I am Associate Professor at the Laboratory of Entomology of Wageningen University, The Netherlands. I am trained as a biologist and have a special interest in the ecology and control of vector-borne diseases. I work on a diverse range of topics (malaria, Zika, tick-borne encephalitis, and Schmallenberg), but my main aims are to understand disease transmission risk by blood-feeding arthropods, including its mechanisms, as well as to develop alternative, non-insecticide based tools for disease control. To this end, I actively promote a One Health Entomology approach, which also encompasses research projects with the social sciences. Within my research program, societal themes include emerging infectious diseases, climate change, and the role of biodiversity. I collaborates with numerous national and international partners, both at governmental (e.g. National Malaria Control Program) and non-governmental level (e.g. Médécins Sans Frontiers). My research is funded through EU-Horizon2020 (ZIKAlliance, Infravec2), NWO (ZonMw), Wageningen University and NGOs.
Mosquitoes as auxiliary troops in disease prevention
Some researchers not only have a lot of knowledge, but also the necessary imagination. For example, to be able to consider a mosquito as a flying injection needle with a predictable value for the outbreak of diseases. Far-fetched? On the contrary: researcher Sander Koenraadt and his team wanted to start actual work on this after they accidently discovered how you can catch mosquitoes that had recently bitten someone.