Diné researcher helps develop synthetic food for mosquitoes
Growing up, Kristina Gonzales-Wartz didn’t expect that one day she would be a scientist.
She played volleyball and expected to become either an athletic trainer or physical therapist.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be a scientist but I was always interested in science,” she said. “It was just the excitement of science.”
As a student at Red Mesa High School, she took all the science classes she could — which was only one.
“We didn’t really have a lot of science classes,” Gonzales-Wartz remembered.
“The only class we had was biology and I was in advanced placement. I looked forward to that class. It was the only one that was different from math and English.”
She recently helped to create “SkitoSnack,” an artificial blood meal replacement that feeds mosquitos.
This is important for scientists who do research on mosquito-borne diseases or those who study the physiology of mosquitos, like the lab Gonzales-Wartz worked in as an intern.