Fiona Hunter is a Professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology and Director of the newly established Centre for Vector-Borne Disease Research at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. She is also President of Entomogen Inc., an entomological consulting company.
Throughout her academic career she has focused on biting flies - black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, horseflies, no-see-ums. Fiona has graduated dozens of students from Brock University (both M.Sc. and Ph.D.), many of whom have gone on to work in the field of Medical and Veterinary Entomology.
Her research team has done extensive field research in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Dominican Republic on a variety of mosquito-borne diseases.
When West Nile virus first appeared in Ontario, there was an urgent need for mosquito identification as well as for viral testing of mosquitoes. Fiona and her students helped launch a province-wide surveillance system in collaboration with Public Health Agency of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and First Nations Inuit Health Branch. The program is now in its 16th year.
Other research looks at the effects of local climate change on vector range expansions including mosquito species (capable of transmitting arboviruses), tick species (capable of transmitting Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis), and biting midges (capable of transmitting bluetongue virus to livestock).
Fiona currently serves as a Member of the Federal Steering Committee for West Nile virus.