These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Experts on today’s news…
Donna Friedsam on: Affordable Care Act
Donna A. Friedsam, an expert on health care financing, Meg Gaines, an expert on consumer health advocacy, and Justin Sydnor, an expert on health insurance markets, can comment on vote in Senate expected Tuesday on whether to take up health care reform. Republicans need 51 votes to proceed to the legislation, which would then be subjected to what is expected to be a lengthy amendment process.
Nancy Wong on: Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo
Nancy Wong, an expert on luxury marketing, can comment on Michael Kors buying Jimmy Choo for approximately $1.2 billion, adding the luxury shoemaker in an effort to boost its brand as its own handbag and accessories sales suffer.
"The mid-range (or 'masstige') brands are moving upmarket following the bifurcation of the retail landscape between luxe and affordable fast fashion," Wong says. "This acquisition will provide the Michael Kors brand with both cache and depth."
Patrick Liesch on: Mosquitoes
Patrick Liesch, an expert on insects, can talk about what makes some years worse for mosquitoes.
"One of the most important factors is precipitation, as water is needed for the development of mosquito larvae. In addition, we have approximately 60 different species of mosquitoes in Wisconsin and it turns out that not all mosquitoes are impacted the same by rainfall," Liesch says. "The 60 or so mosquito species also vary in their ability to vector diseases and willingness to bite humans, so high mosquito populations don't necessarily mean more cases of mosquito-borne disease in people. Given the time of the year, mosquito pressure is high in many parts of the state — especially in the northern parts. Interestingly, the mosquito biting pressure is somewhat lower in other parts of the state than I would have expected given the amount of rain we've had this year. Regardless, even a few persistent mosquitoes can be enough to zap the fun from outdoor summer activities.
His advice for being bugged less: Wear long-sleeved clothing, EPA-approved repellents such as DEET and picaridin, and avoid areas or times of the day with peak mosquito activity.
Matthew Lazzara on: Antarctic icebergs
Matthew Lazzara, head of the UW–Madison-based Antarctic Meteorological Research Center and Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program, can discuss a Delaware-sized hunk of the Antarctic ice sheet that has broken free and is floating in the Atlantic Ocean. Lazzara's research groups began tracking Antarctic icebergs from space and placing weather stations on icebergs after a series of major iceberg-calving events in 2000.