Areas of Expertise:
transgenic “male-only” strains of insect pests for genetic control programs; epigenetics; genetic pest management; genetic systems that cause female-specific lethality; molecular tools for efficient transformation of blowflies; regulated sex-specific gene expression
Drosophila melanogaster, New World screwworm, Aedes aegypti, apple maggot fly, Australian sheep blowfly, calliphorid species, dengue fever, spotted wing Drosophila
Our main interest is in developing transgenic “male-only” strains of insect pests for genetic control programs. For example, we have developed strains of flies that are pests of livestock (e.g. New World screwworm), which carry genetic systems that cause female lethality unless tetracycline is added to the diet. We are also interested in developing genetic systems for replacing mosquito populations with strains that have a reduced capacity to transmit diseases such as dengue fever. Our applied work is underpinned by fundamental research on the regulation of gene expression in the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. For example, we have investigated how the MSL chromatin-modifying complex regulates X-linked gene expression and the importance of histone modifying enzymes in long-term memory.