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.
Tom completed his Master's in Ecology and Evolution at Imperial College London before joining the Mathematical Ecology Research Group at Oxford as a BBSRC iCASE DPhil student. His research will focus on modelling the efficacy and economics of transgenic release strategies designed to eliminate pest populations and / or manage resistance to insecticide-expressing crops.