• Vector Biology & Ecotoxicology

Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, Asian bush mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus and others

Socio-ecology of mosquito-borne diseases and vector control


  • Mosquito-borne Diseases

Climatic & socio-economic drivers for dengue and malaria incidence


Ecology & ecotoxicology of The Asian tiger mosquito

According to the Global Invasive Species Database the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus belongs to the one hundred worst invasive alien species of the world. Nowadays, the species is distributed over all continents except of Australia and Antarctica. The Asian tiger mosquito aggressively bites humans during the day. During the bloodmeal, human pathogens such as dengue, chikungunya and most probably zika viruses can be transmitted to humans and may cause infectious diseases. For most of Aedes-transmitted pathogens, vaccination does not exist or is not 100% effective.

Preventive measures such as individual exposure prophylaxis (long-sleeve clothing, mosquito repellents, mosquito nets) and destroying of mosquito breeding grounds are essential to reduce disease burden from mosquitoes. If the population density of mosquitoes is high in a given locality and mosquito-borne diseases are monitored, pest control measures with larvicides and adulticides become necessary. There is still a great need for research on the vector biology and ecotoxicology of A. albopictus to better adjust preventive measures and vector control strategies.

In this framework we extensively study the vector biology

> food and thermal preferences, competition, cold tolerance, morphology, metabolism, epigenetics

and vector ecotoxicology

> biological and chemical insecticides and their efficiencies at different temperatures, development of insecticide tolerances

of A. albopictus since 2010. Our aim is to understand the species´ population dynamics in different climates and the detailed mechanisms behind spatially and seasonally differing efficiencies of vector control measures. Our research has been supported by the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt and the Goethe University and funded by the research funding programmes “LOEWE-Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” of Hesse’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Ecology & ecotoxicology of The Asian Bush mosquito

The Asian bush mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus is an invasive species which became established in Europe during the last decades. Its rapid spread within Germany and its potential to become the dominant species among container mosquitoes may force us to combat the species in the near future to prevent nuisance and pathogen transmission. Within the projects AJAPII and PEST-MOST we study the species´ ecology and the effects of insecticides and essential oils on its oviposition in the field and in combination with temperature on its larval performance in lab experiments.

Our research on Aedes japonicus is a joint project between our department, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt, Geisenheim University, and The Institute for Social-Ecological Research. The research is funded by the Hessian Centre on Climate Change (FZK) of the Hessian Agency for Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG) and the Rhineland-Palatinate Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Impacts.

Global change, Vector distribution and dengue & malaria incidence

data source:  ICIMOD , map author: Ruth Müller

data source: ICIMOD, map author: Ruth Müller

We jointly elaborate the changes of mosquito distribution in the Himalaya Hindu Kush region and explore climatic and socio-economic main drivers for mosquito abundance and incidence of mosquito-borne diseases. Therefore the Ruth Müller Lab, the neighbour department Tropical Medicine and Public Health headed by Dr. Kuch as well as our institute director Prof. Dr. Dr. Groneberg work in close collaboration with the Nepal Health Research Council.


In addition, international expertise is applied on global changes and their implications for mosquito-borne diseases. Furthermore, old questions in malaria research such as the usefulness of zooprophylaxis are approached on a big data scale. Our department, the neighbour department Tropical Medicine and Public Health as well as our institute director Prof. Dr. Dr. Groneberg closely collaborate with Indonesian researchers from Syiah Kuala University (Banda Aceh), Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology (Jakarta) and Sriwijaya University (South Sumatra Province).

Socio-ecoLogy of mosquito-borne diseases and vector control

Our evaluation of the knowledge and attitude about mosquito-borne illnesses and their prevention and control in the private and public health sector and the practice and social acceptance of different preventive and control measures against Aedes japonicus (Germany) and Aedes albopictus (Nepal) may support decision-making processes. Here we work in close collaboration with The Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Queen Mary University of London and the Nepal Health Research Council.

Household survey in Nepal

Household survey in Nepal