Pest insects do enormous damage to human health (through transmission of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria) and to agriculture (through damage to crops or livestock). Our cross-disciplinary research programme explores ecological and genetic aspects of novel methods to control insect populations. We focus primarily on a transgenic variant of the Sterile Insect Technique, an area-wide method of biological pest control in which large numbers of sterile pest insects are released; these mate with wild insects, but no offspring result, so the population’s reproductive potential is reduced and numbers are suppressed.
Rob studied at the University of Glasgow, holding both an undergraduate degree in Zoology and an MSc in Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology. He joined Oxford’s Balliol college in 2015 as part of the Environmental Research DTP, and is researching the role of interspecific interactions in the mitigation of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.