How do malaria mosquitos swarm and mate? The functional biology of mating swarms

Project Details

Layman's description

Anopheles mosquitoes are a genus of African mosquitoes that serve as the host of the Plasmodium parasite, mostly known for being the causative agent of malaria (Nkumama et al., 2017). Many efforts have been done globally to increase vector control and mosquito surveillance, yet malaria mosquitoes still cause > 400,000 human deaths each year (WHO, 2020). The understanding of mating behavior, one of the key behavioral patterns of mosquitoes, provides an insight into the complexity of mating systems and allows us to better understand the connection between mating and malaria transmission. In my PhD, I propose to study the complex dynamics of mating swarms by studying the biomechanics and behavioural ecology of mosquito swarms. To date, interactions between freely-flying mosquitoes within a swarm have never been quantified, and previously done studies on the subject matter have been suggested to bias due to the lack of an adequate tracking mechanism to visualize swarms. During my project, I aim to study swarming behaviour by using a 3D video tracking system. This research is part collaborative study on the behavioural, biomechanical, chemical and neurological aspects of swarming.
Effective start/end date15/11/22 → …