Erin Johnston



Research title: N/A

Research Summary

Hi my name is Erin and I'm a first year PhD student on the Wellcome Trust - Integrative Infection Biology programme. I am interested in studying neglected tropical diseases and improving their surveillance. My PhD focuses on xenosurveillance of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in the Philippines and Australia. 

JEV is a virus spread by Culex mosquitoes in Asia and Australia and can infect many different hosts, with each host species having a different impact on the transmission cycle. Xenosurveillance is disease surveillance that uses mosquito-based approaches for pathogens of human and veterinary approaches. I am applying mid-infrared spectroscopy and machine-learning methods (MIRS-ML) to determine host species of mosquito blood-meals in Australia and the Philippines. 

A brief summary of my three main objectives is illustrated below-

Infographic of PhD objectives

From this work I hope to answer

  • Which mosquitoes are circulating in my study sites?
  • What hosts they are feeding on?
  • What are the differences between sites?
  • Are areas at higher risk than others?

Additional Information


MSc One Health- Utrecht University

BSc (Hons) Veterinary Biosciences- University of Glasgow