Modelling to Optimize Vector Elimination: Destabilising mosquito populations

Close-up of Anopheles mosquito

Public health attempts to control vector populations often result in its decline but unexpected evolutionary and ecological changes might undermine control efforts. This EU-funded project, led by Dr Mafalda Viana, focuses on integrating scientific advances in ecological studies, medical entomology and public health efforts to model how interventions impact mosquito populations.

Through developing an understanding of how different approaches impact mosquito populations, this €1.6 million research project will help us understand how interventions can best be deployed and combined to sustainably suppress mosquito populations. 

As a quantitative ecologist, Dr Viana will work closely with medical entomologists and public health scientists, to develop and apply sophisticated state-space models to longitudinal vector surveillance data from five malaria endemic countries. Dr Viana's will examine how interventions impact vector: 1) population regulation, 2) metapopulation connectivity and persistence, and 3) community composition.

This unprecedented demographic dissection of vector populations will simultaneously challenge ecological theory and explore how to harness intra- and inter-specific processes in vector populations to accelerate 'end-game' strategies that move from vector control to elimination.

First published: 22 January 2021