Tom Schmidt

Tom Schmidt, Research Fellow

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Tom joined PEARG in 2014 to undertake a PhD, and since finishing in 2018 is currently employed as a research fellow. His research considers the invasive arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito), with an aim to understand how they disperse through anthropogenic environments. This research informs biocontrol efforts at three key stages: identifying invasion routes and source populations, estimating the potential for spatial spread of disease during arbovirus outbreaks, and designing strategies for the elimination or control of invasive populations.

PEARG has been central to the development of vector control strategies involving the release of mosquitoes infected with the bacterium Wolbachia, which leads to either local population eradication or the ongoing suppression of its vectorial capacity. Tom has been involved in these developments directly, investigating spatial dynamics of the three Wolbachia invasions established among Cairns Aedes aegypti in 2013.

 

Current Projects

  • Genetic structure among Asian Aedes albopictus
  • Genetic structure among Aedes mosquitoes in and around the Torres Strait
  • Bioinformatics as a tool to trace invasion pathways of invasive species

 

Publications

Local introduction and heterogeneous spatial spread of dengue-suppressing Wolbachia through an urban population of Aedes aegypti
TL Schmidt, NH Barton, G Rašić, AP Turley, BL Montgomery, et al.
PLoS Biology 15 (5), e2001894

Genome-wide SNPs reveal the drivers of gene flow in an urban population of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus
TL Schmidt, G Rašić, D Zhang, X Zheng, Z Xi, AA Hoffmann
PLoS neglected tropical diseases 11 (10), e0006009

Fine-scale landscape genomics helps explain the slow spread of Wolbachia through the Aedes aegypti population in Cairns, Australia
TL Schmidt, I Filipović, AA Hoffmann, G Rašić

Conferences
ASTMH Annual Meeting 2016 – Poster Presenter
Australian Entomology Society Conference 2017 – 10 minute talk