Modelling the phenological effects of environmental drivers on mosquito abundance: implications for West Nile virus transmission potential in the UK

Ewing, David (2017) Modelling the phenological effects of environmental drivers on mosquito abundance: implications for West Nile virus transmission potential in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Mosquito-borne diseases cause substantial mortality and morbidity worldwide. These impacts are widely predicted to increase as temperatures warm, since mosquito biology and
disease ecology are strongly linked to temperature. However, direct evidence linking environmental change to changes in mosquito-borne disease is rare, and the ecological mechanisms that may underpin such changes are poorly understood. Environmental drivers, can have non-linear, opposing impacts on the demographic rates of different mosquito life cycle stages and on disease transmission processes. As such, model frameworks that explicitly incorporate the effects of temperature are required to predict seasonal mosquito abundance and the intensity and persistence of disease transmission under environmental fluctuations.

Chapter 2 develops a variable-delay delay differential equation (DDE) model to estimate seasonal abundance of each life stage of the West Nile virus (WNV) vector mosquito species,
Cx. pipiens, given temperature and photoperiod conditions experienced. The model highlights that the timing and intensity of warm periods can be more influential in shaping abundance patterns than average temperatures.

Chapter 3 presents an extensive body of fieldwork, which led to a high temporal resolution
seasonal abundance dataset of each life stage of Cx. pipiens.

Chapter 4 challenges assumptions of the DDE model from Chapter 2 in light of the seasonal
abundance data collected in Chapter 3. The importance of using appropriate, high temporal
resolution input temperature datasets is displayed.

Chapter 5 extends the DDE model from Chapter 4 to explicitly model WNV transmission
cycles between vectors and avian hosts. The disease model predicts that the current climate in the South of England is too cold to facilitate WNV outbreaks. However, given projected warming in the UK in coming decades it is predicted that WNV infection rates in mosquitoes will be consistent with the lower range of values observed during WNV outbreaks 2080 if virus introduction coincides with warm periods. The risk of these outbreaks is predicted to increase sharply with increases in human greenhouse gas emissions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Culex pipiens, mosquito, west nile virus, delay differential equation, mathematical model, climate change.
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics
Funder's Name: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Supervisor's Name: Cobbold, Dr. Christina A., Purse, Dr. Bethan V. and White, Dr. Steven M.
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr David A Ewing
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8450
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2017 13:52
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2018 12:16
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