Complex interplay of mosquito-borne diseases, biodiversity and global changes
The Unit Entomology at the Biopedical Sciences department of ITM, aims to contribute to public health surveillance for control and elimination of vector-borne diseases (VBDs). During the next five years, the Unit Entomology will continue to significantly contribute to the academic triad at ITM, and particularly to the spearhead research on vector ecology, vector biology, and vector control:
The understanding of vector ecology is fundamental for successful vector surveillance, vector prevention and vector control. We are using a multi-disciplinary approach to study the interaction of vector species and the environment in different regions of the world, and with a special focus on climate change. We aim to show how climate change impacts VBDs and what role biodiversity (and its loss) plays for VBDs.
Our interdisciplinary research line on vector biology will generate a new understanding of the functional biology of larval competition, mating behaviour, arboviral infections, and provide crucial knowledge about the mechanisms that underlie the fecundity and vector competence of vector species.
Vector control is the applied part of our research portfolio and comprises trap development, development and assessment of biological, chemical and genetic vector control tools and the assessment of intervention studies. We test multiple approaches for vector control and test their usefulness for application, efficiency and social acceptance.
Speaker: Ruth Müller, Head of Entomology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine
Ruth Müller was trained in Biology at the University of Berlin and completed her PhD at the University of Bremen, Germany. After studying aquatic ecology and impacts of climate change on wildlife, she specialized in mosquito ecology, vector biology and fundamental and applied aspects of vector control. Her aim is to better understand the complex relationships between biodiversity, climate change and human health and to use this knowledge to protect environmental and human health. Ruth joined the ITM in 2018 as head of the unit (Medical) Entomology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and coordinates ITM’s insectary. Her interdisciplinary research includes multiple projects with partners from Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa.