Mosquito transmitted pathogens have an enormous impact of human health. A substantial amount of funding and resources are being spent to control the transmission of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. In many ways this investment is paying off. Innovative and exciting new strategies and technologies have been developed to help combat these plagues.
The next challenge we face is implementing these new tools effectively and sustainably to start to make a real impact on disease transmission. One of the key challenges to implementation of many of these new strategies is that we don't actually know very much about what mosquitoes actually do in the real world.
My research aims to improve understanding of mosquito behavior and how behavior mediates interactions with other organisms, the parasites that they transmit, and the dynamic world that they live in. Current areas of research fall under two broad categories: the feeding behaviors of infected mosquitoes and mosquito mating behavior in aerial swarms.
Cator LJ, Zacharo Z, Size, sounds, and sex: interactions between body size and harmonic convergence signals determine mating success in Aedes aegypti, Parasites & Vectors, ISSN:1756-3305
Cator L, 2017, Malaria Altering Host Attractiveness and Mosquito Feeding, Trends in Parasitology, Vol:33, ISSN:1471-4922, Pages:338-339
Cator LJ, 2017, Host attractiveness and malaria transmission to mosquitoes, Journal of Infectious Diseases, ISSN:1537-6613
Murdock CC, Luckhart S, Cator LJ, 2017, Immunity, host physiology, and behaviour in infected vectors, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Vol:20, ISSN:2214-5745, Pages:28-33
et al., 2014, Alterations in mosquito behaviour by malaria parasites: potential impact on force of infection, Malaria Journal, Vol:13, ISSN:1475-2875, Pages:164-164