. Journal of Parasitology. . 96(2): 318-324.

LaPointe, D.A., E.K. Hofmeister, C.T. Atkinson, R.E. Porter and R.J. Dusek. 2009. Experimental infection of Hawaii amakihi (Hemignathus virens) with West Nile virus and competence of a co-occurring vector, Culex quinquefasciatus: Potential impacts on endemic Hawaiian avifauna. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 45(2): 257-271.

Gaudioso, J.M., D.A. LaPointe and P.J. Hart. 2009. Knedmidokoptic mange in Hawaii amakihi (Hemignathus virens) on the island of Hawaii. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 45(2): 497-501.

Reiter, M.E. and D.A. LaPointe. 2009. Larval habitat for the avian malaria vector, Culex quinquefaciatus (Diptera: Culicidae), in altered mid-elevation mesic-dry forests in Hawai`i. Journal of Vector Ecology. Journal of Vector Ecology. 34(2): 208-216.

LaPointe, D. A., C. T. Atkinson and S. I. Jarvi. 2009. Chapter 17 Managing Disease pp 405-424. In: Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implication for Island Avifauna. T. K. Pratt, C. T. Atkinson, P. C. Banko, J. D. Jacobi and B. L. Woodworth (eds.). Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, USA.

LaPointe, D.A. 2008. Dispersal of Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in a Hawaiian Rain Forest. Journal of Medical Entomology. 45: 600-609.

LaPointe, D.A., M.L. Goff, and C.T. Atkinson. 2005. Comparative susceptibility of introduced forest-dwelling mosquitoes in Hawaii to avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum. Journal of Parasitology. 91(4): 843-849.

Woodworth, B. L., C. Atkinson, D. A. LaPointe, P. J. Hart, E. J. Tweed, C. Henneman, C. Spiegel, T. Denette, J. LeBrun, K. L. Kozar, D. Triglia, D. Lease, A. Gregor, T. Smith, and D. Duffy. 2005. Host population persistence in the face of emerging disease: Hawaii amakihi and avian malaria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102:1531-1536.

Benning, T.L., D.A. LaPointe, C.T. Atkinson and P.M. Vitousek. 2002. Interactions of climate change with biological invasions and land use in the Hawaiian Islands: (PDF) Modeling the fate of endemic birds using a geographic information system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99(22): 14246-14249.

1997-present  Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Kilauea Field Station, Hawaii National Park, HI.
1992-1997   Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI.
1990-1991   Researcher Associate, EcoScience Laboratories. Amherst, MA.
1986-1991   Vector Control Consultant, VecTech Consulting Inc., Amherst, MA.
1983-1991   Laboratory Technician, Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

Personal Interests:

Links: Knemidokoptic mange, West Nile virus | Avipoxvirus

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