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British mosquito ecology: investigating the role of ecological traits, invasion status, and environmental factors in determining the distribution and seasonality of insect vectors in the UK

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Mosquito-borne diseases cause substantial mortality and morbidity worldwide and are changing in distribution and impact due to globalisation and environmental change. Invasive mosquitoes have become widely established across Europe this century, with subsequent outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya virus. The aim of this project is to investigate the role of ecological traits, invasion status, and environmental factors in determining the distribution and seasonality of insect vectors in the UK. The student will test host preferences through the analysis of bloodmeals in wild mosquitoes and determining whether there is evidence that mosquitoes carry bird viruses in the UK. This project will involve the collection of field data on breeding sites, host surveys, PCR to determine species and blood-meal analysis.

The student will receive training in a number of ecological skills as well as some basic molecular biology skills:
• Mosquito biology
• Statistical analysis
• Disease vector ecology
• DNA extraction

Funding Notes

We have a thriving community of UK and International PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students of any nationality either able to fund their own studies or who wish to apply for their own funding.

Please note that there are no studentships being offered for this research area by the University of Reading.


Some recent papers:
Ortiz N, Callaghan A. Pond dyes are Culex mosquito oviposition attractants. PeerJ5:e3361. 2017.
Townroe, S. and Callaghan, A. (2015) Morphological and fecundity traits of Culex mosquitoes caught in gravid traps in urban and rural Berkshire, UK. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 105, 1-6.
Townroe, S. and Callaghan, A. (2014) British container breeding mosquitoes: The impact of urbanisation and climate change on community composition and phenology. PLOS One, 9 (4), e9532.

How good is research at University of Reading in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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