Knowledge for a sustainable world

The interactions between climate-adapted rice agricultural systems and vector-borne disease.

Harrison’s research aims to understand what impacts climate-adapted rice cultivation, called The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), may have on Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria, with respect to their ecology and biology.

Water in rice fields can provide aquatic habitats for these mosquitoes, and this project will focus on exploring the abiotic and biotic factors that may make SRI more or less suitable for the development of malaria mosquitoes.

In malaria endemic countries such as Tanzania, where field research will take place, rice cultivation has already been linked to ecological changes in vector populations, however the impact on malaria burden is unclear. Tanzania has and plans to continue increasing rice production to meet a growing consumer demand. Climate adapted practices such as SRI are being promoted to rice farmers in efforts to increase yields per unit area, while saving water and reducing agricultural inputs.

This research will help to inform agricultural practice in ways that mitigate increased production of mosquitoes, especially in resource-poor communities that depend on rice as a commodity but may be disproportionately affected by malaria.

Primary Supervisor: Frances Hawkes
Secondary Supervisor(s): Richard J Hopkins, Dr Ladslaus Mnyone (External)

Harrison Lambert enrolled at the NRI on a PhD programme in January 2020 where they now study full-time. Previously they studied a Biology undergraduate degree with the University of Greenwich and NRI, achieving a first class honours and receiving two awards for academic performance.

Harrison comes from England, and grew up in Medway, where the NRI is based.

Harrison’s research interests are primarily focussed on the ecology of human disease vectors, how human activity may impact them, and how we can control them.

  • Winner of the 2018 Top Student Award from the Royal Society of Biology for achieving the highest performance in undergraduate study
  • Winner of the Microbiology Society’s 2017 award for Best Student Performance in the second year of undergraduate study
  • Member of the Royal Entomological Society
  • Member of the British Ecological Society
  • Associate Member of the Royal Society of Biology
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