Date of release: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dr Gay GibsonThe much maligned mosquito comes under the microscope in a public lecture at the University of Greenwich.

In The Love Songs of Mosquitoes: the Beauty in the Mini-beast!, Dr Gay Gibson from the university’s Natural Resources Institute will reveal a series of little-known facts, such as how the whine of a hungry mosquito doubles up as a highly effective mating call.

“Mosquitoes are responsible for over a million deaths per year – just one species of mosquito kills more people than any other animal in the world,” she says. “Yet their complex mechanisms enable them to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. For example, as tiny as they are, mosquito eyes are at least 100 times more sensitive to light than ours, which helps them find us in the dead of night.'

The public lecture, part of the Faculty of Engineering & Science series, takes place on Wednesday 19 February in the Pembroke Building, Medway Campus, from 6.30pm. Admission is by registration only, with places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr Gibson, an expert in mosquito sensory behaviour, is a Reader in Medical Entomology at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and is Acting Head of the Pest Behaviour Research Group. Her research aims to discover how disease-transmitting insects find their blood-hosts, and how scientists can find new ways of reducing their populations and controlling the spread of the diseases they cause.

Her work on tsetse fly and mosquito behaviour, including studies of how their behaviour is guided by visual, auditory and other stimuli, has been widely published.

To register, or for further information about other lectures in the series, email science-public-lectures@gre.ac.uk or call 020 8331 9800.

The Faculty of Engineering & Science public lecture series continues on

Wednesday 19 March when food scientist Dr Nazanin Zand examines healthy eating in Averting the Recipe for Disaster: Early Feeding and Health.

Story by Public Relations