I have over 30 years experience of work on the behaviour, ecology of control vectors, with particular emphasis on tsetse flies and mosquitoes.
My initial training was in zoology (B.Sc, Royal Holloway College, 1980) and Applied Entomology (M.Sc, Imperial College, 1981). In 1981, I joined the Zimbabwe Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control Branch where I worked on the host-orientated behaviour of tsetse flies, and contributed to the development of odour-baited targets to attract and kill tsetse. My work on tsetse behaviour formed the basis of my PhD (University of London, 1987).
In 1986, I joined the UK government’s Tropical Development Research Institute (subsequently the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich) and was involved in the early large-scale use of baits to control tsetse in Zimbabwe and Somalia and led a Zimbabwe-based team (1991-1994) carrying out applied research to improve the cost-effectiveness of using odour-baited targets and insecticide-treated cattle to control tsetse.
In 1994, I returned to the UK where I led the development of NRI’s medical and veterinary entomology programme. Areas of research included: the use of DNA markers to assess the feeding patterns of tsetse, Stomoxys and mosquitoes; improved use of insecticide-treated cattle to control tsetse and malaria mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa; development of artificial baits to control species of tsetse which transmit Gambian sleeping sickness in Central and West Africa; analysis of the impact of large-scale tsetse control operations in Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and development of simulation models and decision support systems to assist in the design, implementation and monitoring of tsetse control operations.
In March 2013, I took up a joint position of Professor in Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and The University of Warwick. I am part of the Centre for Applied Health Research (CAHRD) at LSTM and Warwick Medical School.
I continue to work on basic and applied aspects of vector behaviour and ecology. My current interests include:- analysis of risk factors related to Rhodesian sleeping sickness in East and Southern Africa; assessment of the impact of insecticide-treated targets on tsetse populations in Kenya and Uganda; development and use of models to predict the costs and impact of tsetse control on Rhodesian and Gambian sleeping sickness; ovipostion behaviour ofAnopheles gambiae s.l. in Kenya and the host-orientated behaviour of the vectors of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Current projects and grants
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2011-2014. Targeting tsetse: use of targets to eliminate African sleeping sickness (co-Principal Investigator)
- MRC 2012-2105. Defining the biomedical, environmental and social risk factors for human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi; opportunities for prevention and control of an emerging zoonotic infection (co- Investigator)
- NIH 2010-2014. OviART - Oviposition Attractants Residual Larvicides and Traps (co- Investigator)
Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.
- I am the national co-ordinator of the Medical and Veterinary Entomology Special Interest Group of the Royal Entomological Society.