Dr Johan Esterhuizen

Senior Research Assistant

Areas of interest

Tsetse fly biology, ecology, control, field project management


I trained in South Africa as entomologist and received his PhD in 2007 in Tropical Veterinary Entomology from the University of Pretoria in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp.  Following on 9 years field experience in the Zululand region of South Africa on control ofGlossina austeni and G. brevipalpis, I joined the LSTM Vector group in March 2007, working with Prof Mike Lehane and Steve Torr.


Between 2007-2011 I did extensive field research on development of new vector control technology, the so called Tiny targets.  This was done in 5 African countries on 6 tsetse species and currently I am based in Uganda where I manage the field station and tsetse control operations in the West Nile region.  The work focusses on tsetse control towards elimination of Gambiense-form of Sleeping Sickness and is the first significant new development in this field in the past 30 years. Capacity building of local field workers, district entomologists and government institutes forms a large of the work.

Selected publications

  • Selected Publications

    Esterhuizen, J.  Prevention and anti-vector campaigns: insects.  In: New developments in the main vector borne diseases, OIE Scientific and technical review, 34 (1), April 2015. Accepted.

    Tirados, I., Esterhuizen, J., Kovacic, V.,  Mangwiro, C., Hastings, I., Solano, P.,  Lehane, M.J., Torr, S.J. (2014).  Tsetse control and Gambian sleeping sickness; implications for control strategy. PLoS MedicineAccepted/in press.

    Vale GA, Hargrove JW, Solano P, Courtin F, Rayaisse J-B, Lehane MJ, Esterhuizen J, Tirados I & Torr SJ. (2014) Explaining the Host-Finding Behavior of Blood-Sucking Insects: Computerized Simulation of the Effects of Habitat Geometry on Tsetse Fly Movement. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(6): e2901. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002901

    Kovacic, Vanja, Tirados, Inaki, Esterhuizen, Johan, Mangwiro, Clement T N, Torr, Stephen J., Lehane, Mike and Smith, Helen (2013) 'Community acceptance of tsetse control baits: a qualitative study in Arua District, North West Uganda'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 7, Issue 12, e2579.

    Esterhuizen J, Njiru B, Vale GA, Lehane MJ, Torr SJ (2011) Vegetation and the Importance of Insecticide-Treated Target Siting for Control of Glossina fuscipes fuscipesPLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(9): e1336. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001336

    Tirados I, Esterhuizen J, Rayaisse J-B, Diarrassouba A, Kaba D, Mpiana S, Vale G A, Solano P, Lehane M & Torr S J. (2011) 'How Do Tsetse Recognise Their Hosts? The Role of Shape in the Responses of Tsetse (Glossina fuscipes and G. palpalis) to Artificial Hosts'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 5, Issue 8, e1226.

    Esterhuizen, J, Rayaisse, J-B, Tirados, I, Mpiana, S, Solano, P, Vale, G A, Lehane, M & Torr, S J. (2011) 'Improving the Cost-Effectiveness of Visual Devices for the Control of Riverine Tsetse Flies, the Major Vectors of Human African Trypanosomiasis'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 5, Issue 8, e1257.

    Esterhuizen J, Kappmeier-Green K, Nevill EM & Van Den Bossche P. (2006). Selective use of odour-baited, insecticide-treated taregts to control tsetse flies Glossina austeni and G. brevipalpis in South Africa. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20: 464-469. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2006.00650.x

    Esterhuizen, J. & Van den Bossche, P. (2006). Protective netting, an additional method for the integrated control of livestock trypanosomosis in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.  Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 73: 319-321

    Esterhuizen, J. (2006).  Seasonal abundance of horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) from two conservation areas in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal province, South AfricaAfrican Entomology. 14, 395-397.

    Esterhuizen, J., Kappmeier Green, K., Marcotty, T. & Van den Bossche, P. (2005). Abundance and distribution of the tsetse flies, Glossina austeni and G. brevipalpis, in different habitats in South Africa.  Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 19: 367-371.