Dr Nigel Beebe
My laboratory seeks to improve our understanding of mosquitoes and their role in mosquito-borne disease. Utilising strong collaborative links into the field, we integrate traditional entomological procedures with molecular genetics and informatics-based technologies to deliver new insights into vector biology and ecology. We try to answer fundamental questions including how are species identified, which mosquito species transmit disease pathogens, where they exist and why they are there, as well as how populations connect and move.
This research includes molecular genetic studies that identify morphologically cryptic mosquito species groups and distinguishing vector species from the many non-vector species. Our studies on the molecular evolution, distribution and population genetics of mosquitoes reveal insights into mosquito biology, ecology and movement, while computer-based spatial analysis methods applied to this data are enabling a better understanding of the environmental factors that influence mosquito distribution and movement, and pathogen transmission.
Driven by collaboration between UQ-School of Biological Sciences and CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, my lab also seeks to understand vector-borne disease in light of global change and to determine how disease risks to humans and animals may be reduced. Our work is becoming increasingly significant in terms of regional biosecurity and public health. It's an exciting time to work in vector biology, not only a critical growth area in terms of those projected outcomes of climate change, population movement (of humans and other organisms), and Australia's relationship with other countries in our region - but also as a discipline well placed to embrace innovative approaches to some of our most pressing local and regional questions.
Beebe NW, Ambrose L, Hill LA, Davis JB, Hapgood G, Cooper RD, Russell R, Ritchie SA, Reimer LJ,, Lobo N, Syafruddin D and van den Hurk AF. (2013). Tracing the tiger: population genetics provides valuable insights into the Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus invasion of the Australasian region. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 8;7 (8): e2361. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002361.
Ambrose L, Riginos C, Cooper RD, Beebe NW (2012). Population structure, mitochondrial polyphyly and the repeated loss of human biting ability in anopheline mosquitoes from the southwest Pacific. Mol. Ecol. 21: 4327-4343.
Alquezar D, Hemmenter S. Cooper RD, Beebe NW (2010). Incomplete concerted evolution and reproductive isolation at the rDNA locus uncovers nine cryptic species within Anopheles longirostris from Papua New Guinea. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 392.
Beebe NW, Cooper RD, Mottram P, Sweeney AW (2009). Australia's dengue risk driven by human adaptation to climate change. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 3: e429.
Bower JE, Cooper RD, Beebe NW (2009). Internal repetition and intraindividual variation in the rDNA ITS1 of the Anopheles punctulatus group (Diptera: Culicidae): multiple units and rates of turnover. J. Mol. Evol. 68: 66-79.