Professor Robert Cheke
Robert A. Cheke is Professor of Tropical Zoology at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, based at its Medway campus in Chatham, UK, and a Visiting Professor at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, UK. He has over 40 years of experience of field and laboratory research in Africa focusing on the biology and control of blackflies, vectors of onchocerciasis (“river blindness”), but he has also worked on other vectors of medical and veterinary importance and on agricultural pests such as locusts and quelea birds. From 1979 until 1990 he worked with the WHO Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa studying blackfly migrations, identification methods, larvicide testing and the vector competence of different cytoforms before working with the WHO African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control as part of the team that eliminated onchocerciasis vectors from Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. Latterly he has worked on blackfly projects in Ghana investigating the potential effects of climate change on river blindness and on onchocerciasis transmission dynamics. He is currently involved in a NERC consortium studying mosquitoes in England and working with collaborators in China on models of the transmission of dengue and other diseases. In addition to his research programme, Prof. Cheke contributes to MSc and PhD programmes and other training courses in the UK and Africa.