Photo by Floris van Breugel - Dickinson Lab

Onderwerp scriptie

Development and testing of a highly-efficient odour-baited mosquito trap

The mosquito is considered the most dangerous animal in the world because mosquitoes are vectors of many human pathogens such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika. The best way to reduce the spread of these diseases is to prevent mosquito biting via so-called vector control, and one novel and very promising way to achieve this is by using fan-powered, odour-baited traps to attract, capture and kill flying mosquitoes.

A recent study has shown that current trap designs are far from optimal because many mosquitoes are able to detect and avoid the air jets used for capturing them. To improve the current trap, a stepwise design approach is required, whereby different trap prototypes are compared by systematically testing their airflow characteristics and their mosquito capture performance in lab conditions.

We are looking for a student who will be interested in performing and analysing the mosquito flight experiments for this project. By filming flying mosquitoes around the different trap designs, you will study the flight behaviour of mosquitoes around the traps, and determine the attractiveness and capture efficiency of each trap.

You will work in an interdisciplinary design team, consisting of engineers and biologists, and your experimental results will be crucial input for improving the trap design. Finally, you will meet regularly with the design team to exchange information about simulations and experimental results, in order to optimize the mosquito trap designs.

This study is part of a collaborative project between the Experimental Zoology Group and the Laboratory of Entomology, and is supported by the de Vos Research Fund.

Examiner: prof.dr. Johan van Leeuwen
Supervisors: Florian Muijres
Antoine Cribellier
Contact: Florian Muijres (via contact form)
Antoine Cribellier
Credits: 24 or 36 ECTS
Begin date: 2018-01-01
Used skills: Basic knowledge of experimental design, biomechanics and/or insect behaviour
Requirements: Preferred knowledge (but discuss with supervisor): Functional Zoology (EZO-30806)