Project properties

Title Development and testing of a highly efficient odour-baited mosquito trap
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Antoine Cribellier, Jeroen Spitzen
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke or Johan van Leeuwen
Contact info,
Begin date 2018/01/01
End date
Description 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 a small team with various background 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 funded by the de Vos research fund.
Used skills Basic knowledge on experimental design of insect behaviour studies
Requirements For doing a BSc-thesis at Entomology, there are no requirements for specific courses.
For doing a MSc-thesis or internship at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
Note: these requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis or internship in the study programme of their specialisation.