Knowledge for a sustainable world

Gabriella Gibson

PhD student Frances Hawkes, studying at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), won first prize for 'best presentation' at the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's (RSTMH) 'Research in Progress' meeting on 14th December 2012.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for researchers with less than 5 years' experience to share their most recent scientific developments.

RSTMH promotes and advances the study, control and prevention of disease in humans and other animals in the tropics and plays a leading role in increasing awareness throughout the world of tropical medicine and international health issues.

Frances presented on the progress of her PhD in medical entomology, which she is currently doing with Gabriella Gibson and Steve Torr at NRI. Her research aims to help alleviate the suffering caused by malaria, by targeting the most important malaria vector, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

Through her PhD Frances has identified previously unreported behavioural responses of An. Gambiae to human host stimuli and used her results to design and test a new trap, which mimics some of the human characteristics mosquitoes are most attracted to.

Frances says: "I am really pleased to have such positive feedback for my PhD project. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow students and early career researchers from other disciplines and to hear the most recent research developments in malaria, neglected tropical diseases and other emerging health concerns."

The Natural Resources Institute has an expert multi-disciplinary team of sensory physiologists and insect behaviourists who continue to work alongside research partners, in the UK and Africa, to develop our understanding of mosquitoes and other disease vectors.

Link to Frances' first publication: