Mr. James Pecor was the first civilian member of WRBU when he joined the team in 1981 as a Museum Specialist—serving in that position until his retirement in 2018—and currently maintains a position as a WRBU research collaborator. With over 30 publications and nearly as many field expeditions and training missions, Mr. Pecor is one of the most well-known experts in global mosquito research. His 1992 catalog of the mosquitoes of the subgenus Melanoconion is still considered the unrivaled authority for this group in Central and South America. When the invasive mosquito vector Aedes (Hul.) koreicus (Edwards, 1917) was first discovered in Belgium in 2012, it was Mr. Pecor who provided the definitive identification. Mr. Pecor’s contributions to mosquito taxonomy have even been immortalized after his assistance on a research project lead to the author formally naming a species after him, Aedes (Ken.) pecori Reinert, 1990.
Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to work in many different countries around the world, becoming a global expert in mosquito identification in the process. During his career, he oversaw valuable acquisitions such as the U.S. National Museum (USNM) purchase of the J. Pedro Duret mosquito collection—consisting of over 14,000 specimens representing over 50% of the known mosquito fauna in Central and South America. In addition, his fieldwork resulted in the collection, identification and curation of thousands of more mosquito specimens from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
Mr. Pecor has provided numerous training seminars on mosquito taxonomy, identification, and specimen preparation over his career. Since 1998, he has given annual lectures to students at the Uniformed Serviced University of Health Sciences (USUHS) and has also traveled abroad to provide training in countries such as Belize, Brazil, Panama, Singapore, Republic of Georgia, and Kenya. Mr. Pecor has contributed greatly to the institutional knowledge and capabilities of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the field of mosquito research.
Pecor JE, Mallampalli VL, Harbach RE, Peyton EL. Catalog and illustrated review of the subgenus Melanoconion of Culex (Diptera: Culicidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 1992; 27: 1-228.
Pecor JE, Harbach RE, Peyton EL, Roberts DR, Rejmankova E, Manguin S, Polanko J. Mosquito studies in Belize Central America: Records, taxonomic notes and a checklist of species. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 2002; 18: 241-276.
Pecor JE, Jones J, Turell MJ, Fernandez R, Carbajal R, O’Guinn M, Sardalis M, Watts D, Zyzak M, Calampa C, Klein TA. Annotated checklist of the mosquito species encountered during arboviral studies in Iquitos, Peru, (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 2000; 16: 210-218.