The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Curran Atkinson in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Curran Atkinson is a senior Integrated Environmental Sciences major at Longwood University. His research focused on finding a way to reduce mosquito larvae populations in rainwater harvesting systems because they are responsible for spreading diseases. Rainwater harvesting systems are useful because they are an alternate source of water, so different techniques were looked at to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in these systems to prevent these systems from becoming a public health threat. Curran pursued an internship immediately after his freshman year with York County Mosquito Control. Then, during his sophomore year he “jumped on the opportunity to gain more experience” by participating in the summer PRISM research program working with Dr. Kathy Gee.

Curran’s favorite part of conducting this research was the fieldwork and exploring new places. Through this research, he has been able to “remain adaptable and resilient to changing conditions in the field and to fix equipment on the fly because you must plan for success but prepare for the worst.”

During his research experience, he also had the opportunity to work “with a research mentor to guide me professionally and personally through almost the entirety of my undergraduate career.” Curran also states that he is glad he developed a lifelong friendship with his research partner.

Curran has had many opportunities to present his research including presenting at the Network for Undergraduate Research in Virginia Conference, Virginia Mosquito Control Association Annual Conference, and the American Mosquito Control Association Annual Conference. Additionally, he has a manuscript that is pending submission for publication.

Upon graduation Curran will commission as a 2LT in the U.S. Army and then immediately attend graduate school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences for a Master’s of Science in Public Health. Then he will enter into active-duty as an Army Entomologist protecting the warfighter from vectors of disease.

Congratulations to Curran on his successful research!

If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or