"Using population genomics to develop novel approaches to inferring demography in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes"
Mosquitoes of the Anopheles gambiae species complex are the primary vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, with the region home to 90% of annual malaria deaths globally. To effectively control these mosquitoes and therefore reduce the spread of the disease, a detailed understanding of their populations is required, with particular recent importance arising in the context of the spread of insecticide resistance genes and the future release of gene drive constructs into the wild. However, our understanding of the populations of these critical species is still severely limited.
My work, supervised by Prof. Austin Burt and Dr. Vassiliki Koufopanou, looks to utilise population genomic data from the Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genome Project (Ag1000G) to help improve our understanding of mosquito demography. I am currently working with the shared haplotypes surrounding rare variants in the genome to develop new quantifications of demographic parameters such as migration and population size.
I am funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Open Philanthropy, as part of the Target Malaria project. I am also a member of the NERC funded Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Programme (SSCP DTP) which is run through Imperial College London's Grantham Institute.