Dr Eric Lucas

Post Doctoral Research Associate

Eric received a BA in Natural Sciences (specialising in Zoology) from Cambridge in 2003.

He started a PhD on the evolution of sociality in wasps at UCL in 2005, moving to the University of Sussex in 2007 and obtaining his PhD in 2009. After this,Eric moved to the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, for a PostDoc investigating the transcriptional basis of ageing and lifespan in ants.

He came to LSTM in 2016 to study the evolutionary genomics of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes Eric's work on insecticide resistance focuses on two main aspects. The first aims to understand the importance of gene duplication, and its association with insecticide resistance. Genome-wide analysis have shown that duplications have played an important role in the evolution of resistance, with repeated independent mutations in the same set of genes driven to high frequencies by positive selection. The second aspect aims to build predictive models of insecticide resistance using genetic and genomic data, in particular through the use of machine learning models and whole-genome sequencing data.

Eric is part of the analysis team for the Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genomes (Ag1000G) project and the Vector Observatory. Eric is also a member of the Genomics for African Anopheles Resistance Diagnostics (GAARD) network, which bring together researchers in the UK (LSTM, Lancaster, Oxford) and five Sub-Saharan African countries (Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Côte d'Ivoire; University of Cape Coast, Ghana; University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya), aiming to gain a longitudinal understanding of the evolution of insecticide resistance across a broad geographic range. Applying his research on ageing to disease vectors,

Eric is also developing transcriptomic markers of age in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans, with the aim of applying these to field collections to determine the age structure of natural populations. Estimating and tracking the population age distribution is important for understanding the dynamics of vector-borne transmission and for accurately monitoring the impact of vector control interventions.

Selected publications

  • Lucas, E. R. and Keller, L. (2020). The co-evolution of longevity and social life. Functional Ecology 34, 76–87 doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.13445

    Grau-Bové, X., Lucas, E. R., et al. (2020). Resistance to pirimiphos-methyl in West African Anopheles is spreading via duplication and introgression of the Ace1 locus. bioRxiv 2020.05.18.102343; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.18.102343

    The Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genomes Consortium, Clarkson, C. S. Miles, A., Harding, N. J., Lucas, E. R., et al. (2019). Genome variation and population structure among 1,142 mosquitoes of the African malaria vector species Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii. bioRxiv 864314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/864314

    Lucas, E. R., et al. (2019). A high throughput multi-locus insecticide resistance marker panel for tracking resistance emergence and spread in Anopheles gambiae. Scientific Reports 9, 13335 doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49892-6

    Lucas, E. R., et al. (2019). Whole genome sequencing reveals high complexity of copy number variation at insecticide resistance loci in malaria mosquitoes. Genome Research 29, 1250–1261 doi: 10.1101/gr.245795.118

    Sedda, L., Lucas, E. R., et al. (2019). Improved spatial ecological sampling using open data and standardization: an example from malaria mosquito surveillance. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 16, 20180941 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0941

    Lucas, E. R. & Keller, L. (2018). New explanation for the longevity of social insect reproductives: Transposable element activity. PNAS 115, 5317-5318.

    Lucas, E. R. & Keller, L. (2018). Elevated expression of ageing and immunity genes in queens of the black garden ant. Experimental Gerontology 108, 92-98. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.03.020

    Weetman, D., Djogbénou, L. S. & Lucas, E. R. (2018). Copy number variation (CNV) and insecticide resistance in mosquitoes: evolving knowledge or an evolving problem? Current Opinion in Insect Science 27, 82-88. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.04.005

    Lucas, E. R., Romiguier, J. & Keller, L. (2017). Gene expression is more strongly influenced by age than caste in the ant Lasius niger. Molecular Ecology 26, 5058-5073. doi: 10.1111/mec.14256.

    Lucas, E. R., Augustyniak, M., Kędziorski, A. & Keller, L. (2017). Lifespan differences between queens and workers are not explained by rates of molecular damage. Experimental Gerontology 92, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.03.008.

    Lucas, E. R. & Keller, L. (2017). Explaining extraordinary lifespans: the proximate and ultimate causes of differential lifespan in social insects. In The Evolution of Senescence in the Tree of Life (eds R. P. Shefferson, O. R. Jones & R. Salguero-Gómez). Cambridge, UK. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107078505.

    Lucas, E. R., Privman, E & Keller, L. (2016). Higher expression of somatic repair genes in long-lived ant queens than workers. Aging 8, 1940-1951.

    Lucas, E. R. & Keller, L. (2014). Ageing and somatic maintenance in social insects. Current Opinion in Insect Science 5, 31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2014.09.009

    Green, J. P., Leadbeater, E., Carruthers, J. M., Rosser, N. S., Lucas, E. R. & Field, J. (2013) Clypeal patterning in the paper wasp Polistes dominulus: no evidence of adaptive value in the wild. Behavioral Ecology 24, 623-633. doi: 10.1093/beheco/ars226

    Lucas, E. R. & Field, J. (2011). Assured fitness returns in a social wasp with no worker caste. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 278, 2991-2995. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0128

    Lucas, E. R. & Field, J. (2011). Active and effective nest defence by males in a social apoid wasp. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 65 (8), 1499-1504. doi: 10.1007/s00265-011-1159-5

    Lucas, E. R., Martins, R. P. & Field, J. (2011) Reproductive skew is highly variable and correlated with genetic relatedness in a social apoid wasp. Behavioral Ecology 22 (2), 337-344. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arq214