Knowledge for a sustainable world

Plant Feeding Patterns of Mosquitoes – The Ingestion and Fate of Sugars and Secondary Plant Metabolites in Vector Mosquitoes

What do mosquitoes do when we are not looking? This was the question that Louise asked herself when she first set out to study some of our more dominant vector mosquitoes. With a background in insect ecology, she found her niche studying mosquito plant feeding, a field generally overshadowed by the blood feeding habits that this insect is best known for.

To better understand the plant feeding behaviours of mosquitoes, Louise is investigating the ingestion and fate of plant meal components that are acquired by mosquitoes as they seek a quick energy source between blood meals. By knowing where and when a plant meal has been acquired, the hope is that more targeted and holistic control measures can be developed on the local level, to interrupt the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Her research has been carried out in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développment in Burkina Faso, and Kew Gardens in the UK.

Primary Supervisor: Richard J Hopkins
Secondary Supervisor(s): Gabriella Gibson

Louise Malmgren joined the University of Greenwich in 2015. She previously studied Biology and Insect Ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Raised in a world of music and arts in Sweden, Louise chose science over the Stockholm Concert Hall. Her studies in biology led her to investigate mosquito sugar source preferences in Burkina Faso as a part of her Master’s thesis, and eventually to apply for a full-time position as a postgraduate research student at the Natural Resources Institute. She is now in the process of wrapping up her PhD research for submission and publication.

During her studies, Louise has also worked on various entomological research projects as a research technician, mainly focusing on Lepidopteran and Dipteran crop pests.

Academic qualifications from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences:

  • BSc in Science, major in Biology
  • MSc in Science, major in Biology

Alumnus of the Doctoral Training Association.

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