Biosciences: Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: Optimising lures for fly monitoring and control
MSc by Research Scholarship in the field of: Biosciences and Chemical Ecology
Start date: April 2022
The housefly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), is one of the most important hygiene pests world-wide. Besides being a nuisance they also vector pathogens which may cause serious diseases in humans and animals. Houseflies’ frequent houses, stables, sewage works, landfill sites (waste tips), and food processing factories. Current control methods remain heavily dependent on the use of chemical insecticides; however, this is not a solution, especially where human and animal health are at risk. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that some fly populations have developed resistance to some chemicals.
Flies respond to a wide range of olfactory cues. Attractant compounds will allow for monitoring of the pest, mass trapping and for use in “lure and kill” pest control programmes. The current project focuses on the development of new lures composed of optimised blends of attractants. The focus will be on blends that act synergistically – reducing application rates and costs. The lures will be used for monitoring purposes but also for use in control programmes.
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40 credit award.