Climate impact on mosquito behaviour

Mosquitoes put half of the world’s human population at risk for the diseases they transmit. Due to their socio-economic importance, it is of high importance that we understand how behaviours related to the vectorial capacity of these insects will be affected in the Anthropocene epoch. The capacity of mosquitoes to transmit disease is intimately linked to nectar and blood feeding. Greenhouse gases may alter the natural odours emanating from flowers and vertebrate hosts, by changing the composition as well the release rates of individual odorants from these resources. In my project, I will investigate how mosquitoes perceive these odours and discriminate among resources, and how such changes may affect the vectorial capacity. I will achieve this by imitating predicted elevated levels of greenhouse gases and assess how this affects the behavioural phenotype and the underlying molecular and neurophysiological mechanisms.

Doctoral Researcher: Sukritha Nalikkaramal (SLU)

Supervision: Dr Rickard Ignell (SLU), Dr Sharon Rose Hill (SLU) and Dr Silke Sachse (MPI-CE)

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