The Cator Lab

@ Imperial College London

Lauren Cator is a Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. She studies the behavior of disease transmitting mosquitoes. 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. If you are interested in working with Lauren please contact her: l.cator@imperial.ac.uk

 View Lauren's CV

 Follow Lauren/Lab Updates on Twitter

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!

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 (Samraat 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
Marie Russell is interested in how ecological factors influence the life history traits of mosquitoes, and how those traits might affect the potential of mosquitoes to transmit pathogens. Since Marie’s past experiences working with mosquitoes (in Atlanta, Georgia and Hilo, Hawaii) were primarily field-based, she also has an interest in optimizing mosquito surveillance methods. Marie’s previous position as a fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency allowed her to perform data analyses for a wide range of environmental topics including air pollution, combined sewer overflows, perfluorinated compounds, and non-targeted compounds. Marie’s favorite way of analyzing data is currently to use the “tidyverse” in R. In her free time, Marie enjoys Zumba and baking.

Claudia Wyer is a PhD student on the NERC-funded ‘Scientific Solutions for a Changing Planet’ Doctoral Training Partnership. In her past work she has investigated the role of microbiota load in the gut epithelial response in the malaria vector Anopheles coluzzi, and the functional characterisation of genes of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. The focus of Claudia’s current research is the genomic basis of sexual selection in Aedes aegypti 


Deraj Wilson-Aggarwal is interested in how the dynamics of swarming mosquitoes are formed from underlying mechanisms. In particular, Deraj’s PhD focuses on the acoustic interactions between swarming individuals and how this shapes mating success. Previously, Deraj completed an MSc in Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution at Imperial, giving him strong skills using programming techniques to answer ecological questions. Deraj’s PhD project is co-supervised by Dr Lorenzo Picinali (Dyson School of Engineering, Imperial).

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

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 worked with the Cator Lab from 2016-2019 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. See what Andy is up to here  

Masters Projects

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

Bethan Lang The effect of larval diet on male mating success in Aedes aegypti

Jo Clarke Methods in motion tracking for mosquito swarms

Jacob Cohen- The effect of individual variation on measurements of fecundity

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)