The Cator Lab

@ Imperial College London

Lauren Cator is fascinated by watching animals behave and thinking about why they behave the way that they do.  She is particularly interested in the behavior of disease transmitting mosquitoes for two reasons: we know very little about them and the behavior of these animals has an enormous impact on human health.  In the past she has worked on several aspects of mosquito behavioral ecology both in the laboratory and in transmission sites in Tanzania, Thailand, Mexico, and India.

She moved to the Silwood Park Campus of Imperial College London in May of 2014.  She is currently writing grants and setting up mosquito colonies for projects.  If you are interested in working with Lauren please contact her: l.cator@imperial.ac.uk

 View Lauren's CV

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Researchers

Alima Qureshi's interests lie largely in how mosquitoes respond and interact with different parameters in the environment. She is looking forward to aiding in the technical side of the research by helping with behavioural experiments set up by the group. 
Alima likes to spend her spare time (what little she has of it!) going on outings with her husband and daughters, travelling and cooking -she loves all things food related, and spends a lot of time eating!

Post Docs

Dr. Andy Aldersley is (very broadly!) interested in how we can use data to learn about the natural world around us. Currently, his focus is on understanding the how, what, and why of acoustic signalling between mosquitoes. During his PhD at the University of Bristol, Andy spent a large part of his time developing methods to visualise and analyse auditory interactions between pairs and larger groups of mosquitoes, with a view to understanding how sound is used in pre-copulatory and swarm behaviours. He joined the Cator Lab in April 2016, working on a BBSRC project to investigate more deeply the role of acoustics in male mating success of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and how this fits in with our wider knowledge of their behavioural ecology.

PhD Students

Nichar Gregory is broadly interested in understanding the mechanistic processes that operate between ecological conditions and outcomes of health relevance. In past work, she has investigated trade-offs in health-related ecosystem services in Brazil, using a dung beetle-faecal parasite system, as well as the role of cockfighting in facilitating Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) transmission in Southeast Asia. Her current research in Malaysian Borneo explores the impacts of converting lowland tropical forest to oil palm plantation on vector-borne disease risk. She is particularly interested in understanding how mosquito ecology interacts with environmental change to influence risk parameters. More information about Nichar's research can be found here.

Nichar is co-advised with Rob Ewers (Imperial).  

Paul Huxley. My PhD focuses on the potential impacts of environmental change on vector-borne disease dynamics. Traditional epidemiological models tend not to account for vector biology or ecology. My work seeks to address this gap by investigating functional vector traits, and establishing the extent to which individual variation within populations is influenced by environmental factors, such as changes in temperature and diet. Trait variation may play an important role in determining the ability of mosquitoes, for example, to transmit potentially fatal diseases to humans and wildlife. These research areas are brought together by an overarching interest in contributing to our understanding of global environmental change, and its impacts on human and ecosystem health. I’m excited to work with my colleagues in this Lab, and my other supervisors in Life Sciences (Saraat Pawar) and the Grantham Institute and Public Health (Kris Murray). On the rare occasions that I'm not thinking about mosquitoes, I enjoy chasing a football, pretending I can cook, and attempting to communicate in Japanese using pantomime hand gestures

Mascot

Dr. Borlog Cator-Milner is originally from Geneva, NY. He has spent time "working" at Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University and currently can be found at Silwood Park (mostly the pub). His primary research interests include the effect of sleep deprivation on humans, optimal foraging theory, and rabbit location techniques. He also likes walks. 

Illustrious Alumni

2014-2015:

Masters Projects

Stefano Idugboe Effect of larval nutrition on adult male survival in Aedes aegypti

Zacharo Zanti Investigating the effect of larval diet on the acoustic signals of Aedes aegpyti

Undergraduate Projects

Sarah Warwicker Can we catch the yellow fever mosquito with yeast? (2015)

Dougal Rees A comparative laboratory study on the reaction of Aedes aegypti to different yeast species (2016)

Kirelle McManus The effect of diet on swarming behaviour in Aedes aegypti (2016)

Celia Lutrat  Indirect benefits in Aedes aegypti (2016)