Dr Rosemary Susan Lees

Programme Manager and Head of Research Team at LITE’

Rosemary Lees obtained a BSc in Biological Sciences from Warwick University in 2004, and a DPhil in Zoology from Jesus College, Oxford in 2008. Her doctoral research focussed on developing transgenic strains of Aedes aegypti for vector control, then analysing their induced gene expression and phenotype and assessing the competitiveness of larvae and of adult males.

This interest in male mating biology developed during an FP7 Marie Curie fellowship looking at proxy indicators of mating success in Anopheles gambiae, and informed later work developing and overseeing Sterile Insect Technique projects for Aedes and Anopheles control in various parts of the world for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

She is currently a Programme Manager based at the Liverpool Insect testing Establishment (LITE) and working with Hilary Ranson in the Vector Biology Group.


Research at LSTM focuses on the development and standardisation of bioassays to monitor insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors of disease and to test novel active ingredients as they are developed, for example those arising from IVCC. Work will also address the demand for novel behavioural assays to investigate behavioural, non-lethal effects of insecticides alongside the traditional methods for measuring mortality after exposure.

Selected publications

  • A testing cascade to identify repurposed insecticides for next-generation vector control tools: screening a panel of chemistries with novel modes of action against a malaria vector [version 2; peer review: 3 approved] (2019). Rosemary Lees, Giorgio Praulins, Rachel Davies, Faye Brown, George Parsons, Anthony White, Hilary Ranson, Graham Small, David Malone. Gates Open Research 3:1464 (https://doi.org/10.12688/gatesopenres.12957.2)

    Characterisation of Anopheles strains used for laboratory screening of new vector control products (2019). Jessica Williams, Lori Flood, Giorgio Praulins, Victoria A. Ingham, John Morgan, Rosemary Susan Lees, Hilary Ranson. Parasites & Vectors 12: 522.

    Repurposing isoxazoline veterinary drugs for control of vector-borne human diseases (2018). Marie Miglianico, Maarten Eldering, Hannah Slater, Neil Ferguson, Pauline Ambrose, Rosemary S. Lees, Karin M. J. Koolen, Katerina Pruzinova, Magdalena Jancarova, Petr Volf, Constantianus J. M. Koenraadt, Hans-Peter Duerr, Graham Trevitt, Baiyuan Yang, Arnab K. Chatterjee, John Wisler, Angelika Sturm, Teun Bousema, Robert W. Sauerwein, Peter G. Schultz, Matthew S. Tremblay, Koen J. Dechering. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U S A 115(29): E6920–E6926.

    Combining the Sterile Insect Technique with the Incompatible Insect Technique: III-Robust Mating Competitiveness of Irradiated Triple Wolbachia-Infected Aedes albopictus Males under Semi-Field Conditions (2016). Dongjing Zhang, Rosemary Susan Lees, Zhiyong Xi, Kostas Bourtzis, Jeremie R. L. Gilles. PLoS One 11(3): e0151864.

    Back to the future: the sterile insect technique against mosquito disease vectors (2015). Rosemary Susan Lees, Jeremie RL Gilles, Jorge Hendrichs, Marc JB Vreysen and Kostas Bourtzis. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 10: 156–162.

    More than one rabbit out of the hat: Radiation, transgenic andsymbiont-based approaches for sustainable management of mosquitoand tsetse fly populations (2016). Kostas Bourtzis∗, Rosemary Susan Lees, Jorge Hendrichs, Marc J.B. Vreysen. Acta Tropica 157 (2016) 115–130.

    Large‑scale Anopheles arabiensis egg quantification methods for mass‑rearing operations (2016). Hamidou Maïga, David Damiens, Abdoulaye Diabaté, Roch K. Dabiré, Georges A. Ouédraogo, Rosemary S. Lees and Jeremie R. L. Gilles.  Malaria Journal 15:72.

    Benchmarking vector arthropod culture: an example using the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) (2016). Laura Valerio, C. Matilda Collins, Rosemary Susan Lees and Mark Q. Benedict. Malaria Journal 15: 262.

    Reusing larval rearing water and its effect on development and quality of Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes (2016). Wadaka Mamai, Rosemary Susan Lees, Hamidou Maiga and Jeremie R. L. Gilles. Malaria Journal 15: 169.

    Inducible and Repressible Systems for Transgene Expression (2014). Rosemary S. Lees, Rocco D’Amáto and M.Q. Benedict Chapter 5, Transgenic Insects: Techniques and Applications, M.Q. Benedict (Ed.), CABI, Boston, MA.

    A Female-Specific Flightless Phenotype for Mosquito Control (2010). Lees RS*, Fu G*, Nimmo D*, Aw D, Jin L, Gray P, Berendonk TU, White-Cooper H, Scaife S, Phuc HK, Marinotti O, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Alphey L. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107(10): 4550-4554.

    Density-dependent effects in experimental larval populations of Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) can be negative, neutral, or overcompensatory depending on density and diet levels (2011). Lees RS*, Gilles J*, Soliban S, Benedict MQ. Journal of Medical Entomology 48(2): 296-304.

