Evolution and ecology of malaria mosquito survival and other life-history traits

A seminar by Dr Francesco Baldini, University of Glasgow

Mosquito survival is the most important parameter that influences vectorial capacity, nevertheless the ecological bases of its variation and evolution in field populations remain mostly unexplored, mainly because we lack methods to accurately measure mosquito age. Dr Baldini will present his work aiming at understanding how survival and other life-history traits might evolve in response to vector control measures, and a new method to determine the age structure of field populations. Finally, he will discuss how the endosymbiont Wolbachia can interact with the mosquito host and alter its life-history traits and ultimately disease transmission ability.

Dr Baldini is a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. During his PhD in Medical Entomology in three international institutions (Harvard University, Perugia University, Imperial College London) he has investigated key molecular factors that contribute to malaria mosquito reproductive success. He also led the first identification of Wolbachia bacteria in Anopheles mosquitoes and determined the malaria mosquito reproductive microbiome. In October 2013 he joined the University of Glasgow where he is investigating the ecology and evolution of life-history trade-offs in Anopheles mosquitoes and their impact on Plasmodium parasite interactions and disease transmission. He is also interested in the development of novel mosquito surveillance tools.