Thesis subject

Mosquito Flight in a turbulent Flow

Mosquitoes are world’s deadliest animals as they spread many deadly human diseases through biting. To reduce or prevent this biting, we need to properly understand the in-flight host search behaviour of mosquitoes.

Here, we propose studying host searching of malaria mosquitoes in the complex turbulent airflow conditions as found in the wild. For this, we will augment our existing experimental wind tunnel facility with turbulence generators, we will use our in-house high-speed videography system to track the flying mosquito’s body and wing kinematics. The study may help improve vector control strategies.

In this thesis, you will study the flight behaviour of mosquito in a wind tunnel. This study is part of a collaborative project between the Experimental Zoology Group, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Utrecht and the Laboratory of Entomology of the WUR.

By this thesis, you can help us to improve our understand of host searching behavior of mosquitoes and which in turn can save human lives.

The skills you will be using/learning are: experimental design, insect behaviour, working with live animals, 3D high speed video techniques, programming and statistics.

Something about me.

I am a physicist with interest in biological fluid mechanics and biomechanics. I am currently  interested in the study of mosquito flight dynamics in a turbulent flow to enhance our vector control strategies . The mosquito is regarded as the deadliest animals in the world; it is responsible for the spread of many deadly diseases such as malaria, Zika, dengue, chikungunya and West-Nile virus. Malaria alone is responsible for more than 400,000 annual deaths worldwide, primarily small children.  My present study aims to enhance the current understanding of the underlying physics of mosquito flight and host searching behavior of mosquitoes. This will help us to disrupt and potentially stop the spread of malaria and other mosquito borne diseases and in turn can save human lives.