Imperial College London

Miss Nilani Chandradeva

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Postgraduate







Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am a PhD student interested in the behaviour and biology of mosquitoes and disease ecology surrounding pathogen transmission.

I am in the second year of the 4-year PhD programme in Epidemiology, Evolution & Control of Infectious Diseases in the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Diseases Analysis and have been awarded a studentship by the School of Public Health.

My PhD is supervised by a team of mathematical modellers, vector ecologists and clinical epidemiologists: Prof. Tom Churcher, Dr Ellie Sherrard-Smith, Dr Joe Challenger, Dr Anna Last (LSHTM) & Dr Hannah Slater (PATH). I am interested in using mathematical models to understand how residual malaria transmission (transmission which persists despite vector control interventions being at their maximum coverage) can be reduced using novel control strategies, for example, ivermectin and spatial repellents. The effectiveness of these strategies is likely highly dependent on the behaviour of the local mosquito population. We can predict the impact of these strategies using mathematical models which capture the local entomological and epidemiological context surrounding malaria transmission. I will validate my models against novel data from randomised control trials and then use them to predict the impact of ivermectin in real-world settings.

During the MRes year of my PhD programme, I did two rotations. My first rotation was supervised by Dr Nuno Faria and Dr Ilaria Dorigatti. I worked on characterising the transmission dynamics of arbovirus outbreaks in Brazil by unifying epidemiological, ecological and genomic data. I used a combination of classical modelling techniques, epidemiological analyses and a range of Bayesian phylodynamic and phylogeographic models. My second rotation was supervised by Dr Katy Gaythorpe (co-supervisor: Prof. Neil Ferguson). We used historical serological data on yellow fever virus from South America to estimate the transmission potential of this arbovirus during the pre-vaccination era. This analysis will provide useful information on the baseline transmission dynamics of the pathogen. 


Prior to starting the PhD programme, I thoroughly enjoyed a one-year research assistant position in the department’s Malaria Modelling Group. I worked with Prof. Tom Churcher, Dr. Ellie Sherrard-Smith and Dr Patrick Walker as part of the modelling team for a project led by the Innovative Vector Control Consortium to predict the impact of novel vector control tools against malaria in the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on Papua New Guinea (Indo-Pacific initiative NATNAT project). I primarily worked on characterising the feeding behaviour of the dominant vector species of malaria in Papua New Guinea and advancing a model to estimate net usage. This research involved collaboration with a number of academic institutions across the globe and control programme teams in Papua New Guinea. Our work is being used to contextualise a malaria transmission model for Papua New Guinea and advise on a number of vector control approaches.

I have an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Biology from Imperial. I completed a one-year Erasmus placement at the University of Valencia, where I worked in a marine parasitology lab on parasitic lungworms infecting striped dolphins (publications listed below). 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

de Souza WM, de Lima STS, Simões Mello LM, et al., 2023, Spatiotemporal dynamics and recurrence of chikungunya virus in Brazil: an epidemiological study, The Lancet Microbe, Vol:4, ISSN:2666-5247, Pages:e319-e329

Pool R, Fernández M, Chandradeva N, et al., 2020, The taxonomic status of Skrjabinalius guevarai Gallego & Selva, 1979 (Nematoda: Pseudaliidae) and the synonymy of Skrjabinalius Delyamure, 1942 and Halocercus Baylis & Daubney, 1925, Systematic Parasitology, Vol:97, ISSN:0165-5752, Pages:389-401

Pool R, Chandradeva N, Gkafas G, et al., 2020, Transmission and Predictors of Burden of Lungworms of the Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) in the Western Mediterranean, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Vol:56, ISSN:0090-3558, Pages:186-191

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