My undergraduate degree in Biology and Geography at Keele University gave me my initial exposure to parasitology and vector biology. Realising it was more than a passing interest I undertook the Molecular parasitology and Vector biology MSc ran between Salford, Manchester and Keele Universities. For my research component I studies the ecology of UK midges as potential vectors of Blue Tongue Virus.
I then moved to the University of Edinburgh for my PhD studies. I evaluated the impact of the Stamp Out Sleeping-sickness programme which treated cattle with trypanocides and insecticide to reduce the burden of sleeping sickness. The consortium partnered Makerere University, University of Edinburgh, CEVA, Industri Kapital, Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health. To do this I directly evaluated treatment coverage, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense prevalence in cattle, and the epidemiology of human cases of the disease. During my PhD I advised on challenges and refinements to control efforts. Accompanying this assessment of control, I analysed the risk of T. b. rhodesiense introduction into post conflict northern Uganda and South Sudan as the population returned to arable sufficiency and imported cattle to replenished stocks lost during conflict.
After graduating with my PhD, I continued to work at the University of Edinburgh. I planned and managed collection and molecular analysis of blood samples (human and cattle) to produce a final report for the Stamp Out Sleeping sickness (SOS) consortium evaluating the impact of the disease control intervention.
I then moved to the Royal Veterinary Collage where I managed a project selecting areas of African Animal Trypanosomiasis (AAT) burden in five Africa nations via systematic review. Finalising on Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. I then designated field study areas in each nation based on disease characteristics. I developed a Knowledge Attitude and Practice questionnaire and managed local teams to conducted interviews at 1200 cattle keeping households. I managed a UK team for data processing. Ultimately providing study areas for drug and diagnostic trials, with a full complement of AAT related data providing a baseline.
Returning to Edinburgh as a Research Fellow, I consulted on designing and implementing a sampling frame for the DDDAC project’s Zimbabwean component, ensuring true prevalence of trypanosomiasis was captured. I liaised between project partners in government ministries and departments (health, livestock & tsetse control), the University of Zimbabwe along with UK based institutions to get work plans agreed and executed.
Now at LSTM, I am working to manage deployment and evaluate the impact of Tiny Targets in Uganda and DRC. I have also conducted active screening for gambian sleeping sickness (T. b. gambiense) in North-West Uganda. Since early 2016 I expanded my involvement into francophone Africa, initially Ivory Coast, then Democratic Republic of Congo. I am also active in teaching on a variety of the courses offered by LSTM