    Late-acting Dominant Lethal Genetic Systems and Mosquito Control (2007). Phuc HK, Andreasen MH, Burton RS, Vass C, Epton MJ, Pape G, Fu G, Condon KC, Scaife S, Donnelly CA, Coleman PG, White-Cooper H, Alphey L. BMC Biology 5:11.

    Open Field Release of Genetically Engineered Sterile Male Aedes aegypti in Malaysia (2012). Renaud Lacroix, Andrew R. McKemey, Norzahira Raduan, Lim Kwee Wee, Wong Hong Ming, Teoh Guat Ney, Siti Rahidah A.A., Sawaluddin Salman, Selvi Subramaniam, Oreenaiza Nordin, Norhaida Hanum A.T., Chandru Angamuthu, Suria Marlina Mansor, Rosemary S. Lees, et al. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42771.

    Use of Multiple Data Sources to Estimate the Economic Cost of Dengue Illness in Malaysia (2012). Shepard DS, Undurraga EZ, Lees R, Halasa Y, Lum LCS, Chong CK, and Ng CW. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 87(5): 796-805.

    Fitness of transgenic mosquito Aedes aegypti males carrying a dominant lethal genetic system (2013). Blandine Massonnet-Bruneel, Nicole Corre-Catelin, Renaud Lacroix, Rosemary S. Lees, Hoang Kim Phuc, Derric Nimmo, Luke Alphey, Paul Reiter. PLoS ONE  8(5): e62711.

    Efficiency of Three Artificial Diets for Larval Development in Mass Rearing Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) (2013). A. Puggioli, F. Balestrino, D. Damiens, R.S. Lees, S.M. Soliban, O. Madakacherry, M. L. Dindo, R. Bellini, J. R. L. Gilles. Journal of Medical Entomology 50(4): 819-825.

    Genetic technologies to enhance the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) (2009). Alphey L, Baker P, Burton R, Condon G, Condon K, Dafa’alla T, Epton M, Fu G, Gong P, Jin L, Labbé G, Morrison N, Nimmo D, O’Connell S, Phillips C, Plackett A, Scaife S, Woods A. Fruit Flies of Economic Importance: From Basic to Applied Knowledge, Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance 10-15 September 2006, Salvador, Brazil: 319-326.

    Included in a special issue of Acta Tropica (2014, volume 132 Supplement), Biology and Behaviour of male mosquitoes in relation to new approaches to control disease transmitting mosquitoes, of which I was a Guest Editor:

    Review: Improving our knowledge of male mosquito biology in relation to genetic control programmes (2013).  Lees R.S., Knols B., Bellini R., Benedict M.Q., Bheecarry A., Bossin H.C., Chadee D.D., Charlwood J., Dabiré R.K., Djogbenou L., Egyir-Yawson A., Gato R., Gouagna L.C., Hassan M.M., Khan S.A., Koekemoer L.L., Lemperiere G., Manoukis N.C., Mozuraitis R., Pitts R.J., Simard F., Gilles J.

    Current status and future challenges for controlling malaria with the sterile insect technique: Technical and social perspectives (2013). Oliva C.F.,Vreysen M.J, Dupé S., Lees R.S., Gilles J.R., Gouagna L.C., Chhem R.

    Guidelines to site selection for population surveillance and mosquito control trials: A case study from Mauritius (2013). Iyaloo D.P., Elahee K.B., Bheecarry A., Lees R.S.

    Aedes albopictus (Skuse) males in laboratory and semi-field cages: Release ratios and mating competitiveness (2013). Madakacherry O., Lees R.S., Gilles J.R.

    Role of nutritional reserves and body size in Anopheles gambiae males mating success (2013).  Hamidou Maiga, Abdoulaye Niang, Simon Sawadogo, Roch Dabiré, Rosemary Susan Lees, Jeremie Gilles, Frédéric Tripet and Abdoulaye Diabaté.

    Four years surveys of swarming and mating systems in natural populations of Anopheles gambiae M and S forms in area of sympatry, Burkina Faso (West Africa) (2013). Sawadogo P.S., Diabaté A., Gnankinié O., Toé KH., Rouamba J., Ouari A., Baldet T., Simard F., Costantini C., Lees R., Gilles J., Gibson G., Dabiré K.R.

    Two step male release strategy using transgenic mosquito lines to control transmission of vector-borne diseases (2013). Carvalho D.O., Costa-da-Silva A.L., Lees R.S., Capurro M.L.

    Occurrence of natural Anopheles arabiensis swarms in an urban area of Bobo-Dioulasso city, Burkina Faso, West Africa (2013). Dabiré K.R., Sawadogo P.S., Hien D.F., Bimbilé-Somda N.S., Soma D.D., Millogo A., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C.,Simard F., Lefèvre T., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J.

    Swarming behaviour in natural populations of Anopheles gambiae and An. coluzzii: Review of 4 years survey in rural areas of sympatry, Burkina Faso (West Africa) (2013). Sawadogo P.S., Namountougou M., Toé K.H., Rouamba J., Maïga H., Ouédraogo K.R., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C., Kengne P., Simard F., Costantini C., Gibson G., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J., Dabiré K.R.