Dr Penny Hancock
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in Geospatial Modelling
I am interested in the ecology and evolution of mosquito-borne disease systems, with applications to mosquito control techniques. As part of the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team I am performing spatial analysis of the dynamics and spread of insecticide resistance in Anopheles mosquito vectors of malaria across Africa. This research interprets spatial datasets of insecticide resistance observations (representing phenotypic and genetic information) using a combination of geostatistical and machine learning approaches. The models are informed by a suite of environmental predictor variables.
I also research novel mosquito control strategies involving field releases of Wolbachia bacteria, aimed at Aedes mosquito species that vector the dengue and Zika viruses. I am developing mechanistic models of the spread of Wolbachia infections through field mosquito populations, focussing on representing patterns of spatial and demographic heterogeneity that occur in nature. Animations showing simulated patterns of spatial spread of Wolbachia following releases can be seen here: https://appliedecologistsblog.com/2019/07/10/the-amorphous-heterogeneous-spatial-spread-of-wolbachia/