Leisnham, Paul T. (Active)
University of Maryland
Entomology/mosquito ecology
Paul was born in Invercargill, New Zealand and graduated from Cargill High School as Head Boy and Dux in 1995. In 1996, he moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, to pursue a BSc degree in Zoology at the University of Otago, graduating in 1998. Here Paul developed a keen interest in insect ecology and pursued an MSc thesis on the endemic flightless Orthopteran, the mountain stone weta, Hemideina maori, under the supervision of Dr. Ian Jamieson. By this stage, Paul decided to make a career in ecology and was developing a growing curiosity in the intrinsic two-way links between ecological health and human well-being and emerging field of EcoHealth. In 2001, he decided to embark on a PhD at the Wellington School of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand. Paul studied the effects of land use change on native and invasive mosquitoes, and graduated with his PhD in 2005. Later that year he moved to Illinois, United States, with his wife, Cara, to start a postdoc with Dr. Steven Juliano in the invasion ecology of the Asian Tiger Mosquito. In 2009 he started his position at the University of Maryland. Payl was elected to the Club in 2012. Paul is an experimental ecologist at the University of Maryland College Park. His research is centered on species interactions among native and invasive mosquitoes in water-filled containers, wetlands, and drainage systems, and broader water quality issues. Paul has published in a range of ecology, entomology, and health journals, including Ecology, Oecologia, Journal of Medical Entomology and EcoHealth, and is regularly funded by state and federal agencies, including EPA, USDA NIFA, NSF and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.Paul teaches a range of classes in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, at the University of Maryland and has been influential in helping grow a specialization in Environmental Health. This specialization captures the growing field of EcoHealth, which examines the intrinsic two-way links between human and wildlife health.