My main area of research involves developing mathematical models of mosquito populations that transmit human diseases, and investigating how they respond to disease control strategies. As part of my work with the Target Malaria project, I am modelling releases of genetically engineered transgenes into populations of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes that transmit malaria. This work looks at the spread dynamics of the transgene in wild mosquito populations and how this can act to reduce malaria prevalence in humans. I am particularly interested in how natural mosquito ecology affects these dynamics.
A related aspect of this research involves modelling the release and spread of Wolbachia bacteria in Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that transmit the dengue virus. I have used field cage experiments to develop models that take into account the impacts of density dependent demographic rates in Ae. aegypti on the spatial spread of Wolbachia throughout natural mosquito populations.
Since my doctoral training at the Australian National University I have continued researching spatial statistics, and have applied these techniques to develop maps describing the geographic distribution of insecticide resistance in African Anopheles malaria vectors. I have combined spatial statistics with machine learning approaches to quantify patterns of geographic spread of resistance to pyrethroids, the main insecticide used in long-lasting insecticidal bednets (LLINs). We are now adapting these models to investigate the spread of genetic variants that underlie pyrethroid resistance across different regions of Africa.
et al., 2021, A participatory modelling approach for investigating the spread of COVID-19 in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region to support public health decision-making, Bmj Global Health, Vol:6, ISSN:2059-7908, Pages:1-7
et al., 2020, Global estimation of anti-malarial drug effectiveness for the treatment of uncomplicatedPlasmodium falciparummalaria 1991-2019, Malaria Journal, Vol:19
et al., 2020, Mapping trends in insecticide resistance phenotypes in African malaria vectors, Plos Biology, Vol:18, ISSN:1544-9173, Pages:1-23
et al., 2019, Predicting the spatial dynamics of Wolbachia infections in Aedes aegypti arbovirus vector populations in heterogeneous landscapes, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol:56, ISSN:0021-8901, Pages:1674-1686