DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Mosquitoes are important disease vectors that pose a significant risk to human health. Aedes albopictus is an invasive container-dwelling mosquito that is a competent vector for Dengue virus, and has become cosmopolitan within the United States since the introduction of the species in the 1980s. While much is known about the expanding distribution of A. albopictus, little is known about the mechanisms contributing to this spread. A. albopictus is known to be a successful competitor under laboratory conditions, and has a high competitive effect upon other mosquitoes. However, under field conditions some mosquitoes are capable of coexisting with A. albopictus, suggesting that there may be environmental effects that modify competitive interactions in a context-dependent way, and enable resident competing species to coexist with A. albopictus. The purpose of the proposed study is to test hypotheses about several factors that may modify the competitive effect of A. albopictus on other species within varying larval habitats. I will test the effects of container sie on competitive outcomes, specifically investigating how scaling relationships influence the amount of wall area available for browsing by larvae, how this affects performance of different species, and whether it modifies interspecific competitive interactions. I will test whether these container size effects depend on container type (natural, human-made). I will also test for geographic variation in competitive ability of A. albopcitus and two common potential competitors. This knowledge will help identify the larval mosquito habitats which contribute to successful invasion of A. albopictus, and assist with control efforts seeking eradication of invasive mosquito populations. The research training program in this individual fellowship will prepare me for a career in vector control by giving me research skill, quantitative tools, and training in responsible conduct of research.