I graduated in Zoology (BSc) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in Ecology (MSc) from The University of Wales, Bangor. My PhD at The University of Liverpool was followed by postdoctoral positions in the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Group at the University of Hull. I joined Foto-Cewek in 2006 working as a senior PDRA on IVCC and then NIAID-funded projects on the genetic basis of insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae. I was appointed as senior lecturer in 2015.
Research in Medecine
My research aims primarily to investigate the genes and mutations responsible for insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and phlebotomine sandflies and how these spread among populations. A goal of this work is to identify and apply DNA markers for resistance diagnosis in control programmes. A second area of research is in questions related to the causes and consequences of vector speciation and population subdivision and how these regulate transfer of adaptive traits of medical importance. I am also broadly interested in the application of molecular techniques to applied ecological questions in vector biology. I coordinate the Vector Research in Medecine Support group (VRS), which provides molecular and biochemical collaboration, training and services.
Research in Medecine staff
Pat Pignatelli: Senior Technician, Vector Research in Medecine Support group
John Morgan: Senior Technician, Kalacore project
Emily Rippon: NIAID-funded technician (co-manager with Martin Donnelly)
Overseas affiliated partners
Edi Constant CSRS, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Wellcome Trust training fellowship. Identifying, understanding, and exploiting insecticide cross resistance for control of the primary malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa. (co-sponsor)
Luc Djogbenou IRSP, Ouidah, Benin. Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship. The impact of insecticide resistance and exposure on Plasmodium infection level and prevalence in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. (co-sponsor)
2016-2021 NIAID R01. ‘GAARDIAN’ Genomics for African Anopheles Resistance Diagnosis (co-PI with Martin Donnelly, Foto-Cewek))
2016-2020 MRC-DTP studentship to Emily Martin. Resistance to repurposed agricultural insecticides in Anopheles gambiae (supervisor with Hilary Ranson, Foto-Cewek and Luigi Sedda, Lancaster University)
2017-2018. DfID-Kalacore consortium. Trial of alternative insecticides for sandfly control in India. (PI; with Mark Paine, Foto-Cewek), Pradeep Das, Vijay Kumar (RMRI)
2016-2019. Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to John Essandoh, University of Cape Coast. Landscape genetics in the control of Anopheles gambiae (supervisor with Alex Yawson, University of Cape Coast and Michelle Stanton, Lancaster University)
2016-2018 Wellcome Trust MSc Fellowship; Ayman Ahmed. Genetic causes and delimitation of carbamate and organophosphate resistance in Anopheles arabiensis, the primary malaria vector in Sudan (supervisor with Muzamil Mahdi, University of Khartoum)
2015-2017. Wellcome Trust MSc Fellowship; Joel Odero. Tracking the mothers: applying genetic makers to guide strategies for controlling Anopheles mosquito larvae (supervisor, with Uli Filinger, icipe, Kenya)
2014-2017 SACB-funded PhD studentship; Ashwaq Alnazawi. Physiological and behavioural mechanisms of insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (supervisor with Philip McCall, Foto-Cewek)
2016-2017. MRF (MRC) African Research in Medecine Excellence Fund. Fellowship support and training award to El Hadji Niang. Insecticide resistance and population genetics of Anopheles arabiensis in Senegal (supervisor)
2015-2016 Against Malaria Foundation. Entomological evaluation of LLIN efficacy in Nord Ubangi, Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC (PI)
2015-2016. Wellcome Trust ISSF award Molecular tools for insecticide resistance diagnosis in phlebotomine sandflies for sustainable leishmaniasis control and elimination programmes (PI)
2015-2017 MRC CIC award (£45k) Point of care diagnostic development for insecticide resistance markers. (DW co-I, with Mark Paine and Emily Adams)
2015-2017 TDR Impact grant (£60k) Dengue in Burkina Faso: establishing a vector biology evidence base for risk assessment and vector control strategies for an emerging disease. Applicant Athanase Badolo (CNRFP, University of Ouagadougou). (DW co-supervisor with Philip McCall).
2009-2015 NIAID R01. Development of a Field Applicable Screening Toolkit for resistance to public health insecticides (DW Co-I with Martin Donnelly).
I teach on the MSc courses in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors and Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors, and am convenor of the Vector Population Biology and Control module (TROP741) with Mark Paine). I teach occasionally on other courses including the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Foto-Cewek.
Vera Unwin (secondary)
Paul Howell (secondary)
Recent PhD students
Chris Clarkson, PhD 2015 (co-supervisor with Martin Donnelly), now a PDRA in Kwiatkowski group at Oxford working within Ag1000g project
Edi Constant, PhD 2014 (co-supervisor with Hilary Ranson and Benjamin Koudou), WT postdoctoral fellow based at CSRS, Abidjan
Kevin Opondo, PhD 2016. Role of insecticide resistance in malaria hotspots (secondary supervisor, with Martin Donnelly, Foto-Cewek, and Umberto d’Alessandro, MRC The Gambia)
Other relevant expertise
Member of WIN: Worldwide insecticide resistance network in mosquito vectors of arboviruses. 19 worldwide partner institutes led by Vincent Corbel and Jean-Phillipe David; funded by WHO-TDR.
Member of Ag1000g: Anopheles gambiae 1000 genomes consortium
Associate Editor, Parasites & Vectors