Developing a sustainable 'lure-and-kill' control system for disease-carrying sandflies


3 Year Industry-led Funded Phd: Ref. No. CGE52

This doctoral project is about developing a biorational “attract-and-kill” product for controlling sandflies. Leishmaniasis, a fatal or disfiguring parasitic disease of humans and animals in the tropics and sub-tropics, is transmitted by blood-feeding insects. It affects the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. There is no vaccine and therapeutic drugs are expensive and have unpleasant side effects. Disease control therefore relies on insecticides but their sporadic use is ineffective and environmentally damaging.

The product will be capable of delivering a reduction in sandfly numbers and human and animal disease. At the same time the product will reduce the widespread environmental spraying of insecticide and this will deliver significant environmental benefits. The use of insect attractants to monitor and control insects as a part of integrated pest management programs is widespread in the agricultural sector where they contribute significantly to reduction or elimination of insecticide use.

Applicants, who should have a degree in chemistry and/or biology, would identify attractants for sand flies from plants, combine them in a controlled release device with insecticide and test them as a “lure-and-kill” device in laboratory and different field experiments.

Industry Partner

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and Russell IPM Limited. Russell IPM is a leading manufacturer of pheromone-based monitoring and control systems in the UK and largest in Europe. It has developed over 150 insect pheromone lures and bio-rational pesticides for controlling insect pests. The company has been awarded Queens Award for innovation and international trade in 2012 and 2011.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth £4,195/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year). See published rates by year of entry
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

Application details

This project has been recruited.