Track 12: Predictors of tipping points of mosquito populations in a changing world
Peter van Bodegom (LU)
Peter van Bodegom (LU); Maarten Schrama (LU)
Leiden University Institute for environmental sciences/Naturalis
Description PhD project
I studied evolutionary and molecular biology in Leiden. During my leisure time, I like to read non-fiction books regarding science and history, visit museums, and play a wide variety of card, board and videogames.
During my Bachelors, I specialised in molecular biology and worked on the underlying molecular mechanisms of orchid flower and fruit development at Naturalis Biodiversity Centre. For my Masters, I specialised in evolutionary biology. For my first research project I worked on the effects of land use and stressors on mosquito population structure (eDNA and adult trapping) and dynamics (mesocosm experiment) in Kruger National Park, South Africa. During this project I gained the nickname “the human petri dish” because I got both tick-bite fever and dengue.
For my second research project, I developed a new method to make next-generation sequencing quantitative, in order to recover the pre-PCR distribution of template DNA to allow for example eDNA to detect the relative abundance of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes, hosts and pathogens have been interlocked in an ecological-evolutionary struggle for survival, which has shaped our history, environment and biology. This trinity is why I applied for this PhD position, I aim to understand and predict the complex and dynamic interaction among the mosquito-land use-climate axis under different scenarios up to the 22nd century.