Investigating the ecological role of malaria mosquitoes

Talya D. Hackett,  Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research,  2024.

A team of entomologists and ecologists at the University of Ghana have been working with colleagues from the University of Oxford and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph on a groundbreaking project to investigate the potential ecological consequences of reducing the population of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. This research is a key part of our work at Target Malaria, a not-for-profit research consortium whose aim is to develop new tools to reduce malaria transmission.

The “ecological observatory project” studies the ecological interactions between An.gambiae and other species in the local ecosystem, including its larval competitors and predators, adult predators, and plant species that it might visit for sugar meals. By collecting data on the community ecology surrounding these mosquitoes, we can predict the effect, if any, that reducing their numbers could have on the ecosystem.

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