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Maisie Vollans

Mathematical Ecologist

My main research interest is how we can use our knowledge of vector (e.g. mosquito) behavioural ecology to prevent the spread of disease. In lots of cases, diseases spread by vectors (e.g. malaria spread by mosquitoes) have no vaccine, cure, or specific treatment. Because of this, to decrease the burden of disease, we rely on vector control methods, which reduce the vector population size. Knowing more about how vectors interact with their environment, and what impact this has on vector populations, allows us to model the efficacy of different vector control methods more accurately. In my PhD, I am using theoretical mathematical models to learn more about mating between different Aedes mosquito species, and how it impacts Aedes populations under a particular type of vector control programme. I did my undergraduate degree in Biology, so I have learnt to form and analyse theoretical models during my PhD, which I have really enjoyed. In my next project, I plan to do some experimental work to understand more about the mating behaviour in Aedes mosquitoes. The results of these experiments can then be used to inform further theoretical work.