Luísa Reis-Castro is a PhD candidate in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is currently writing her dissertation on new technologies for controlling mosquito-borne diseases, as a window into science and public health policies in Brazil. She has conducted fieldwork on three projects in different Brazilian cities (Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and Foz do Iguaçu) that attempt to use the mosquito as means of controlling viruses it is known to transmit. She examines these projects to investigate how practices, materials, and knowledges are borrowed, transformed, combined, interpreted, and reconfigured to define scales of action in the service of researching, testing, and implementing disease responses.
In an effort to develop an historically-informed critical theory of the relationship between health, the environment, and mosquitoes, Luísa has collaborated with historian Gabriel Lopes on a book chapter analyzing the historical trajectory of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Brazil. Considering three epidemic moments (yellow fever, dengue, and Zika), they show how, over more than one hundred years, the mosquito has been a vector that has carried not only three epidemiologically-distinct viruses, but also very different political desires, struggles, and debates.