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MPhil/PhD Scholarship - Identification of chemical signals which modulate oviposition behaviour of the disease vector Aedes aegypti in urban environments

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Bray
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich is a leader in natural resources research, promoting efficient management and use of renewable natural resources in support of sustainable livelihoods. Research is primarily focused on developing and emerging economies. NRI’s presence and research partnerships in developing countries, and its training and capacity building programmes, provides the platform for the Institute to develop and disseminate key technologies and knowledge. This has resulted in substantial impact at farmer and community level, and has made significant contributions to the international research community. Much of the work also involves interaction with the developed world where it is equally applicable.

The Natural Resources Institute, on the University’s Medway campus, is aiming to recruit fully funded PhD bursaries to support the following key area of research in the Institute:

Project Description: The mosquito Aedes aegytpi transmits the etiologic agents of serious viral diseases, including Dengue and Zika, across South America. These viruses are passed from human to human through the blood-feeding behaviour of female A. aegypti. Protein from the blood is required for A. aegypti to produce eggs, which in urban environments are laid in small pools of water close to human habitation. Finding and eliminating oviposition sites is the major focus of Dengue and Zika control strategies in Brazil, with water tanks, discarded containers and plant pots all frequently encountered as containing larvae and pupae. Egg-laying A. aegypti are attracted to odours derived from infusions of plant material, which in natural habitats may indicate a suitable egg laying site containing bacteria on which larvae can feed. However, the extent to which analogous chemical cues are used to locate and choose oviposition sites in urban environments is not yet known. This information is essential to predicting where breeding sites are most likely to occur, and to develop new methods of attracting A. aegypti to oviposition traps, and away from people.

The work will comprise both chemical analysis and behavioural elements, using water odour samples and A. aegypti which have been collected from Brazil. It will build on the framework set out by the collaborative MRC-Newton grant awarded to Dr R. Hopkins at NRI and our collaborators at Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Brazil. There is the possibility to conduct some of the work in Brazil, to demonstrate the potential impact of the results in a field setting.

Funding Notes

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):
Year 1: £14,296 Year 2: In line with RCUK rate Year 3: In line with RCUK rate
In addition, the successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home/EU (£4,052) rate for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee of £8,029 for the 2016/17 session (the tuition fee is subject to an annual increase).


Making an application: Please read this information before making an application. Information on the application process is available at: Applications need to be made online via this link. No other form of application will be considered.
All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.
• Scholarship Reference Number (DTA-ES-01-16)– include in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying
• a research proposal related to the subject topic*
• a CV including 2 referees *
• academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *
*Attachments must be a PDF format and uploaded to the qualification section.
Before submitting your application you are encouraged to liaise with the Lead Supervisor on the details above.
Closing date for applications: midnight UTC on 12 July 2016
The scholarship must commence between 1 August 2016 and 30 September 2016. Therefore the Department would like the scholar to start on 1 September 2016.

How good is research at University of Greenwich in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.50

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

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