Mosquito work prevents disease spread
Australian Army scientific officer Captain Lisa Rigby works at the 2nd General Health Battalion researching and educating personnel on mosquitoes.
Her job is to ensure members of the ADF and foreign partner nations are protected from mosquito bites, which could lead to deadly vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever.
Captain Rigby has used her knowledge to train and educate mosquito control personnel from the Australian, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea defence forces.
“I first discovered a love for biology and chemistry in primary school,” Captain Rigby said.
“I loved the outdoors as a child and had unbounded curiosity about the world around me.”
Following her passions from school, and her desire to make an impact, she undertook a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in entomology and botany.
After finishing her degree, Captain Rigby entered the ADF as a specialist service officer (SSO).
“The Army made sense, as it is a place where I can use my skills and knowledge to make a difference,” Captain Rigby said.
Following the SSO course, Captain Rigby was posted to the ADF Malaria and Infectious Disease Institute for eight years.
Wanting to pursue her education further, Captain Rigby later undertook a Doctorate of Philosophy specialising in medical entomology.
“The best way I could see myself helping advance the field was to advance my education and knowledge of vector-borne diseases,” Captain Rigby said.
Since joining the Army, Captain Rigby has worked on many projects, including evaluating new insecticid- impregnated uniforms, conducting vector surveillance activities in Australia and overseas, and undertaking capacity-building projects in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“I love that my job enables me to work in a field and follow my passions in force health protection and entomology, while also spending time outdoors,” Captain Rigby said.
When not chasing mosquitoes for the ADF, Captain Rigby enjoys canyoning and pilates.