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MSc thesis subject: Suitability modelling for current and future spatial explicit conditions for Asian Tiger Mosquitos (Aedes albopictus) in the Netherlands

Over the last years, the occurrence of Aedes albopictus has globally strongly expanded, mainly as a result of by human activities, in particular the movement of used tyres and ‘lucky bamboo’. Together with passive import by public and private transport, these have resulted in a widespread global distribution of this species.

Aedes albopictus feeds on a wide range of hosts. It is also known to be a as a biting nuisance, which has the potential to become a serious health threat as a vector of zoonotic pathogens to humans. This mosquito species is a known vector of different viruses, which affecting human health.

Seasonal abundance dependents on temperature and the availability of food and water in a geographical area. Higher temperatures during the season, speed up larval development, resulting in an increasing adult populations, the autumnal development of immatures and consequently the rates of egg that can overwinter, influence the occurrence over the years.

In the past years, the introductions of Aedes albopictus in the Netherlands have been reported. Little is with certainty known if the species can overwinter over the years, and in which degree the species is capable to form a viable populations in all the areas in the Netherlands.

In this study, you’ll examine the climatic conditions for Aedes albopictus to be able to overwinter and to survive in the Netherlands.

Objectives

  • Review literature on the spatial occurrence of Aedes albopictus and environmental features of importance for suitability models
  • Development of methodology for climatic data acquisition for suitability models
  • Create a spatial explicit probability model for possible suitable areas of Aedes albopictus Validate the seasonal climate differences on the possible occurrence of Aedes albopictus

Literature

Requirements

  • Affinity with entomology
  • Able to perdorm a structured spatial analysis

Theme(s): Modelling & visualisation