The sensitivity of disease vectors to temperature

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs), such as malaria, dengue and Zika, constitute a large portion of human global disease burden. Furthermore, vector-borne plant diseases may threaten food security.

Understanding how ecological factors influence vector density is important to predicting and controlling VBD transmission and outbreaks, especially under climate change.

For my masters research project, I used a novel, mechanistic model of disease vector population density to study the thermal sensitivity of vectors and the sensitivity of the thermal niche to trait variation. In particular, I looked at the impact of thermal mismatches between different vector life stages.

This project was carried out at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Dr Samraat Pawar and Dr Lauren Cator.