I lead a diverse group of health practitioners and research scientists whose collective goal is to prevent vector-borne disease, especially dengue, in north Queensland.
I am currently employed as a Professorial Research Fellow at the School James Cook University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitative Services (0.8 FTE). We have received two NHMRC grants to develop green “Lure and Kill” dengue control programs for North Queensland. Recently, we have been involved in a collaborative project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with Professor Scott O’Neill of Monash Un. that uses the bacterium Wolbachia to prevent the dengue vector Aedes aegypti from transmitting dengue viruses. This partnership has already developed a molecular method to estimate the age of individual mosquitoes, and demonstrated that the parasite can effectively work in the laboratory and in semi-field cages. We are currently evaluating open field releases of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in Cairns. I am also involved in new projects studying the potential impact of global warming on dengue in Australia, new pesticides for the control of Ae. aegypti and the development of novel mosquito traps for the detection of pathogens in mosquitoes and other disease vectors.
I am also employed as consultant Medical Entomology at the Tropical Regional Services (formerly Tropical Public Health Unit), the preventative health arm of Queensland Health in North Queensland Australia. There I have helped develop the world recognised Dengue Fever management Plan for north Queensland. I am currently 0.2 FTE consultant entomologist with QH.